The Guiding Principle of Marketing

concentrate-and-focusThere is no secret formula for successful inbound (or outbound, if you dare) marketing, but there is one main, guiding principle – stay focused on your core competencies. Of course, expand as you see fit, but never forget the business reason why your clients came to you in the first place. Consider some law firms who will retain anyone, vs. those specializing in one specific area of practice, like bankruptcy. If the bankruptcy attorney started doing personal injury, and then wills and estates, they’d eventually lose clients because their overall service would decline.

So restrain yourself from trying every new marketing idea under the sun. Don’t jump from a website this month to dropping flyers the next. Take your time when considering the various approaches. Stick with one medium, preferably inbound marketing, and only change once it becomes a predictable, reliable source of business.

For those of you just starting out, particularly all the young lawyers, and newly unemployed, ex-large law attorneys, concentrate on one core practice area. For example, it’s far easier to make a name for yourself and build referrals if you’re known for being the “auto accident attorney”. You’ll also build up precious knowledge faster, which ultimately becomes more and more valuable down the road. If you’re having trouble figuring out what your core practice area is, ask yourself these three questions:

  • What is it I’m really selling?
    Don’t define this as legal services, declare it in terms of a solution for your clients. For example, life insurance professionals don’t sell policies, they sell peace of mind. If you can’t figure out what you’re really selling, how are you going to focus and attract those who really want it?
  • Who are you really selling to?
    Demographic targeting aside, the answer you’re looking for are the kinds of problems they have (that you solve). This is what your clients really want, and will pay to get.
  • Why should they hire me?
    Do you have what it takes to solve their problem, and give them what it is they really want? Speak with conviction and authority when meeting with prospects. Don’t tell them what you can do – show proof (where allowed) with testimonials. The easiest way to win trust from your clients is to sell something you personally believe in.

Inbound marketing is a long-term project or investment, so treat it that way. Be patient, stay focused and you’ll get great results.

Photo credit by a_kartha.

Brian Farrell is a coach, helping clients achieve their personal and professional goals. He's also the creator of the "QA2 Method". For more about Brian, visit