Stand Out! 6 Attorney Market Differentiators

market differentiators

When a client is selecting an attorney, what makes them choose one over another?

Standing out in a field of black suits can be very challenging, especially when you all offer virtually identical services. What can you do to get noticed and ultimately win more business?

Here are 6 items you can use to differentiate yourself from the other attorneys competing for your clients. Most of them may not apply to you, and that is ok. Find the ones that do and use them to your advantage.

1. Your Background and History

All of us have a story that has shaped the decisions we have made in our lives, and attorneys are no different. Don’t be afraid to tell your story, and how it has made you the attorney you are today. 

There is a reason you are in the legal field and a reason you selected the focus area that you did. Sharing your personal history with prospects allows them to see you as someone who is not only legally competent but also as someone with an insider perspective on how things work. This positions you as an expert who takes your profession seriously and is personally invested in finding them a favorable outcome. 

Real World Example

If you are a personal injury attorney who used to work for an insurance company, that can be a huge advantage through the eyes of a client. 

2. Your Education

Yes, most attorneys have a college degree to go along with their license to practice law. However, if you went to an Ivy League college or university such as Harvard Law or Oxford University, received special awards, or took classes related to your focus area but not on a standard legal curriculum, then include that in your bio and talk about it!

The great thing about an educational differentiator is that you can achieve it at any time. While you can’t change your background, you can always take classes and continue your education. Look at your niche, the type of clients you want to obtain, and how you can better yourself to improve your chances of attracting them to your firm.

Real World Example

If you are a business lawyer who complemented your legal training with business management courses, then you should have more insight than the average attorney.

3. Your Community Involvement

Being involved in your local community has double benefits. Not only do you have the opportunity to build relationships that could lead to referral or direct business, you can also use your involvement as a market differentiator.

Even if your community service isn’t related to your field of law, it can still be a great way to connect with clients who share the same causes that you do. While building homes for the poor may have nothing to do with being a business law attorney, it can help to improve your reputation through media coverage, as well as build your reputation as a passionate individual dedicated to the community you share with your potential clients.

Real World Example

A family law attorney who volunteers at an orphanage can use that to position themselves as the go-to adoption attorney.

4. Your Personality

There is a fine line between personality and gimmicks. We don’t expect you to be the “rapping attorney” and that simply wouldn’t work for most attorney focus areas anyway. This is more about utilizing your personal interests to build a connection with your target market, and developing trust.

The more open you are with your prospects and clients about who you are, the more comfortable they feel opening up and sharing their story with you. If you can connect on a personal level, even something as simple as both of you having school age children, then you are more likely to build a long-lasting business relationship.

Real World Example

You may be a criminal law attorney, but you may also be an avid angler. By comparing your approach to the law with your approach to fishing, you paint yourself as relatable, original, and real.

5. Your Professional Accomplishments

How well you perform your legal duties can have an obvious impact on your ability to close more cases, but only if you talk about it.

If you use statistics to promote your firm, make sure that they are accurate and reflective of your abilities, and include a statement advising that each case is unique, and that past results shouldn’t be construed as a guarantee of results for your individual case. Handled properly, however, this can be a very impactful differentiator.

Hot Tip: Send a post-case survey to clients encouraging them to tell you about their experience (and requesting a review) to help you gather these statistics.

Real World Example

If your firm closes 90% of their cases with a reported “favorable” outcome, then that is something to brag about.

6. Your Area of Focus

Let’s talk micro-niches. You most likely already have an area of law that you focus on, such as family law, business law, criminal law, immigration law, or personal injury law. However, there are many micro-niches within each of these focus areas

Pay attention to the types of cases you find the most rewarding, which you are able to get the best results for, and what type of clients you most like to work with. Analyze what about those cases and clients is different from other cases, and what they have in common with each other. You may find that you prefer to work with elderly people, or that you get the best results when you tackle drug cases. Once you have identified these micro-niches, target your messaging to attract more of those types of cases and clients.

Real World Example

Family law has many subcategories such as domestic violence, divorce, child custody, adoption, and estate planning. When we start to breakdown these subcategories, we start to find our micro-niches, such as high-asset divorce, elder abuse, and international adoption.

You Have a Story, So Tell It!

Market differentiation isn’t just a one-time exercise that you complete and then forget about. It is your bread and butter, and the reason why your prospects ultimately choose you for their legal needs.

Once you have established your market differentiators, write them down as succinct and clear statements. Refer back to them when creating marketing materials, writing blog posts, and making business decisions.

With proper focus on what sets you apart from other attorneys, your differentiators will be immediately evident to an outsider who is otherwise unfamiliar with your firm, and can assist with converting them into your ideal client.

We Can Help

If you need assistance determining your market differentiators, utilizing them in your marketing, or want to learn more about how Mark My Words Media is accelerating the growth of law firms just like yours, give us a call at (800) 243-2077.