How to choose your ideal client to scale your law firm

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Are you tired of taking any and every client that comes your way, even if you don’t want to? The way to solve this problem is to choose an ideal client and get to know him/her better.

Lots of lawyers, even savvy ones like you, are scared to commit to one ideal client. This comes from a scarcity mindset – you’re worried there aren’t enough of your ideal clients to keep you busy so you keep the net wide (spoiler alert: there will be enough, otherwise how can they be your ‘ideal’ client?).

But here is the thing: to scale your law firm with online legal solutions you need to figure out who your ideal client is.

Narrowing your niche

Narrowing your niche is perhaps the most important step towards scaling your law firm. If you don’t KNOW your ideal client, how can you serve them?

What is it that you do? And who do you do it for? You need to get super specific – no more of this “I help SMEs with their legal issues”. What sort of SMEs? What sort of legal issues? What sort of results do you help them achieve?

You can decide on your ideal client by asking yourself specifically what kind of legal work and clients really float your boat. What type of legal work empowers you to genuinely make a difference in the world? What are you so passionate about that you can rant about it for at least 10 minutes? What are your unique skills and expertise? These don’t just need to be legal skills.

I recently hosted a 5 day challenge to help lawyers create an online legal solution and one of the exercises was to identify your ideal client – check out this video I did on how to narrow your niche and identify your ideal client.

 Video: How to narrow your niche and identify your ideal client

You can download the worksheet mentioned in the video here.

Take your ideal client on a date

OK so don’t actually take them on a date (or you could…), but visualise meeting him/her for coffee and answer these questions to get to know your ideal client better:

  • What does your client wear to a meeting with you?
  • What car does your client drive?
  • What does your client love to do for fun?
  • What worries, concerns or curiosities was your client up late Googling last night?
  • Your client takes a phone call and seems stressed – who is your ideal client talking to and what is your client stressed about?
  • What is your client doing immediately before she/he calls you?
  • What does your client do immediately after she/he calls you?
  • What events does your client go to?
  • What software does your client use?
  • What websites does your client visit?
  • What does your client read and watch? What books is she/he buying?
  • What causes pull at your client’s heartstrings? What charities does she/he donate to?
  • What are your ideal client’s dreams and aspirations?
  • What are her/his legal worries that she/he thinks about but doesn’t have time to deal with?

It’s important you also understand their problems and aspirations that aren’t legal-related – this will help you think bigger about the valuable online legal solution you’re creating. Perhaps your solution could include some kind of coaching or consulting that isn’t a legal service or legal advice. You could even include the help of someone other than yourself as part of your legal solution.

For example, if your ideal client is the CEO of a technology startup, you could offer a legal solution that helps them get legal ready for their capital raising activities. As part of this solution, you could include a 1 hour consultation with your friend who is well known for creating amazing slide decks for investment pitches.

Can your ideal client be a company or other entity?

Even if you work with companies or other types of entities, your ideal client is the person at the company who needs your help, like the CEO, the HR director or the Chairperson of the Board. This is the person you need to identify and get to know better.

Do you instantly need to stop working with clients who aren’t ideal clients?

The reason lawyers freak about focusing on one ideal client is they think they instantly need to stop serving the other types of client they do work for.  

When I talk about narrowing your niche, you don’t need to instantly stop serving your current clients. You could, and you’d probably get traction faster, but that would have financial implications that you may not be willing to accept.

For your online legal solution to get traction, you need to create it with an ideal client in mind. This will help you to create an online legal solution that solves a real problem. You’ll be able to use messaging that speaks directly to your ideal client. You’ll also be able to target your ideal client with digital marketing, instead of wasting precious $$$ on sharing your message with the wrong people.

The power of one

Don’t create multiple online legal solutions that serve multiple ideal clients – focus on ONE. This is the magic number to start scaling your law firm – one ideal client, one problem, one solution, one offer, one year.

That means: focus on one ideal client, have one solution that solves one problem, have one offer for your solution, and offer it to your ideal client for one year.

Don’t get distracted with a million things. Focus.

When you narrow your niche, over time your practice will fill up with your ideal clients. Which means in time you can stop helping the clients you’re not as passionate about helping.

Can you be successful with targeting a wide audience?

Selling online legal solutions to a wide audience (like SMEs for example) can work IF you’re willing to spend really large amounts of money and time on marketing and sales OR you already have a big audience (social media following and mailing list of current clients and potential clients).

Make a decision

Make a decision on who your ideal client is and make it now. You don’t have to get this perfect, you just have to get it done. You can always pivot the work that you do and who you do it for in the future. You do not have to do the thing you have chosen for the rest of your life, but you do need to make a decision and go all in.

Get committed. Get focused.

Do you want the help of a community of 950+ savvy lawyers to help you stay committed and focused? Join the free Savvy Lawyers group now to learn more about how you can use your law firm as a vehicle to create your ideal life.

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