Go Niche or Go Home, Lawyers

It is very difficult, if not impossible, to successfully develop a marketing strategy that is attractive to a broad range of people.

Despite this being a common statement among digital marketing professionals for many years, the prevailing attitude of many law firms is still that no act should be taken, no profile submitted and no content developed which might alienate any group of potential clients.

So instead of “6 tax deductions junior lawyers working from home could claim” we get “6 common tax deductions”.

And instead of “what key terms do liquor wholesalers need to worry about in transactions?” we get “terms and conditions in the hospitality industry”.

You get the idea.

Basically, we run our marketing on the basis that every piece is an opportunity to reach as broad an audience as possible.

And while in theory that sounds like it makes sense, there's one major flaw with that strategy:

It Doesn't Work

If this was 1997 and you were participating in the “weblog” phenomenon, then we might be having a different conversation.

But with 7.5 million blog posts published each day, I (and all of my friends) are only reading things that genuinely interest us.

Which, for most people, means they need to be:

  • really funny; or
  • extremely relevant and useful.

Because with such an abundance of content to pick from, why would I pick something that isn't specifically geared towards my situation when I can quite easily find something that is?

I'm not only far more likely to consume content that is targeted at me very specifically, I'm also far more likely to purchase goods and services that apply to me specifically.

Let's Take an Example

Let's say I run an online store that sells fake eyelashes I acquire from overseas cheaply and then sell here (Australia) with a markup.

I'm looking for information about the various legal issues my business might face, and pondering the idea of whether I need a lawyer or not.

Now it's true – I might not start by googling “eyelash lawyers” or similar, and the chances are remote that I think I'll find much in that category. That said, if I happened across something specifically about selling fake eyelashes then I'm pretty likely to read it, right?

More likely I'll be looking at things like “online stores” or “re-selling goods in Australia” or “dropshipping”.

So if your blog consists entirely of articles for “small business” and you haven't looked at things from those different angles, the chances are that I'm not going to be reading any of your stuff any time soon.

No, I'm going to land on the firm that has a big section about selling stuff online as a solo-preneur, with hints and tips and traps and all sorts of useful things to keep my business safe and profitable. And if I need to call someone – it's going to be them, not you.

Ways to Do It

So at this point some people are thinking “well that's great – but my articles are actually useful for a wide range of people and I'd give the same advice either way”.

That's fine. In fact, I'm in the same boat – I do marketing for lawyers, but in reality most of the strategy and tactics I apply would be useful for many other professions and businesses. I just happen to be a lawyer, and therefore they are the people I know best.

So here are some things you can do:

  • write a series for a particular niche or industry – take the expertise you have with that particular type of client, put yourself in their shoes, and produce a great series of articles looking at things from their perspective;
  • case studies – look at a business within that industry (if you can work within the confidentiality rules) and see how they navigated some common areas in order to succeed;
  • use examples in your writing – while the legal content and conclusions might be very similar, the examples you use in your content are what make it relevant or not to your desired audience;
  • consider the same issues from different perspectives – there's no particular reason you can't write an article on related topics for a variety of different niches, looking at essentially similar legal matters from different angles. So, an article about terms and conditions could easily be different depending on whether it was for a major contractor, a small brick and mortar business, an online store, an SaaS provider, or a spa. Just be careful here not to duplicate your content – don't cut and paste big swathes between your articles as that's going to create an SEO headache for you.

Ready to Niche your Marketing?

It's time to go small.

Hone your efforts on those clients, that industry, the perspective that you can serve the best. After all, for most lawyers in most industries if your marketing captures even a small percentage of a given industry it's still going to be an extremely profitable venture.

And, of course, you can always change it up after a time – just because you pick something now doesn't mean you're stuck with it for the rest of your career!

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