THOUGHTS OF JAY HARRINGTON
Many lawyers fear that a narrow focus will limit their potential. This sort of FOMO is scarcity thinking, because even the seemingly smallest markets offer big opportunities.
I learned this lesson firsthand when I was building my small law firm in Detroit (our narrow niche was corporate restructuring and commercial litigation work for auto dealers), and I’ve seen countless clients accelerate the growth of their practices when they use a smaller lens to define their target market.
It’s easy to be seduced by the magical thinking that bigger is always better, but it’s tough to gain traction with an inch-deep-mile-wide approach to business development.
As you become a well-known expert in a niche, you create a flywheel effect of referrals.
The tight-knit group you serve talks you up. Once you establish yourself as an expert in a market, it’s far easier to move into adjacent ones.
A narrow niche allows you to scale your practice to new heights.
- Your expertise deepens rapidly when you deal with the same types of clients facing similar issues.
- When you’re focused on a niche market, marketing becomes easier. You can identify—and immerse yourself and your ideas in—the key publications, websites, trade groups, and conferences your ideal clients care about.
- The high level of competence you gain as a narrowly focused expert makes the practice of law less stressful.
- You can charge more.
- Clients start seeking you out.
- You expand the geographic scope of your practice, because specialized expertise travels.
- You lessen or eliminate local competition.
- Your content becomes more resonant and topic ideas come easily because it’s written for your ideal client, not everyone.
This sort of strategy isn’t for everyone.
It’s certainly not the only way to build a practice.
But if you’re looking for a way to build some momentum, a less-is-more approach may be the thing that gets you rolling.