The Marketing Power of Niche Expertise

I was lucky enough to learn a bedrock principle of law firm marketing all the way back in law school: niche expertise is valuable if not invaluable. As I’ve pointed out before, there are a lot of good reasons for a solo to cultivate a single are of expertise. It’s even better to be a ‘specialist’ with a unique niche like a DUI lawyer who focuses in on false DUI readings due to medications . If you take the effort to learn a corner of the law ignored by most attorneys, you can quickly position yourself as a go-to person for the people or companies it affects.

An assignment for a marketing class in law school first impressed this point on me. We had to choose a narrow legal issue to research and then an industry to market that niche knowledge to. I started by analyzing a tax case involving a special excise tax on tires. The case was interesting and it was not terribly difficult or time-consuming to become fairly knowledgeable on the surrounding issues. I then identified a number of trade associations and tire industry groups to market my new found knowledge to. Then, I prepared a mock presentation, which I gave using a projector that I watched movies on at home. The presentation looked great and it took maybe 2-3 hours to put together.

That lesson stuck with me and I was able to apply it after graduation. I have employed the same methods several times and each time I have generated interest in my services.

For instance, at a law firm I was once assigned to write a quick commentary on the tax items in the 2009 federal stimulus bill.  Remembering my marketing course, I keyed into a couple of special provisions from the bill that benefited gas stations.  I found some trade groups and, as luck would have it, a large gas station conference was approaching.

After explaining myself to a trade group representative, he could hardly have been more eager and interested.  In fact, even though I ultimately had to politely back out, I received several e-mails from afterwards, expressing his continued interest.  I was amazed at how easy all of this had been. Since then, I have continued to use this method to tap into new pools of potential clients.

If you take the time to learn about a highly specialized legal issue, chances are that there is a group of people who could really use your knowledge but whose needs are not being directly catered to.  By simply finding those people, identifying yourself and offering to give a short presentation, you might be surprised at the business boost and publicity it could yield.

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®.

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2 comments on “The Marketing Power of Niche Expertise

  • I completely agree with this post! I have a couple of niche areas in which I practice and since I made a commitment to really focus on those areas, my practice has started to grow – almost to the point of needing to bring on a paralegal/legal assistant and consider bringing a law student on board this summer (I have one in mind, if another firm hasn’t already snatched him up).

    What made the difference for me what finding a way to identify a core group of potential clients who needed my services. And it was fortuitous that I happened upon it while I was working up a case for a client – now I know when things are going to happen as soon as the regulatory authority in my niche posts the notice. And this has not escaped the notice of a couple of other practitioners who now are looking to me as a source of information!


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