You probably have a favorite client. You deliver for them, they’ve been happy with your services, and they’ve referred you to new clients. You may know how you found them or how they found you through your law firm marketing strategy, but you may not know why they pick you. That begs the question — who is your ideal client and why did they choose you to help them solve their legal matters? Answering this question requires some understanding of horizontal segmentation.
There is No Best Lawyer; There Are Only Best Lawyers
It is impossible to be the “best lawyer” because no such lawyer exists. Nor does the best spaghetti sauce. What does spaghetti sauce have to do with finding your ideal clients? Malcolm Gladwell explains in his TED talk, “Choice, Happiness and spaghetti sauce.” I’ve probably watched this talk ten times, if you haven’t seen it before, it is worth your while.
In the 1980s, jarred spaghetti sauce in US grocery stores came in few varieties. Ragu dominated the market that Prego wanted to capture. Prego hired an expert, Howard Moskowitz, a psychophysicist, who was tasked with formulating the magical recipe–the single best tomato sauce–that would crush Ragu and lead to market dominance. He led a team of taste testers across America on a nationwide search, sampling dozens of recipes to determine which formula Prego should sell. What did they find out? The “best” spaghetti sauce doesn’t exist.
It turns out that no one sauce perfectly aligns with all consumer taste preferences and any one sauce that is designed to make everyone happy, makes no one happy. Given the varied pallets of the consumer, the only way to fully maximize consumer happiness is by creating a variety of sauces–which Prego did. Moskowitz identified three main tomato-sauce taste preferences — chunky, spicy and sweet. Today, Prego offers more than 18 spaghetti sauces, not accounting for their pizza and cheese sauces.
You Make Some People Very Happy
To the client who believes you are the best lawyer, knowing which metrics drive that decision is key to positioning yourself in the marketplace. Some determinants of client satisfaction are probably universal, like those Amy Sapan discusses in The Lives of Lawyers: Actionable Tips for Lawyers to Boost Client Satisfaction. Being humble, friendly, non-assuming, and having empathy are traits almost all clients appreciate. But even if you demonstrate those qualities in spades, you will only be the ideal lawyer for certain clients.
Just as Moskowitz determined that consumers of tomato sauce have preferences around how chunky, spicy, and sweet their sauce is, your clients have their own set of preferences. Figuring out what those are isn’t easy, but has a big payoff. They may include aspects such as —
- Considerable facetime and reassuring communication.
- The biggest payout possible with little consideration to the time it takes.
- The size of your team.
- Your location.
- Your track record.
What Is Your Unique Value Proposition?
Before you can find your ideal clients, you need to determine what your greatest strengths are. Your unique value proposition, your UVP, should be an integral part of your law firm marketing strategy. It’s an essential brand messaging tool. Your UVP should convey the services that you provide, how they solve your clients’ problems and how you do things differently than other law firms.
If you’re a north-suburban workers’ comp lawyer focusing on clients injured in manufacturing plants within ten miles of your office, keep your messaging close to home. If you are a plaintiff’s PI firm capable of representing complicated med mal cases to, let that be your message to the world, on your website, in print,
Be confident in your UVP and keep it consistent across on all of your marketing materials. You ideal clients will find you.
If you need help formulating your law firm marketing strategy, Contact us today for a free consultation.