And it’s preventing them from scaling their law firms.
I get it. A few years ago, I was in the same boat. The good news is, there’s a simple path to being able to work exclusively in your niche with your ideal clients. All you need to do is:
- Identify your ideal client
- Market solely to your ideal client
- Phase-out non-ideal clients
Before we get stuck into the nuts and bolts of how to do it, let’s talk about why we need to. Back in 2012 when I was a director of a law firm I realised I didn’t like my job. It was dull, repetitive and unrewarding and, at the same time, all-consuming and highly stressful. I thought back to what had attracted me to the law in the beginning and what I really wanted out of owning my own law firm. It boiled down to three simple things – more money, more freedom and more impact.
But how to get them? I thought the answer was working harder (man was I wrong) so I ramped things up. I took on more and more work and clients and all I got was more stressed and more miserable. Over time I learned that there are a handful of key levers to pull to scale your law firm to get more impact, money and freedom. And one of those levers was making sure I was only working in my niche with clients who were a great fit for me.
STEP 1: Identify your ideal client
The first step to getting rid of those clients who are holding you back is clearly understanding who you are going to replace them with. Look around your firm and ask yourself:
- Who is the client I genuinely love working with?
- What work do I look forward to getting stuck into?
- When have I felt the proudest during my career?
- What am I amazing at?
- What ideas/issues/causes really float my boat?
- Who do I get the best results for?
Your ideal client will be different to mine, and to the lawyer’s down the road (which is why there are enough ideal clients to go around) but every lawyer’s ideal client has three things in common:
- They’ll pay you what you’re worth.
- You’re passionate about helping them.
- You can consistently get killer results for them.
Read more about all the tips and tricks you can use in my blog How To Choose Your Ideal Client.
STEP 2: Niche market exclusively to your ideal client
So, we know who they are, now we need them to know who we are. Chances are, you’re already doing some great marketing, but the key to attracting your ideal client is making sure your marketing programme is designed exclusively for them.
Niche marketing is great for entrepreneurial lawyers because the more targeted our marketing, the more cost-effective it is. You stop wasting time, energy and money talking to the wrong people.
Once you’ve identified who your ideal client is, all you need to figure out is:
· Where they are?
· How to reach them?
· What to say to them to win them?
If you can’t easily answer these three things, then you don’t know your ideal client well enough. Go back to Step One. Think about your clients holistically. What are they like, and what do they like? How do they talk, what tone and language do they use? Where do they get their information from? What problems do they have (not just legal ones) that you can solve?
Figure out what works for your ideal client. What mediums and messages get their attention? Use this info to create a repeatable and reliable marketing system to attract and convert your ideal clients. This is the blueprint for getting more ideal clients and Step 2 on your journey to getting rid of those clients who are stopping you from growing your firm’s revenue to seven figures and beyond.
STEP 3: Phase out non-ideal clients
Saying goodbye to clients (even the difficult ones) is scary. To do it, you need to make a firm, time-specific, measurable commitment to transitioning from your non-ideal to your ideal clients.
The marketing you put in place during Step 2 will be actively targeting ideal clients. As you take on more ideal clients, you need to reduce the work you do for non-ideal clients.
It’s important you set yourself a timeframe (say, a year or two) to complete this transition. Keep yourself on target by reviewing progress each month. Look at the ratio of ideal clients to non-ideal clients and track your progress.
Aside from these practical things, the best thing you can do to speed up the transition is shifting your mindset from a scarcity mindset to one of abundance.
Go deeper into how scarcity mindsets derail us in my blog The #1 Thing Holding Law Firms Back. Simply put though, scarcity mindsets lead to failure because they rob us of the confidence and energy to move forward and execute our plans.
With an abundance mindset, you’re amped, full of confidence and ready to devote time, energy and resources into showing your ideal clients just how amazing you are.
Your ideal client is one of the key levers to scaling your firm
When you identify your ideal client and focus your time and energy on winning them and consistently getting them excellent results, you will be able to say goodbye to clients who make you miserable and stop doing unsatisfying legal work. Instead you will be doing work that is financially, emotionally and professionally rewarding. So you can scale your law firm to a million dollars plus faster.
Scale Up is my 12-month programme to help entrepreneurial lawyers get more ideal clients and pull the right levers to scale their law firms to 7 figures faster. To find out if Scale Up is a good fit, schedule a Scale Session with my team.