A Guide to Client Personas

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Before you can plan your law firm’s next marketing campaign, you need to dial in on your target audience. This comes down to visualizing your “ideal” clients—those who are most likely to seek your services.

Having a clear picture of your ideal clients helps you understand how to communicate with them. And that leads to more effective messaging throughout your marketing efforts.

If you are like many attorneys, you might not have given much thought to your ideal client persona in the past.

To start, ask yourself the following questions:

  • How old is your ideal client?
  • Is your ideal client a man or woman? Does it matter?
  • Is your ideal client employed? How much money does he/she make?
  • What are your ideal client’s interests outside of work?
  • How educated is your client? Does he/she have a college education or any post-baccalaureate degrees?
  • What methods of communication does your ideal client use? Does he/she have a smartphone?
  • Where is your ideal client most likely to live (geographical area, type of housing, etc.)?
  • Is your ideal client married? Does he/she have children?
  • Does your ideal client have any political leanings?
  • What are your ideal client’s pain points, needs, or wants?

By answering these questions, you should be able to visualize the clients your firm aims to serve. You can narrow down your marketing efforts to specific groups of people, which helps you avoid the waste that comes with targeting too broad of an audience. In other words, looking to a specific client persona makes your firm’s marketing more efficient.

Ideal Buyer Personas Do Not Limit Your Client Base

One common misconception about client personas is that they can limit a law firm’s overall client base. But focusing on a niche does not place limits on the people who come to your firm. Rather, it just identifies the type of client your firm is best able to attract and serve.

You might think of bringing in new clients as a bullseye. Your ideal client is the very center of the circle. Clients who are similar to your ideal client persona—but not a perfect match—are the next ring out, and this continues to the outermost ring. You earn the most “points” by getting a bullseye, but you can still do quite well by hitting the outer rings.

The same is true with client personas. Although you are more likely to hit a bullseye with your ideal client persona, you can still do good business with people who might not be an exact match.

Negative Client Personas Are Also Helpful

Besides creating an ideal client persona, you might also consider creating a negative client persona. This is the antithesis to the ideal client—a representation of the type of client you do not want to serve.

For law firms, this might include individuals who have legal needs outside of your practice area(s), people with small cases, people who do not meet your ideal demographics, and clients who cannot afford your services. As helpful as it is to know your ideal client, you should also have a clear picture of who you do not want to work with so you can avoid wasting time on marketing to those who will produce a low ROI.

Marketing to Your Ideal Client

When developing content to reach your ideal clients, focus on both their specific pain points—things they find frustrating, disturbing, or difficult—and their needs and wants. Produce content with these clients and their needs top of mind so that you can present solutions to the specific problems they are facing—”cures” to their pain points.

For example: let’s say you are marketing to clients who have suffered injuries in auto accidents. The content you create should focus on crucial legal issues that people dealing with those kinds of cases would need to confront. You’ll be able to measure the success of this sort of campaign based on clicks, the time spent browsing your site and keyword performance, among other analytics.

As you begin to plan your law firm’s marketing strategy, one of your first steps should be to identify your ideal client persona. This will help ensure you develop a campaign that targets the clients that will allow your firm to grow in a sustainable way.

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If you’d like to get started on developing your ideal client persona, here’s a free template to help you map things out.

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