That’s how many licensed attorneys are practicing in the US today, according to the ABA.
172,630 in New York State.
165,952 in California.
86,494 in Texas, 74,258 in Florida and another 800,000+ elsewhere in the country.
That’s a lot of competition.
Here’s what that means for many lawyers. What about you?
- Do you feel pressure to lower your rates in order to win business? (Or keep your rates low?)
- Do you feel pressure to do work for clients you don’t like working for?
- Do you feel pressure to take any matter that walks in your door, whether you enjoy that type of work or not, because you can’t afford to turn anything down?
And… despite these “concessions,” are you STILL not earning what you’d like to be?
THE SIMPLE SOLUTION
Here’s how to fix it. It’s a simple solution. Not easy, but simple.
Become a premium brand, not a commodity.
Marketing expert Dan Kennedy writes:
“No less than 5% to as high as 20% of consumers almost ALWAYS opt for the perceived ‘better’ or premium option or choose the higher priced item. This is as much or more because of who they are and their self-image and mindset than because of the value positioning. You’ll find this to be especially true the more affluent the person is.”
Read that passage again. The implications are very significant.
There are clients out there who WANT to pay a premium in order to work with the lawyer that they perceive to be “the best.”
So position your law practice as the premium option. Become the gold standard. Not the low-budget, economy-class option. Become the trusted expert in your practice area and in your market.
THE POWER OF A PREMIUM BRAND
Here’s an illustration of the power of a premium brand:
Picture two polo shirts side by side on a merchandise table. They are the same color, same size, same material, and they cost about the same to produce. There are only two differences:
One of them has a Nike logo on it, one doesn’t.
One of them retails for $45, the other retails for $15.
That’s the power of a premium brand. (And not coincidentally, the founder of Nike has a current net worth of $24.9 billion.)
If you can build a brand that ATTRACTS the clients that you want to work for, and that can afford to pay you premium rates, you’re going to make more money and have more fun doing it.
YOUR BRAND STARTS WITH YOUR WEBSITE
Your internet presence plays a significant role in shaping the way that you are perceived by potential clients – for better or for worse. A LexisNexis study reports that 76% of consumers use the internet during the process of hiring an attorney.
For many people, your internet presence creates the first impression of your practice. And for individuals that you meet in person, or that hear your name from a friend, often the next thing they do is look you up on the internet.
So your internet presence will play a very big role in shaping their perception of you. Are you approachable? Are you knowledgeable? Are you respected? Can they trust you? Do you understand their needs? Are you organized? Do you present yourself well?
You can accomplish this in part by ensuring that your website:
- Communicates exactly WHAT you do and WHO you work with. This means clear, descriptive, and engaging content… no “legalese!”
- Is professionally designed, programmed, and maintained – no broken functionality.
- Includes free resources (like White Papers or Special Reports) which demonstrate your knowledge. Require contact information in exchange for the download and this becomes a powerful lead-generation tool.
- Features testimonials or “success stories” as permitted by your Bar regulations – social proof that you’re great at what you do.
- Include well-produced video, enhancing the perception of YOU as the expert. Click here to read a previous Legal Ink article with more information on this subject.
HOW WELL DOES YOUR WEBSITE STACK UP?
Click here to download our Website Appraisal Worksheet completely free. It will give you some insight into the current state of your internet presence and what you can do to take it to the next level.
THE BOTTOM LINE
If you don’t have a plan to stand out from the crowd… you’re not going to stand out. Create a plan or face the consequences of operating as a commodity in a crowded marketplace.