Clients hire law firms that they know, like, and trust.
There’s nothing new about this information.
But why don’t they know you?
There are 1.3 million lawyers in America. That’s one for every 250 people. Can you expect to stand out when there are so many others in the legal industry doing exactly what you’re doing?
Why don’t they like or trust you?
Lawyers have gotten a bit of a bad reputation thanks to historically tasteless advertisements, leading to a severe distrust of the occupation all together. In fact, research shows that people consider lawyers to be on par with prostitutes when it comes to perceived trustworthiness.
Even though you might be an excellent lawyer doing good work in your community, the ones that have come before you have already tarnished your reputation before you even get a chance to prove yourself.
The solution? Differentiate to separate yourself from the so-called competition.
I know what you’re thinking: How can I possibly separate myself from 1.3 million other lawyers in America?
This is especially challenging when you consider that many practice areas operate on a contingency-based model, making it essentially free for clients to work with them.
Imagine that you were competing in another space where everything is free. Have you ever wondered how bottled water companies make any money when water comes straight from the tap? And how all the bottles on the shelf look similar as it is? How on earth would you do it?
Most water companies orient their brands around purity, nature, the taste of the water — and then, about four years ago, a totally different water company came along called Liquid Death, whose goal was to make drinking water cool again. They wanted you to murder your thirst.
Liquid Death realized that most rock bands and musical artists were sponsored by energy drinks. Most of those groups didn’t want to drink those on stage, however, so they’d often pour them out and refill them with water.
This is where Liquid Death saw a need and decided to fill it.
They designed a cool can that looked like an energy drink, launched unorthodox campaigns, and ultimately offended as many people as they pleased. In just four years since the inception of Liquid Death, they have gained a $700 million dollar valuation, on pace for $1 billion — in the water space.
The moral of the story?
Focus. Niche. Differentiate.
If someone can stand out in the water space, I promise you can stand out in the legal industry.