A litigator at a boutique plaintiffs law firm finds more satisfaction and success handling employment disputes compared to others, like personal injury. He’d like to focus his practice on helping clients who are facing discrimination, harassment, or wage-and-hour offenses. His firm, though, uses social media and advertising to tout its record of automobile accident and medical malpractice settlements.
Clearly, his ideal legal client is not being marketed to.
For however many areas of law practices there are, there are even more niche clients in need of these services. Just as there is no “one size fits all” legal solution, legal marketing should be tailored to the ideal client.
An ideal legal client is someone who needs exactly what you’re offering.
Four Steps to Market to the Ideal Legal Client
Identify what you offer: The same questions you asked yourself to create a legal marketing strategy will be helpful in identifying your ideal legal client. Understanding who you want to serve requires first understanding what you have to offer. This includes not only how your services are focused, niche, and unique, but also what problems you solve. For example, saying you want to represent “aggrieved employees” is very broad. Are you interested only in representing employees from larger companies? Are you willing to travel or do you want to keep your practice local? Do you excel at sexual harassment claims or are you more interested in age discrimination actions?
Figure out who can benefit from what you offer: Again, like the exercise of creating a legal marketing strategy, identifying the ideal legal client means knowing who needs what you can provide. Look at your recent past for examples of successes and think about who benefitted from those. Find patterns and similarities in the work you did and the clients you did it for. Maybe there is a large life sciences industry in your area and you’ve had several clients who worked for the companies and claimed they were subject to age discrimination.
Use client feedback to understand client needs: Review your notes from recent client intake sessions to see if there is commonality in what clients need. If you’ve received reviews of your work on LinkedIn, Avvo, or Google, view those as honest feedback of where you excel and where you don’t. Surveys or, even better, interviews of current or past clients by yourself or a third party produce valuable information on what worked well for the clients and areas that can be improved upon. Questions should be open-ended, and the information should be received dispassionately and appreciatively. If you decide sexual harassment victims are your focus, but clients on those matters report they felt you lacked empathy, then this may not be your ideal client.
Create an ideal client profile: Using what you learned above about your strengths and your clients’ needs, think about how to describe your ideal legal client. Include in this analysis demographics such as age, race, location, profession, income level — anything that paints a clear picture of who could use your help. Based on these criteria, perhaps you are looking to represent women in their 40s and 50s who are at the mid- to upper-management level, making more than six figures a year in companies that have more than 200 employees.
Find Your Ideal Legal Client
Identifying what groups or organizations the ideal legal clients belong to and joining them
Creating a list of publications or websites the ideal legal clients read and writing articles or advertising in them
Research what social media channels, if any, the ideal legal clients use and engage in the conversation by offering helpful comments and resources
Ultimately, your law practice is only as successful as the business you bring in. To grow your practice, you must provide exceptional service. That’s impossible without first understanding who you’re — ideally — trying to serve. Contact the team at Scorpion to learn more about the best ways to grow your practice.