Can you accurately describe the demographics and the needs of your law firm’s clients? These things can include race, ethnicity, gender, age, education, profession, occupation, income level, and marital status. Items like these may sound insignificant, but are a necessity to accurately market your business to potential clients.
Often times lawyers think that marketing through word of mouth or referrals within their networks is good enough. This form of marketing is just one of many streams. Solely relying on this one stream of generating potential clientele is limiting and can make you dependent on others to bring in your leads.
While this strategy may work some of the time, most successful business owners know what type of clients they’re likely to attract and why. An essential part of being a successful lawyer is knowing how to to be proactive in your marketing efforts, accurately target your ideal audiences, and develop your public relations campaigns. Doing this will not only help with lead generation but will also help in putting your marketing dollars to best use. Creating buyer personas is one of the first steps towards identifying who your ideal clients are and why they would choose your firm.
What is a Buyer Persona?
A sound law firm marketing strategy begins with research about your market, service, and your competitors. But once you’ve done your research, you should be able to pick out the types of people that will be most likely to find your firm’s services appealing. If your firm already has an existing client base, you can use their data to help you create your personas.
HubSpot describes buyer personas as semi-fictional descriptions about your best possible customer. Buyer personas often include:
- Demographics such as age range, income, education level, and marital status.
- Lifestyle behaviors and patterns.
- Motivations and goals, which can also be associated with the type of legal advice they might be looking for.
Keep in mind that the more details you’re able to include, the better your marketing and messaging will be. Also, having more than one buyer persona is okay. Many businesses attract two or more distinct types of customers.
Why Do I Need to Create Buyer Personas?
If you don’t know who your advertising and PR messages are talking to, you won’t know why they should care about your law firm. All of your messaging in your ads and on your website may not resonate, and your marketing budget can be wasted on the wrong audience resulting in a negative ROI.
You’ll be wasting money and not getting the results you want, which is more clients. You need to know who you’re talking to, what motivates them to take action, and what messages are relevant to them.
How Do I Create Buyer Personas?
As a lawyer who is new to marketing, you may not know where to start. That’s okay, but not doing anything about it is something you can’t afford to do.
Content Marketing Institute lists nine essential steps to creating buyer personas. Those steps involve:
- Creating “day in the life” scenarios. What does a typical day look like for your ideal clients? Try to put yourself in your clients’ shoes and describe a typical day for them using their voice. Aim for 250 to 300-word descriptions.
- Define what they want to achieve. Be specific. For example, one of your buyer persona’s might want to achieve a fair and just divorce, but what does that mean to them? A good objective will read something like “a separation without compromising the bonds of our family.”
- Define what their main problems are. Be specific here as well. If they’re seeking legal representation, what are the problems that would bring them to your firm? What are the problems that might keep them away? Are they likely to seek help for marriage and family issues, personal injuries, or something else?
- How do your clients relate to their jobs or professions? You can include details about whether they’re blue-collar or white-collar, but try to move beyond the surface. How do they perform their jobs? Do they enjoy their jobs or are their jobs just a paycheck? Are they leaders or followers?
- What are their obstacles? What would prevent them from selecting you as their lawyer?
- What is your buyer persona’s main driving question? What are they seeking and what answers do they need from you in order to convince them to move forward?
- What kind of content do they prefer? Do they read online blogs or are they more likely to read the newspaper? Would audio content like podcasts reach them better? Are they on social media? If so, do they use Facebook more than Instagram?
- What are some of the keywords and phrases they would search for online? Do they search using voice assistant software or smart home technology? Think of both short and long phrases they are likely to use to get answers to their problems.
- Create different scenarios that are most likely to get them to engage with your law firm. Try writing out a storyboard that shows their progress from recognizing they have a problem to selecting you as their lawyer.
Remember that creating buyer personas can be fun! It’s not an exact science, but you want to use real data and make educated representations about who your clients are. Doing so will help your law firm’s marketing become more targeted, more relevant, and more effective.
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