Overcoming the Fear of Specialization to Increase Firm Revenue
Many attorneys and law firms continue to have FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) when it comes to specializing in one or two practice areas. Law firms answer every RFP because they fear if they don’t, they’re losing out on business. We addressed this topic in our Marketing Partner Forum recap “FOMO Is Killing Your Firm’s Profitability — Here’s What You Can Do About It” and thought it warranted further discussion.
Benefits of Specialization
When law firms specialize, it makes it easier for them to scale and become more profitable. Specialization also positions the firm as a resource and subject matter expert, which, in turn, can increase the firm’s visibility. Over time, the firm becomes known as the go-to for insurance coverage litigation, for example, rather than competing with hundreds of other firms for general litigation matters. The firm’s pitch, therefore, becomes even more important in terms of communicating expertise, and that depth of expertise needs to also be conveyed on the firm’s website and in all attorney bios. What firms often fail to see in this focused strategy is that work outside of insurance coverage litigation will still come in the door, but now the firm can be more selective when determining what work to go after.
So, why aren’t law firms good at specialization? It could be because they don’t have the right financial or tracking systems in place to identify where the largest matters are coming in from. Anecdotally, firms may think they know where business is coming from, but when the data is in front of them, it may tell a different story. There’s also a cultural shift that needs to take place – a management mindset to shift the focus and say “no” to some work that comes in over the transom that diverts attorneys from higher value matters.
What to Consider
When evaluating whether or not to go into a specific area, consider: how big is the market; does this industry fit with the firm’s culture; can you realistically compete with other firms in the same space? Also, make sure the geographical area you practice in can support your niche practice, or you’ll be racking up airline miles.
Keep in mind that the narrower your niche, the more targeted and potentially effective your marketing and advertising will become.
For a more in-depth look at specialization and its benefits, view our webinar “Cliff Notes from the 25th Annual Marketing Partner Forum.” Watch now.