Most of the lawyers I work with have a fairly broad mix of work that they have performed at one time or another. Most of my clients have expertise in more than one practice area.
The communication issue for these attorneys is that they do not want to miss out on any opportunities. Somehow, there is a natural inclination to believe that when asked what we do, we had better mention “everything” lest we leave out the one service that the individual or company actually needs.
The paradox, however, is that when we articulate a long list of services that we provide, we dilute our message. By trying to be all things to all clients, we end up being less effective in getting our prospects to remember what we do (and getting them to call us when they actually have a need!)
The diagram above explains the solution. The key to building a successful law practice is to have a focused message (i.e. the red circle in the middle); but not to confuse your marketing message with your broader case/client screening criteria (i.e. the larger circle of all cases that you are willing to handle.)
For example, maybe you have litigated divorce cases, trademark disputes, small business disputes, employment matters and even personal injury cases. If one of those cases comes along, you will happily represent the client. But as you communicate your expertise to the world (e.g. through public speaking, writing articles and social media), your message might be that you represent executives with employment discrimination claims (and a host of other business litigation matters.)
By focusing your message on your niche, you are much more likely to be memorable wrt that niche. Rather than missing out on work because the prospect is unaware that you have the required experience, you will insure that your expertise is filed away in a place where it can be retrieved. And since it can take a long time for any one prospect to actually have a need you can serve, it’s best to be memorable than to be comprehensive.