In a previous article, we wrote about the importance of developing client "personas" -- detailed descriptions of the personal, financial, and demographic characteristics of your ideal client(s) -- to guide your law firm's marketing strategy. But, personas are only the starting point. Once you have constructed one or more personas describing your target clients, it's time to ask some questions about how your client personas behave, and whether you are marketing your legal services in a way to which they're likely to respond.
In this article, we walk you through some questions you should be asking about your client personas that will help you shape an effective marketing strategy to reach them.
What are Your Client Personas' Goals and Motivations, and How Can You Serve Them?
The first step in analyzing your client personas' likely buying behaviors is to try and understand the goals and motivations to which your legal services might contribute. By this, we don't mean goals and motivations in a legal sense, but rather in the sense of how your client personas live their lives.
For instance, are they driven by protecting their families, or accumulating wealth, or improving their communities? Do they aspire to be CEOs, or to follow their passions, or to retire with security for themselves and their children? In other words, what life values and milestones are your client personas aiming for that your legal services might help them achieve?
Where Do Your Client Personas Spend Time?
This question seeks to define the geographic parameters for reaching your ideal clients. In marketing your law firm, you want to direct your efforts toward the places where your ideal clients are most likely to spend time. If your client persona is a family man who is community focused, for example, you might consider advertising on the fence at a local little league baseball field.
If your client persona is an overworked, health care professional working for a boss who sexually harasses her, you might direct your marketing dollars to advertisements in and around hospitals and medical office parks. Figuring out where your ideal clients spend time means you can target your efforts, saving money and increasing the return on your marketing investment.
What is Your Client Personas' Journey to Buying Your Legal Services?
This question breaks down into three components that seek to understand the process through which your ideal clients decide to hire you. First, how do the client personas become aware of their need for legal services and your ability to potentially provide them? Second, what factors do your client personas consider important in choosing a lawyer? Third, what will inspire your client personas to decide to retain your services instead of someone else's? By following your client personas through these three steps of the buyer's journey, you will gain an understanding of how to cast your marketing pitch to them.
How Can Your Legal Services Help Your Personas?
This question goes deeper than considering whether you can help your client personas achieve their particular goals and motivations. Instead, it asks how, specifically, your legal services can address whatever problems or issues or needs your ideal clients have. In other words, what can you do as their lawyer? File a lawsuit? Draft a will? Advise on buying a house? All of the above?
Remember, you are not limited to providing legal services to a client for the one thing that brings that client through the door. Identify everything you can do, not just what the clients think they want to hire you to do.
What Questions Will this Persona Have When They Walk Through Your Door?
Anticipate, anticipate, anticipate. Having established your client personas, and identified their goals and motivations, ask yourself what specific questions these client personas will ask when you first meet them. Will they be focused on limiting their legal costs? Will they want assurances about your skills, or responsiveness, or empathy for their situation?
The goal here is not just to avoid being surprised by a question your client personas ask, but to have answers tailored to respond exactly to what your client personas need to hear in order to choose you as their lawyer.
Do You Know Enough To Draw a Map of How Your Client Personas Become Actual Clients?
If not, you haven't taken a deep enough dive. Go back to basics and review the elements of your client personas. Do you have all of the demographic, personal, and financial characteristics you need to make intelligent predictions about their buying behavior?
Have you been precise enough in defining their goals and motivations, and the places you're likely to find them? By the end of the process, you should be able to map out exactly how your marketing efforts will not just bring potential ideal clients through your door, but how they will end up wanting you to be their lawyer today and for years to come.
At Bridges Strategies, we specialize in helping your law firm identify and analyze its client personas, and craft a marketing strategy to match. To learn more about our marketing solutions for law firms, contact us today.
About the Author
Ashley Quintana, M.S., B.A.
Ashley Quintana is the co-founder and managing partner at Bridges Strategies. A graduate of Oklahoma State University's media management master's program, Ashley co-founded Bridges Strategies with a $10,000 investment. Two years later, the bootstrapped company grossed almost one million dollars and grew to a team of eight. In her role, she develops, leads and executes digital marketing strategies for the company's growing client base.