Who Are Your Rat People?
“Find your rat people” said a guy whose name I have completely forgotten.
Although I cannot remember the guy who taught me this concept, I have totally remembered the concept itself and the way he taught the concept.
Essentially, he was saying, find your “niche.”
Your Niche is your specialized segment of the clients you want to attract.
Essentially, drilling down from being a “Lawyer” to a “family law lawyer” to a “Family Law lawyer who acts for (name your kind of rat people)”
Let me explain!
As he was teaching this concept he was holding a couple of huge and very playful rats. He is a marketer who happens to LOVE rats. Not everyone loves rats. But he does and he has a couple of big fat friendly ones that he holds and cuddles on his videos. For some people, that is the grossest thing in the world. People who are terrified and grossed out by rats, are not is rat people. Guess what?! Those are not his people anyway.
For others, the rat thing resonates. Yet, for some it does. Yes, some people LOVE rats. Although I do not relish them wandering around in my kitchen, my oldest stepdaughter used to have two big fat ones for pets. They were intelligent and, well, kinda cute.
For example, the rat people for my law firm, Pathway Legal, tend to be the middle-income types. My client-base (and this has a lot to do with not only where my office is located but the kind of person I resonate with and the kind of person who resonates with me) are not working-class folks, but they are not the wealthiest in my city either. Because I know my rat people, it means that how I dress, the way I decorate my physical office, and the way I talk, is all in alignment with my rat people.
My rat people are not someone else’s rat people.
One of my rat people is a small business owner who owns a piercing and tattoo establishment. He is a single Dad. He has tattoo sleeves, tattoos on his neck, and piercing all over his face and ears and goodness knows where else. Although he certainly one of my rat people, he is not a rat person to a friend of mine who is a partner in a very different kind of law firm. I will call my friend Marky Mark.
Marky Mark is my close friend. I care for Marky Mark deeply and completely respect the work he does. Marky Mark’s firm’s rat people are not my firm’s rat people. We have completely different niches even though our firms practice in the same area of law. My tattooed and pierced single Dad would never and I mean never, go to Marky Mark’s firm for legal help. Marky Mark’s law firm’s rat people are the “old money” folks in my City. Marky Mark’s rat people tend to be wealthy, and have often come from wealth and privilege for generations. Marky Mark’s firm thrives on being all tradition all the time. It is what we would call a “good old boy” law firm. He still uses words like “secretary,” for example. Although he now has female partners, his female partners are also what we would think of as privileged “good old boys” in terms of historical family wealth and tradition. Marky Mark’s firm is the kind of firm that comes to mind when we think of old tradition. Marky Mark’s firm’s interior design demonstrates to his rat people what they want and expect. It is all mahogany walls and reproductions of the Magna Carta in the lawyers’ offices. They even have a reproduced photograph of the Queen in a gold-coloured frame in their reception area. Yes, it is true. Queen Elizabeth, the one from England, not our Queen since 1867 when Canadians gained our full independence from Britain. Yet, when I have been in Marky Mark’s reception area, there she is. Marky Mark’s old-fashioned office works for his rat people, that is, his older and very wealthy clients. My rat people don’t go to Marky Mark’s firm and his rat people do not come to mine.
So, who are your rat people and how do you communicate with them that you are their rat person and they are yours?
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