The Value of Selecting a Niche
When you’re trying to compete against hundreds of other organizations in your area, you need a way to differentiate yourself from the competition. Rather than competing with the “big boys”, why not develop niche markets where you can be the big fish in a small pond? Trying to be all things to all people may limit your chances of getting new business.
Typically niche services are provided by organizations with highly specialized knowledge and skill. These specialized skills are integrated within the context of the organization’s business model, personality, and rapport with clients.
You don’t have to restrict your practice to just one area, but rather target your marketing efforts to one specific group at a time. All of your marketing must speak to their challenges and convey your depth of knowledge on that subject in order to establish yourself as an authority in that arena.
Selecting your Niche Market
Trying to be all things to all people may limit your chances of getting new business. Many lawyers have refined their practice to a specific area of the law, such as estate planning or collections. However, you might consider narrowing your focus even further.
There are a few different ways to select a niche market for your firm.
1. By industry. You could focus on the technology industry or the medical field. You develop a specialty in the problems that industry is likely to face, which could still be quite broad, including contracts, real estate, etc. Your marketing, however, is geared to reaching only organizations in your target industry.
2. By specific matter. A tax attorney might choose to focus exclusively on international tax law. One of our clients, an insurance agency, developed a specialty insuring ticket agencies against cancellations. Another client, an executive coached faced the challenge of over-saturation in his field. To differentiate himself, he positioned himself as the “go to” guy for derailing executives. This is a specialty that many coaches either cannot handle, or choose not to handle. The result? Not only is he contacted by clients with this specific need, but he also gets referrals from other executive coaches. The marketing efforts we undertake address this pain, from avoiding derailment by right hiring to correcting the behavior of talented executives who have a management style that is contrary to the culture of the firm.
3. By demographics. This is an interesting approach. For example, a family law practice could elect to represent only men, or only women. Such a focus can be very attractive to that target market.
There are other ways to narrow your focus as well, such as by hobby or subculture.
The beauty of this approach is that it allows you to develop a deep knowledge of and become a thought leader in that arena.
Analyze your current client base to determine the profile of your key clients and consider that as a niche.
Communicating with your Niche Market
Here are some strategies for effectively marketing your niche service:
• Identify who your ideal clients are, where they congregate and how you can reach them.
• Involve yourself in the special interest networking groups and associations to embed yourself into their community.
• Build relationships with the leadership of organizations concerned with issues of your ideal client.
• Lecture at conferences and educational institutions that cater to your audience.
• Build relationships with the media, so they turn to you for comments when news related to your topic breaks.
• Provide continuing education courses in that field.
• Stay up to date on all developments in your niche. Follow the trends, then use newsletters and social media to inform your target audience about those developments, and about new rulings and legislation.
• Communicate in your market’s language, not the jargon of your profession.
• Establish yourself as a thought leader in the field through speaking engagements, white papers and social media.
The internet has changed niche marketing and supports narrower focus. By working with the same industry day in and day out, you become the industry leader, thereby building your business.