Welcome to my new column, “Power Niche Marketing.”
This column has a very simple purpose: to teach marketing to lawyers and other professional service providers.
Astonishingly, all of us lawyers need clients in order to survive, yet when we go to law school and start our careers and our careers move forward, there is simply no one teaching us how to get these clients!
And we are desperate to learn. We see the big rainmakers, with their (figurative) cigars having all the fun and making all the money, while we toil away in the trenches wondering “why?” It doesn’t make sense. It doesn’t seem fair. But we have no idea what to do about it.
In our desperation, we may ask a successful rainmaker, “How do you do it? What is the secret?”
The rainmaker is always 1000% confident in her answer, and you hear things like this:
- You get your clients from across the table.
- You get them on the golf course.
- You go to seminars.
- You work the room.
- You network relentlessly.
- You get them from your high school, if it is connected.
- You get them through just doing great work, and people hear about it.
- You get them at the synagogue/church, etc…
The list goes on and on and on, with the only theme being that there is no rhyme or reason to it. And yet the rainmaker who gives you this advice is super-confident in it for an empirically misleading reason: whatever she is telling you worked for her!
Some of us in our desperation go to marketing courses, or seminars, but, alas, just about all of them (and maybe all of them) are taught by people who didn’t actually go out and bring in clients. Perhaps they are non-lawyers or, worse yet, people who failed at being lawyers and then turned to teaching marketing, thereby validating the old saying that those who can, do; those who can’t, teach.
There really is nowhere to turn. But meanwhile, our profession is becoming utterly relentless in the simple truth that:
No rain = bad career.
Your troubles are now over! Just read my column for the next year, and you will be a great rainmaker. Simple!
Okay, it is not that simple; however, I will stick my neck out and say the following:
- I am not some guy who couldn’t succeed and so is now teaching. I am out there every single day marketing and trying to provide strong value propositions to prospective clients. I am in the trenches, and I know what clients respond to.
- I have gained my expertise by ruthlessly examining internally my own strengths and weaknesses and, with brutal honesty (to myself), I have analyzed what works in practice and what fails. At the same time, I have tried hard to understand what is really and truly important to my clients. After many fits and starts – and more outright failures than I like to think about – a lot has become clear to me. I will be sharing what I have learned in this column.
- Finally, of everything that I have learned in the marketing world, by far the most important lesson I have learned is the importance, and indeed the power, in the “Power Niche,” which is a term I have coined. Although there are numerous sub-parts to my marketing plan, at the heart of it is the Power Niche; accordingly, you will hear a lot about it throughout the articles.
Ultimately, virtually anyone can become a successful rainmaker by following a few simple teachings. This is really true. There are some tricks of the trade, but it is not a secret handshake – it is actually quite easy. Just keep an open mind, and I will be of great use to you.
I will get into the heart of the Power Niche in my next article, but so I don’t become one of those “annoying” serial writers who always puts the excitement in the “next” article to bring you back, I will let the cat out of the bag right now and tell you what I mean by a Power Niche:
In brief, a Power Niche is a small-sized niche within a bigger industry that no one else yet dominates or owns. The niche isn’t obvious, so you have to figure it out and “create” it. You step in and learn everything about it and everyone in it. You tell everyone about what you are doing – incessantly – and become the real “owner” of the niche merely by staking out your homestead in virgin territory. This then becomes a virtuous cycle as the more you know, the more you do, and the more you do, the more you know. Before long you are the world’s unquestioned expert in this (smaller) niche. All of this enhances your bargaining power within that niche. Instead of begging for business in the bigger industry, you now have eager clients paying you top dollar within this smaller Power Niche.
The goal of this new column is to teach you exactly how to build a Power Niche and become a rainmaker (or grow your book of business if you already are a rainmaker).