Law firm marketing, like marketing in general, is a layered and nuanced activity. It isn’t just one thing.
Quite the contrary, it can involve multi-faceted and interrelated legal marketing tactics that are ultimately focused on one goal: attracting new clients.
One of the discussions I have had lately with law firms I am consulting to is about the audiences they are appealing to through their law firm marketing activities. At least, I think of these prospective clients as audiences and I’ll explain why?
Think “audiences” in law firm marketing
When you write an article on your blog or conduct a campaign online, you are appealing to the people you would like to take on as clients. If you are being deliberate then you will have a fairly clear idea of who these people are and what interests them most.
Instead of thinking of them as an amorphous group of people who will find something of interest in what you have to say, it may help to think of them as audiences. One of the definitions of an audience is “the people giving or likely to give attention to something”.
In this case, your audience is a group of people who you’re hoping will pay attention to your article or your promotion for your services.
If you want to capture their attention, you have to do what marketers strive for, generally. You need to offer your audience information that is relevant to them and that addresses some need they have.
If you want to attract individuals who are interested in estate planning, you won’t have much success by talking at them about high-level legal concepts and complicated estate planning regulations. You’d just lose them at the first “herewith”.
Instead, work out what these individuals, this audience, is most interested in and feed their curiosity with material that is written for them specifically. Just because you are a lawyer doesn’t mean you should bewilder your audience with fancy language.
At the same time, don’t treat your audience like idiots and patronize them with overly simplistic language. Use plain language and explain complexities with respect.
One of the most important things you can do is make the effort to understand what your audience’s needs are and address them specifically and clearly. Don’t talk “at” them, talk to them about the issues that matter to them.
If your firm services a variety of clients with varied services, identify each audience and consider whether you are communicating with each in an appropriate voice?
You will probably speak to your estate planning audience in a different tone compared to your corporate law audience. Each expects you to communicate with them at their level with a demonstrable understanding of their particular challenges and requirements.
Each of your audiences is different. Unless you run a highly focused, niche practice that addresses one audience with one category of services, you have to identify each audience’s differences and adapt your messaging.
If your messaging isn’t relevant to the audience you are speaking to and communicated in engaging terms, you probably won’t have much of an impact.
Where your goal is to attract more clients then you need to have an impact if you are going to hold their attention long enough to have the conversation that secures their business.
Anything short of that isn’t law firm marketing, it’s wishful thinking.
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