A marketing strategy is the engine that drives your law firm’s growth. Aiming for growth without a strategy is like trying to steer a rudderless boat. Instead of actively driving your firm towards specific goals through focused branding and marketing, you wind up going wherever the current takes you.
In order to achieve your growth goals consistently and reliably, develop a marketing strategy that builds the type of client base you crave. How can you do this? By applying extreme focus to your “ideal client” and doing whatever it takes to be the ideal law firm specifically for them. Doing so is a more efficient path towards building a law firm that thrives instead of merely survives.
By focusing your marketing efforts on your ideal client, you attract more of the clients that you enjoy serving and that you serve best. Through this process, you build deeper expertise in the areas that matter most, providing you with further differentiation from competing law firms.
To that end, the following are the steps to take in refining your marketing strategy to attract the right types of clients:
Define Who They Are In Excruciating Detail
You may think you know who you are targeting, but does every Partner, Associate, Paralegal, Receptionist and other employee describe your ideal client today in the same exact way? Document everything you know about your ideal client and build a persona to ensure the entire firm is working towards attracting as many clients in this mold as possible.
Identify Their Most Critical Problems
Once you have defined your ideal client, identify the problems that they are trying to solve. What are the questions in their minds? What keeps them up at night? How specifically can you help them overcome their problems?
Be Where They Are Online
Where does your ideal client go online for news? For community? For charitable endeavors? Know the specific websites, publications and blogs that matter most to them. Be where they are. Don’t expect that they will always find your website, but instead make it easy for them to find you where they spend time. This can be through bylined content, sponsored content, cause marketing or advertising.
Optimize For How They Search
What are the specific search terms and phrases for which your ideal client is searching in Google, Yahoo and Bing? Not just the basics, but what are the long-tail, multi-word searches they are most often using to get answers to their questions? Be sure that your website, blog and other online content is optimized to appear in search engine results for relevant queries.
Customize Your Website Messaging
Review your website with a fresh pair of eyes, navigating through the site from your ideal client’s perspective. Make sure that the site directly addresses the questions, concerns and issues that your ideal client faces. In fact, have a client walk you through your site and listen to their feedback. It may be eye-opening.
Showcase The Right Case Studies
An effective way to resonate with prospective leads matching your ideal client profile is through the use of “mirror neurons.” In neuroscientific terms, your prospect’s brain is wired to feel as if it is experiencing what it intakes from outside stimuli. In other words, when the brain sees that you’re successfully solving a problem for another like-client, their brain triggers neurons that make it feel as if you’ve just solved their own problems. Nice!
Define Content Topics
When developing a content calendar for your blog, special reports and other content pieces, be sure that it directly appeals to your ideal client. Address their interests from different angles (e.g., from a 10,000-foot view, from a deeper-dive perspective, etc.). Create different content formats, whether text, video, SlideShare, infographic, report, survey, all centered on the topics that are most useful to them.
Capitalize On Events
According to a 2014 study commissioned by J. Johnson Executive Search and conducted by ALM Legal Intelligence, event marketing is the most effective marketing activity for law firms. What are the local events that your ideal client attends? These probably have nothing to do with law. Identify them and start attending and participating. Secure speaking spots at relevant events, or host your own event focused on hot topics of interest to your ideal client.