How You Can Increase Your Fees For Legal Matters
One of the easiest ways to substantially lift the profitability of your legal practice is to increase your fees for legal matters you do. Now of course that comment sounds obvious, but with clients increasingly questioning fees in the current tough times how can you do it?
The secret to being able to charge more, is to be seen as an expert in your field of Legal Work.
If this field is a niche market, all the better as you are not likely to have much competition. Many businesses have realised that niches can be very profitable.
Let me explain with an example.
Let’s say you had a heart condition. There was a choice of two specialists that you could see, one was an expert in exactly your problem and one while not necessarily an expert in that specific field, was a good all round heart specialist.
Who would you see?
Now of course I don’t know, but I suspect that you would see the expert.
Having now picked him would you quibble about the fee that he charged?
Again I don’t know, but most likely I would think that you would simply pay whatever the fee was, as you expected that the expert would be expensive.
Now most of the work that you will do will not result in life or death for your client, but the principle is the same. If you can be regarded as the expert in your field in your target market, then inevitably you will be able to charge more than other lawyers who may well even be able to do the same work.
So the question then becomes, “How do you position yourself as an expert”
Clearly you need to be technically good at the niche that you have chosen.
Having invested the time and money to be technically good, you need to stay up to date, so that you are really able to provide quality advice in your chosen market.
The legal bodies offer ways of positioning yourself as an expert by becoming an Accredited Specialist in a particular area of law and this avenue may be useful in positioning you as an expert in a particular area of law.
This type of accreditation though may be too broad to really help you in being seen as an expert in a particular niche. For example if are an accredited specialist in Property Law, will this help you to be seen as an expert in golf course developments or compulsory acquisition of land, or acting for land owners dealing with mining claims over their land?
So what else could you do to promote your expertise in a particular niche without spending a fortune?
While there are lots of things you could do, let me list 10 things ( not necessarily in order) that you might consider, which will not necessarily cost you anything, or at most very little.
1) Talking at conferences on this niche – make sure that you then promote this fact to your target market
2) Publish a report on this niche – this report could be available for download from your website
3) Publish an e-book on your specific niche- again available for download from your website
4) Contribute articles to industry publications in your niche- these same articles can become blogs on your website, or tweets, or Facebook updates
5) Get testimonials from clients of recent success outcomes you have helped them with and use these in all of your marketing,your website, your social media etc
6) If this is a recent specialisation, make sure that you educate your existing clients. Many practitioners have relayed situations of clients going to other practices for certain work because they didn’t realise that their practice did it
7) Submit press releases to the relevant media that are read by your target market
8) Build a database of potential referrers ( such as other legal practices) and aim to educate them on your expertise in this niche
9) Organise your own seminars on issues in your particular niche and market these to your target market, or run them as webinars
10) Produce a newsletter/e-newsletter on your niche that is sent to a carefully selected database of clients, referrers and prospects
All of these strategies can help you to position yourself as an expert and in doing so, increase your fees for legal matters.
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