As we wrap up another year at Solo Practice University® (and the Rezoomer blog feature, in particular) it’s a good time to sit down and take stock of where you find yourself on this journey.
Look at the language you are using to describe yourself as you navigate your rezoom. How can you craft a short, informative elevator pitch that is indicative of the person you are as a rezoomer? You need a clear voice to be heard above the din of similarly situated colleagues. What makes you different? Your 1-minute elevator speech can be a big part of raising you up above the cacophony. Here are three easy steps to use when thinking about how to describe yourself and what you do.
First- What is it you do?
Narrow what you do to fit niche. Being all things to all people is great, yet it can leave prospective employers/clients unclear about what it is, exactly, you do. What will you bring to their business or issue? Serve a smaller niche at the onset. For example, divorce in same sex marriages; real estate in co-op situations or veterinary malpractice can separate you from the crowd. Provide your ideal client or employer with a window into how you are perfect to help them in this area. You can always add things to your practice once you open the door. However, as you try to get in the door it can be an asset to be a ‘focused’ rezoomer. While mentoring new attorneys, I often tell them to get familiar with the different forms of alternative dispute resolution. It is not as prevalent as it could be in most law firms. Yet, they are seeing a need for an in-house ADR specialist now. Young or old, this may be the vehicle that provides you a coveted spot in the firm you want to join or with the client you want to help.
Second – How do you do it?
This is a key piece of information you need to communicate in your elevator speech. It needs to be short and to the point. Using an example from the one’s suggested above, HOW do you help in same-sex marriages/divorces? Explain how you address their relationship, their individual desires. Reflect your compassion and understanding of their needs. Finally, have the client focus first on what was good in the marriage. This process enables them to approach divorce in a more positive mindset. It creates momentum that focuses on how they can continue to work together rather than categorizing the list of disappointments. The latter sets them up to be confrontational.
This is likely how you handle any divorce, yet when you niche yourself with a forte, you can be attractive to that particular group in a more effective way. It can and will be of interest to prospective firms and clients.
Third – For whom do you do this work?
While wrapping up your elevator speech identify your ideal firm/client. Pick one so you can articulate how you individually serve that niche. It may be same-sex divorcing couples that want to maintain a civil relationship going forward for the sake of their own lives and the lives or their children or pets. Perhaps you work with veterinarians who want to nip conflict in the bud, keep their client and find help understanding, appreciating and learning from another’s point of view. Or, you might work with co-op boards to peacefully implement the requirements of the by-laws while also assisting them in keeping the process friendly and less stressful for all.
As you wrap up your year as a rezoomer or start making plans for beginning your rezoom in 2017, think about you all important elevator speech. Utilize this 3 Step process, print it out and write down what reflects your rezooming practice. What do you do? How do you do it? For whom do you do it? Get clear, make it simple and find what brings you joy as you speak about your rezooming niche. No more winging it. Be certain and secure in what it is you uniquely bring to the practice of law. You will be glad you did. Now go out there and rezoom.
All opinions, advice, and experiences of guest bloggers/columnists are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions, practices or experiences of Solo Practice University®.