LPM Tip

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Focus your marketing message to create a lasting picture

Good marketing is the art of differentiation. If you present yourself like any other lawyer in the marketplace, potential clients and referral sources are less likely to remember you when they encounter a need you can service.

This is a hard lesson to embrace in a competitive field for legal services. Most of the clients I work with are concerned that if they do not mention everything they do, they will miss out on opportunities. But by not focusing your marketing message, the opposite is true. You run the risk of being memorable for nothing.

Think of it as you would when taking a photograph. A good photographer will focus in on those elements in the scene where they want your attention drawn. If you take a photo of three friends, but they are just a small part of a much larger scene (e.g., if they only take up a third of the photo), then you often end up with a bad photo of the friends and a bad photo of the scene.

So if your primary practice focus is creating estate plans for middle class couples, don't be afraid to tell that to the potential clients and referral sources you meet. If the individual is looking for a good divorce lawyer and you happen to do some of that work, you can always indicate that as the conversation progresses. Similarly, if they are selling a home or have a potential conflict with a business partner, and that is work that you have successfully handled, then you can add that to the conversation, as well.

The point is when someone asks what you do, try and limit yourself to one or two (possibly three), types of matters that you handle and who are the most likely clients for that work. Like a good photograph, a focused marketing message will stick longer in the memory of those who you are relying on for your work. You can always clarify that you also handle the type of matter that the individual needs help with. But keep the focus of your marketing message on those areas that you want to be known for. A focused message like that is much more likely to stick.

Tip courtesy of Stephen Seckler, director of attorney recruitment and career advancement, Marc Z Legal Staffing and president, Seckler Legal Consulting and Coaching.

Published October 24, 2013

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