No matter how you cut it, the first thing you need to do is figure out who your market is. If you're in personal injury, are you going after the victims of drunk drivers? The person who was injured in a major retail establishment by a falling display? People who were severely injured by dangerous products? People who suffered traumatic brain injury? Many lawyers would look at this question and say, "Well, my marketplace is everybody." If you think your marketplace is everybody, you have no marketplace, because the fact is, that message is far too diluted for you to be sure you will be able to track anybody down in the confusion and clutter of today's marketplace. Spend some time figuring out who your market is. If you don't figure out who your market is, the marketplace will figure it out for you and you may not like what you get.
All business is not necessarily good business. Many lawyers have trouble understanding this. "How can it be bad if someone wants to come in and write me a check?" The answer is that if you are taking in the kind of business that really is not designed to help you get where you want to go in the long term, then, while you may collect your hourly fee, it may distract you from your marketing efforts and may take you down a path that will have you chasing your tail, and becoming frustrated and discouraged in the process. Be careful about getting into the mindset that you have to take every case and every client that comes your way.
Without a focus on what kind of practice you want to develop, you can become an advertising victim and find that you have wasted your budget on ineffective ads and end up with an unsatisfying practice. If you decide who it is you want to attract and figure out the marketing message and, finally, the media for delivering the message, you will find that you will start to attract the kind of people you want to attract. For example, are you passionate about making sure that the elderly in your community have the best nursing home care possible, and you want to help make sure nursing homes are held accountable when they injure their residents? If so, you have an identifiable market of people to talk to - people who have family members in nursing homes. Talking to this market directly about what their concerns and fears are is the secret to getting the kind of practice you want.
- Ben Glass