You don’t have to be in the legal industry very long to realize how competitive it is. Standing out in the very crowded marketplace of law firms today requires showcasing more than just your expertise and knowledge of the law or that you’ve been in practice for several years. You must discover and promote your unique value proposition to really stand out.
This unique “value prop” draws more potential clients in as they see you as human—a real person in a sea of cookie-cutter law firms and attorneys. It shows your clients what you value in your career, practice, and what you want for them; essentially, why they should choose you above all the rest. Although it might sound mystifying, identifying your point of difference isn’t as challenging as you might think. You likely already have the tools to do so; you simply need to invest the time and effort.
Study Your Reviews
One of the best sources to find this information is likely right at your fingertips. Go through online (and if possible, in-person) reviews clients have left for you, paying close attention to what they say. Are there recurring themes or keywords? For example, is the word “trustworthy” often used, or are people appreciative of your prompt communications? Other questions to answer:
- What were they impressed by?
- If they are repeat clients, what made them come back?
- If they were referred to you, what stood out to them in choosing you?
The key to identifying your value proposition will likely be found in your reviews or conversations with previous clients. Self-reflection and auditing can be helpful in this process. Still, other individuals can point out the qualities that make you who you are better than you can most of the time.
Review Your Processes
Now that you’ve looked outside your firm to help find the factors that make your firm unique, it’s time to look internally. Examine your own processes and how you run your practice or firm.
- What is unique about it?
- If you were trying to hire a law firm, why would you choose your firm?
- Do you have systems, processes, or things you do that go above and beyond the basics?
- Do you routinely go the extra mile for your clients in a specific manner?
- What can you promise your clients that your competitors can’t?
Study Your Core Values
The core values of your practice can also help identify what sets you apart from everyone else. For example, take the time to think about the following questions:
- Why do you want to help clients?
- How can you show that desire to them?
- What are the strongest motivations behind your firm?
- What is your story?
- What types of cases excite your genuine passion for the legal industry?
- If a prospective client called you and asked, “Why should I choose you over your competitors?’, how would you answer (being as specific as possible)?
Assess Your Networks and Background
Perhaps you have unique networks with other attorneys, doctors, or professionals. Maybe you have a trial background or spent many years working for the prosecution, and now you’re using those skills on the other side to help your clients. If you have long-standing or special ties to your community, it could make your practice unique and sought after. Any of these qualities make you stand out from other attorneys in your niche who don’t have the same background.
Integrating Your Value Proposition
Once you have discovered what makes your services different, the next step is to use it in your marketing. Otherwise, how will people know what your value proposition is?
Whatever your unique value that makes you stand out in the crowded legal market should be integrated into all of your marketing efforts. Ensure that you call out the main aspects of your brand clearly and concisely throughout all of your law firm marketing. Be consistent to get the message out about who you are and what makes you desirably different. These unique qualities or offerings could make the difference between clients hiring you or your competition for their attorney.
By defining what makes your practice unique and setting yourself apart from your competitors, you’re giving yourself a significant advantage when it comes to adding new clients. Don’t be afraid to put your value proposition in front of your prospective clients and see what happens.