Do you know who your best clients are? If you do, are you able to pinpoint what makes them an ideal client? How can you apply that information to all of your marketing activities in order to maximize profitability? In this post we are talking about creating client personas for your law firm. Here’s what you need to know about these fictional representations of ideal client relationships.
What Exactly is a Client Persona?
Often called “buyer personas”, these are fictional representations of your firm’s ideal clients based on factual data and research. The concept is not just about who is easiest to work with or who you like the best. Client personas are based on understanding high-value visitors, leads, and clients over time. They should be used to focus your time and resources on the individuals who are most likely to convert. An effective client persona will give you a deep understanding of your most profitable relationships so that you can attempt to attract more leads like them. You can tailor your content creation, marketing messaging, sales follow-up, and much more toward the right people by building out specific client personas.
5 Steps for Creating Client Personas
Clearly, client personas are important. In fact, it would be difficult to stress just how valuable they are. Comprehensive client personas take some time to create but it doesn’t need to be a terribly difficult process. Most of the process revolves around obtaining accurate information and figuring out the best way to present that information within your firm. Here are the steps we suggest.
1. Understand the Various Types of Buyer Personas
First you need to know which types of personas are most helpful for your firm. Unfortunately, there is not really a comprehensive list that you can choose from. Every organization is unique and that makes their ideal clients unique. HubSpot has a great tool called Make My Persona which can generate some different options for you. In general firms have the same or similar categories based on key traits of the clients.
If you need help identifying your ideal client, check out this free guide: A Law Firm’s Guide to Creating an Ideal Client Profile
2. Determine and Document the Information You’ll Need
There are many types of research that can inform your client personas. Things like internal reports, surveys, client interviews, and conversations with your sales team can all be helpful. Consider the following:
- Going through your contacts database to uncover trends about how leads are generated.
- Using form fields on your website and lead magnets to capture important information.
- Discussing leads and client activity with your sales team to better understand client behavior.
- Interviewing clients or prospects that you interact with the most.
3. Use Your Research to Find Patterns
Spend some time compiling all of the information you’ve obtained. This timeline will vary for every marketer, but a robust client persona will take resources. Once you have everything in front of you, start to look for signals that point to certain traits or behaviors. You are looking for specific information on commonalities. This can be based on demographics such as age, or other key information such as which legal issue they come to your firm for or how many engagements they typically have with your attorneys. Essentially, you should notice some correlation between your “ideal” (the most profitable) client and certain metrics. This will help you to understand who the best of the best really is.
4. Incorporate the Intangibles Into Your Personas
There are plenty of analytics or CRM tools out there that can provide much of the data you need. However, chances are there is a bigger picture in play. Through tactics like interviews or feedback sessions with your sales team, attempt to learn more about the motivations, challenges, and objections for each persona type. Who are the most motivated prospects on their lead list? What is the type of engagement that ends up driving the most revenue for your firm? Which practice area closes deals faster, and can you find a reason? There are a variety of factors that go into building a persona and only some of them are based on numbers – the rest will need to come from an in-depth knowledge of your target market.
5. Develop Messaging for Each Persona
Take all of the information you have and distill it down into a statement about your personas: what they are concerned about, who they are, and what they want. Then, you need to put it into a format that works for everyone across your firm. It’s important to make sure everyone is speaking the same language when it comes to your target audience. Write a statement that serves as a sort of elevator pitch where your firm is positioned in a way that resonates with the persona. Furthermore, use language your target audience would be familiar with. It’s a best practice to name the various personas you create and you may even want to find images that will help you to get a visual (for example “Personal Injury Paul”).
Creating client personas allows for more efficient use of your firm’s marketing resources. Personas help you to target and message individuals that are the best fit for your firm. If you’re not sure where to start, reach out to our experts. We can help you to define your firm’s target audience and craft strategies that will reach them.