What does “boutique” mean to you? Most people immediately think of small tailoring shops or jewelry stores that cater to a highly specific demographic. But, if you really think about it, all kinds of businesses rely on the “boutique mystique” to reach their perfect clients.
And, honestly, it’s something that really works. Given a choice, most people naturally gravitate away from big, faceless businesses and toward local, boutique businesses. They don’t want to be treated like a number. They don’t want to spend a lot of time explaining where they’re coming from. Instead, they want a tailored experience that puts the focus on them and their needs.
It’s all about that human-to-human service!
So, can you “boutique” a law firm the same way you can “boutique” a tailor? That’s the real question, isn’t it?
Well, if you’re already an excellent small law firm, you’re already most of the way there. To make the final move from “small law firm” to “boutique law firm”, you really only need to take the three tips below to heart.
1. Don’t Try to Be Everything to Everyone
The number-one rule of the boutique is to put a tight focus on your perfect clients. You can’t be everything to everyone! Instead, get comfortable catering to a narrow customer base. Show people what your specialties are, and give off signals that attract exactly the kinds of clients and cases you’re looking for.
In other words, forget about the number of clicks you’re getting, and start looking more closely at the volume and quality of leads you’re getting!
Once you know who your best leads are, you can create an attractive, boutique brand by maximizing what THEY find attractive about your law firm:
Use your law firm’s website to really highlight your main practice areas. Don’t just be a lawyer—be THE hometown estate planning lawyer or THE bike accident lawyer or THE intellectual property lawyer. The more specific you are about what you do best, the more people will associate you with exactly that.
Show off your highly experienced staff. When you only have a handful of people in your firm, each one of them plays a big role in your brand’s personality. So, use great photos of your attorneys and staff, and write compelling attorney bios. Show people who they are and what they’re good at. These are the kinds of touches that help break the ice, create a connection, and give people a glimpse into the real people they’ll be working with.
Let past “perfect clients” speak for themselves. Testimonials are a great way to show people exactly what you do and what kinds of cases you excel at. Potential clients that are a good fit for your law firm will recognize themselves in the words of your past clients, and it’s another level of assurance that they’re in good hands that really, truly understand what they need. Find out how to use testimonials on a law firm website.
The whole idea here is to use your branding and marketing to show that you provide a top-notch client experience for people with a specific set of needs. And—bonus tip—you can use this same mindset to attract better referral sources, too.
2. Get Personal to Brand Your Law Firm Without Trying
You may be tired of hearing it, but people want to work with people they like. And, if you want people to like you, you have to open up and actually show them who you are.
So, work from the heart. Don’t be afraid to share your personality and make a connection as a human. Don’t assume that people want to see a “generic professional” when they look for a lawyer. Instead, recognize that they want to find the one lawyer out there that understands them and has the skills and experience to solve their problems. That’s what really gives boutique law firms the edge over “big law.”
Your website content is a great place to start getting real. Your newsletter and social media are, too. These are all places where you can share your personal stories and talk about things that matter to you. Writing that comes from the heart is unique and memorable—and that’s precisely what your boutique brand needs to be.
Not sure what “writing from the heart” looks like? Check out this article as an example. Does it have a lot to do with law or estate planning? No, not really. But does it resonate with just about any pet owner or anyone who has recently experienced a loss? Yes, it very much does. It creates an instant connection because it shows how human the author is. It also shows that they’re a law firm that understands loss and isn’t afraid to talk about the “hard stuff.” So, it works.
Just like we said in the section above, your content doesn’t have to resonate with everyone—it only has to resonate with your perfect clients. And, if you’re personal and honest, you will brand and “boutique” yourself without trying.
3. Use Technology to Create a Big Impact With a Small Staff
Boutique law firms usually have to work harder to get clients and nurture their contacts than big law firms do. It’s a big job, and most small law firms just don’t have the staff or the time to keep up with it all!
But you don’t have to run yourself into the ground trying to provide big service with a small staff. Instead, pull out your secret weapon: law firm software.
The most successful boutique law firms typically have great software working for them in the background. They automate routine marketing tasks. They automate customer relationship management. They automate reputation management. They automate ongoing email communication, social media updates, and website content updates. They use it to track leads, analyze campaigns, and get even better at attracting great cases. Ultimately, they use their software like it’s another employee, who always carries out the right tasks at the right time.
Especially online, small law firms can compete with even the biggest law firms. But they have to work smarter—not harder—to do it all well. So, get the software you need to make waves. It’s one of those things that make boutique law firms look like pros, even if they don’t employ an army of administrative and customer service staff.
Boutique Yourself With the Support of Boutique Law Firm Marketing Services
Just working on the marketing for a smaller firm can feel like a full-time job—let alone running it AND being a great lawyer for your clients. So, don’t be afraid to hire outside experts that you like and trust to do some of it for you. Just like using great software, partnering with great businesses can free up your time and keep you more focused on the big picture. Honestly, that’s how lots of boutique businesses survive and thrive—they partner with other boutique businesses that provide the high-quality services they need!
Not sure how to show the world what your law firm does best? Schedule a free website analysis with our team to find out where you are, what you’re already doing well, and where to go from here. Or just give us a call at 888.886.0939—we’d love to hear your ideas and talk about how we can make your life easier and better.