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3 Steps to Understanding Your Ideal Client Better

Follow these three steps if you want to understand what the ideal client is for your law firm.
Law Firms
Caitlyn Blair

Build your ideal client profile based on these three factors

In this day and age, branding is a major component of your success as a law firm. If you need to bring in new clients, you will also need to define your firm’s priorities and communicate your value. In other words, you need to establish a strong brand identity. Defining your ideal client and target market is an essential part of this process.

No matter what kind of legal services you provide, all of your prospective clients have a problem they need to solve. It is important for them to trust your firm’s ability to do so. If you come across as the kind of firm that speaks to a general audience instead of to your clients specifically, they will likely look elsewhere. On the other hand, if you are helping a specific type client solve an individual type of case, you will likely be seen as an expert in your industry.

As the old saying goes, “A friend to all is a friend to none.” You need to know who it is that you are “befriending” if you want to speak to them in a way that resonates. This is where knowing your ideal client comes into play. Here are three ways that you can master this and understand exactly who you are speaking to:

1. Understand the idea of demographic segmentation

When we talk about demographic segmentation, we are referring to the precise way you can identify your audience based on data like age, gender, marital status, family size, income, education, race, occupation, nationality, and religion. Before you can get to know your ideal client better, you must first figure out how you want to define them. In addition to the demographics above, you can use psychographics such as their personality, characteristics, habits, likes, dislikes, and lifestyle. To study your market and truly understand them, you need to conduct both primary and secondary research. Primary market research involves going directly to the source and might include things like interviews, surveys, questionnaires, focus groups, or even visits to the competitors’ locations.

Today, it is quite accessible to conduct primary research through surveys and questionnaires. To create one for your firm, start with the following questions. First, ask yourself what information you need to know about your target market. Next, you must decide on a tool and a way to send the questionnaire or survey. Popular tools include SurveyMonkey, GoogleForms, and SurveyPlanet. You can make these services appear after your clients make a purchase, or you can distribute them as part of your email marketing campaign.

Secondary research is not as prevalent today and would include research that has already been compiled. Your job as the marketer is simply to gather it and understand it. Examples of this would be relevant census data, news reports, academic journals, newsletters, magazines, and pamphlets that have to do with your demographic.

Make sure to keep track of all of these insights in an ideal client profile, or ICP. You can think about building your ideal client profile a lot like you would think of creating your “about” section on a Facebook profile, but instead of mentioning your hometown and relationship status, you are painting a picture of the people your firm should be marketing to the most. Include the following information when drawing up your ICP:

  • The industries your ideal clients work in
  • The locations of your ideal clients
  • The income level of your ideal clients
  • Basic background information about your ideal clients (family status, education, etc.)
  • The decision-making factors that go into your ideal clients’ law firm choice
  • The “pain points” of your ideal clients – i.e. what they need help with the most
  • The overall objectives of your ideal clients

2. Understand what your firm offers and analyze past interactions

Before you can make sense of all the information you have gathered about your ideal clients, you need to make sense of your own business. To understand your own firm, you need to create well-defined goals. How will you know what success looks like if you haven’t even laid out your own goals? Do you need to improve your reputation or increase your number of appointments?

Maybe your firm is doing fine, but you want to improve client satisfaction. No matter what your goals are, you will need to take a good look at what your firm is doing right and what you could improve upon. If you are still in the beginning stages of starting your firm, make a list of things that are a “hard yes” and things that are a “hard no” for your firm. Make sure that you uphold these standards every step of the way, especially when interacting with clients.

If you have already established your firm, it can also help to analyze your past interactions with clients. This can tell you a lot about who your most common clients are and who your ideal clients should be. Ask yourself if you had any client interactions that absolutely should not happen again. If this happened multiple times, what did those incidents have in common? Take a moment to reflect on your firm’s major accomplishments as well. Identify what these incidents have in common and what kind of clients you were working with during them. Your ideal client should be the people who need, use, appreciate, and benefit from your business the most. When you start digging deep into who these people are, the answer might surprise you.

3. Ask important questions about your client and their issues

Beyond the initial questions you ask during client intake, you need to ask yourself some questions as well. Think about what you know about your firm and who is best fit for your services when asking yourself the following questions:

  • What is your ideal client struggling with?
  • What are their external problems?
  • What are their internal problems?
  • What does their life look like before they begin working with you?
  • How does this make them feel?
  • Where does your ideal client spend most of their time?
  • What is their goal for getting this problem solved?
  • Why haven’t they found a solution before now, and how can your firm fill that gap?
  • What are their fears?
  • What do they expect out of your firm?
  • How can you surpass their expectations?

Once you can put yourself in their shoes by answering these questions, your marketing efforts will come much more naturally. All of your website and social media content will speak to them directly. The emails you send will resonate more with them. Every single one of your brand touchpoints will be designed with their current state in mind. When you understand the inner workings of their nature, working with your firm will feel like second nature.

At Scorpion, we make it a priority to help you understand your ideal client. Find out how our team takes the hard part out of this research so you can focus on running your best business. Contact us today.