I frequently ask lawyers I coach for topics they wanted me to write about here. One lawyer asked:
How to attract new clients-what are the most effective, least time-consuming methods?
There are likely hundreds and maybe even thousands of lawyers competing for the same potential clients as you are. What are the most effective and least time-consuming methods?
Years ago I read an article about Seth Godin and his thoughts on: How to Stand Out in Any Crowd. I frequently re-read it. Godin describes three types of potential clients who have not hired you and then he says:
You’ll never get the attention of the people in the second and third categories if you interrupt them, says Godin. Instead, have them come to you. How? Start by creating something amazing, something people will love and want to talk about. Something remarkable.
Imagine how much you will enjoy your law practice when you create something clients love and they want to tell others.
Seth Godin also posted a blog titled: The ubiquity of competition. In the post Seth compares photographers, towns, snacks, job applicants, jobs, bumper stickers and houses for sale and mentions one in each category that stands out.
Take a look at the one in each category that stands out and then ask yourself who is the lawyer that the potential clients turn to in your field. What has that lawyer done to stand out? If you want to think about it further, answer these four questions from Kevin O’Keefe’s blog Define your personal brand as a lawyer by answering these 4 questions:
- What differentiates you from everyone else who might have a similar background or set of experiences?
- What skills, abilities, knowledge and attitudes do you have (or are developing) that will make people want to work with, follow or ‘friend’ you–online or off?
- What value can you create for others as a friend, blogger, colleague, teammate, boss or subordinate?
- What will make you satisfied and fulfilled that you are indeed making a contribution?
I have shared with you the importance of understanding your clients business and creating materials that answer potential clients’ questions before they even ask them. I was able to differentiate myself from others by working hard to understand highway/heavy contractors and construction. I learned how projects were designed, bid and constructed and the kind of problems contractors faced profitably building them.
I created value for the highway/heavy construction industry by writing a monthly column, delivering presentations, writing guides and booklets, conducting workshops and commenting on what the federal and state governments were doing. I always felt satisfied and fulfilled knowing I was helping contractors successfully build transportation construction projects that were needed by the community, state and country.
That is how I would answer the four questions Kevin posed. How would you answer them?