So you’ve decided to develop a social media strategy. You’re not alone; law firms are increasingly competing in the online space, with a content marketing strategy and social media presence serving as a point of difference.
But knowing that you need a social media strategy isn’t enough. You need to know who your strategy is aimed at.
For example, a firm specialising in tax law might be aiming at high net worth individuals or companies, whereas a small suburban firm is more likely to attract the Aussie battlers so beloved of political rhetoric. Whether you practice in a specialised niche or you’re more of a generalist legal practice, you have a certain set of clients that are unique to your business.
To target those clients best, create personas that help you understand and visualise them as people. Here’s our three step guide to buyer personas that will put your firm ahead of the pack.
1. Gather information
You have several sources of information to tap for data.
Look at the information you have on your existing clients and draw out the similarities and differences between them. The differences will help you decide what your categories of persona are, and the similarities will help you build a persona that represents everyone in that category.
Why not see if they’ll do a quick survey or interview with you that will allow you to dig deeper into the things that interest you. Ask them about their pain points, goals and values which led them to use your services.
You can also use data analytics to see what your web visitors are looking for when they visit your site, as well as how long they spent there and where they came from. This is invaluable information to focus your social media outreach: it allows you both to maximise effort in the places that people are likely to look, and to optimise your SEO efforts so you can target the people most likely to convert.
2. Create the persona
Once you have the information, use it to build out your characters.
Start with a name, which will personalise this character for you. Then identify their job title, role description and company.
That tax firm we talked about earlier may choose to create Malcolm, who owns a property development business on the East Coast called Malfire, spends his days meeting with investors and potential buyers, and whose finances are split across a number of trusts. The suburban firm, on the other hand, might choose to create Jessica, a nurse who works night shifts in an aged care facility called Golden Homes and is studying towards a higher qualification that will put her in a supervisor’s role. Malcolm is 58; Jessica is 32.
Consider their goals and values next. What’s important to them beyond the issue that brings them to you?
Malcolm may wish to avoid paying more tax than he has to, but his larger goals are to provide a secure future for his family and create a legacy by engaging in philanthropic works (which also help his tax affairs!). Jessica’s considering her options if she chooses to divorce her husband, but her larger goals are to preserve the happiness of her children and to act in accordance with her faith.
What else can you construct that fleshes out your personas? The more detail you have, the better. Consider their hobbies, family structure and daily pain points. Where are they likely to get their information from? What type of person do they look up to and are likely to be influenced by?
3. Develop a marketing message
Now that you know everything there is to know about your persona, you can go ahead and create a marketing message that will appeal to them. From this, you’ll create the broader strategy that targets your personas where they are.
The marketing message should distil your point of difference down to a single line. It should be solution focused and focus on the pain points that you identified in Step 2. Remember that your client isn’t just bringing their current legal problem to you to be solved; they’re bringing years of experience and frustration.
If they feel frequently talked down to or belittled, that’s something they’ll bring with them into their search for a good lawyer, and your marketing message could address that. If their high net worth has led them to experience price gouging from unscrupulous operators, that’s another place to develop an emotional message. This is why a fleshed out persona is such a powerful tool: at the heart of great marketing is the simple message: we hear you, we understand you.
That’s it! We know it’s a lot of work, but once you know who your dream legal clients are, you’ll be much better placed to entice them to your law firm and not your competitors!