Finding Your Law Firm’s Blue Ocean
How To Stand Out Amongst A Sea of Noise
To many lawyers, legal marketing feels like a necessary evil, taking time away from cases and other daily business responsibilities. That’s too bad because marketing is absolutely crucial for building a successful brand and can actually be fun and exciting!
Without an authentic and consistent marketing strategy, you won’t bring in enough new cases to keep the doors open. Sure, you might get some referral traffic, but if you want to build and grow a sustainable firm that’s well-known and viewed favorably in your community, then you’re going to have to put some money and effort into marketing.
You know that you provide a ton of value for your clients. But how do you communicate that value in your law firm marketing content? Staying competitive with other firms in your area, especially in crowded legal niches, can be challenging. The best way to create an attorney marketing strategy that consistently brings in new clients and helps you to stand out is to find your firm’s “Blue Ocean.”
Digital marketing is always changing. It can be tough for small law firms to keep up, especially if you’re not confident about which platforms will most effectively bring in new business for your firm. YouTube isn’t a new marketing channel, but few attorneys have been leveraging the power of video to generate business for their firms.
What a Blue Ocean in Business?
As you’ve probably guessed, the Blue Ocean is the opposite of the Red Ocean: it’s the innovation your firm owns that sets you apart enough to essentially allow you to stop competing. Think about Uber vs. taxis: Uber redefined the marketplace through innovation, while taxis struggled to survive and capture waning market share.
The Blue Ocean is where your firm’s success lies. It’s absolutely crucial to define your firm’s unique selling proposition and find your Blue Ocean strategy. It takes some creativity and innovation, but it’s a great way to stand out from the competition and ensure long-lasting success.
“We’re the Only Law Firm That Does ______”
If you’re feeling intimidated by the idea of making videos, don’t be. It’s never been easier to get started with YouTube videos for lawyers. Technology has advanced to the point where you don’t need expensive equipment to make high-quality YouTube videos.
You can get started for as little as a few hundred dollars and shoot your videos with an iPhone camera. You might want to invest in a tripod and editing software to ensure that your videos look and sound great, but you really don’t need much other than a neutral background and yourself!
To stand out, it’s important to make a channel that’s focused on your specific niche. General legal topics are going to be represented in hundreds of videos already, making it much harder to establish thought leadership. Plus, it’s easier to get started by talking about topics you discuss every day with your clients. In most markets, there aren’t many big names on YouTube, so it should be pretty simple to establish yourself as an authority. Remember, YouTube for lawyers is wide open!
Think Small and Cheap
The Blue Ocean concept might feel intimidating if you haven’t really given much thought to what makes your law firm different and special. You might feel like you need to offer something big, flashy, and expensive to appeal to your clients over your competition. This isn’t the case at all!
Instead of thinking big and expensive, think small and cheap. It really is the little things that set firms apart from one another. All you really need is to be able to answer the question: “what makes you different?”
It could be something as simple as having a 24-hour hotline that people can call. Just knowing that they don’t have to wait until business hours could be what you need to set your firm apart. Or, you could have a money-back guarantee. Think about the experience and consider what kinds of small things could help you stand out.
Remember: You’re Not For Everyone
In differentiating yourself, you might start to worry about losing clients. Defining what makes you different can and will exclude certain types of cases and clients. That’s okay! In fact, it’s good. If you’re more specialized, you can further improve your legal marketing messages and bring in cases that make sense for your firm.
Your firm is not for everyone. If you’re marketing to everyone, you’re actually marketing to no one. Figure out what kinds of cases you want and tailor your strategy to meet those needs!
Creating Your Blue Ocean Strategy
Now that you know why you need a Blue Ocean, it’s time to research and brainstorm. Look at what other firms are doing in your area so that you know where you can step up and offer something unique.
Your Blue Ocean will involve several different components:
Your Law Firm’s Tagline
The words you’ll use to differentiate and define your firm matter. Try to target specific keywords you can “own” in your local market. Your keyword research will help you to choose words that speak to your ideal customers. Try to pick words that are easy to understand, but powerful and different from those your competition is using.
Nothing is certain in the law, of course. You could be the best attorney in the world, but things can come up that make cases go poorly, regardless of the work you’ve put in. With that said, you can still offer a guarantee. Just make it something that’s within your control.
If you’re proud of how quickly you return clients’ calls, why not turn that into a guarantee? If you can promise clients that you’ll call them back within 24 hours every time, then you might just find that it’s easier to bring in new leads. Your guarantee should be something that builds trust but is doable enough that you can follow through with it every single time.
You can’t just turn to price when it comes to differentiating your firm. You need more! Think about why your clients come to you. Do you have a quick turnaround? Do you charge a flat fee with no hidden surprises? Choosing something that sets you apart might take some creativity, but it’s essential for creating your firm’s Blue Ocean.
Again, think cheap and small. One thing you can offer your clients to differentiate yourself is to create a great experience in working with you. How do you make life easier for your clients? Do you offer them options for their consultation (such as in-person or via video chat) to make the experience more convenient? Do you commit to an upbeat and enthusiastic attitude? Those small things will set you apart from the crowd.
Why did you get into your practice area? People will choose your firm based on your story and your experiences. If you can show that you’re ethical, caring, and trustworthy based on your story, then you’ll be more likely to bring in new cases.
Consider Building Niche Brands
Your law firm is a brand, full stop. But that doesn’t mean you need to limit yourself to one brand! In your practice area, you might cater to several different niches, with different needs. You can then market to those niches without fracturing your message.
Let Your Content Sell Your Services
Your Blue Ocean will draw in new potential clients, but you also need to sell them on your services. Why not make it easy and have your content do all your selling for you? If you create eBooks, videos, blog posts, and other attorney marketing content that provides value and establishes you as a thought leader, you won’t have to do much selling with potential clients.
Feeling Stuck? We Can Help You Find Creative Solutions
It’s sometimes hard to be objective with your own law firm marketing. If you’re having trouble figuring out what your Blue Ocean is, then it might be time to brainstorm with experienced marketers who know how to find those little differences that can make or break your marketing strategy.
At SMB Team, we’re dedicated to empowering small firms and helping them stand out among their competitors. If you need some help in determining what sets you apart, we’re standing by to help.