In this episode of the Legal Marketing 2.0 Podcast, Guy is joined by Davina Frederick to discuss how law firms should go about attracting their ideal clients while repelling all others. Prior to becoming an attorney, Davina spent 15 years as a professional services marketer. She started her own law firm right out of law school and grew it successfully. As the founder of Wealthy Woman Lawyer®, she’s spent more than a decade coaching women law firm owners on the business principles they must master to effectively scale their practices. She’s also somehow found time to write two books on law firm marketing and management.
1. Moving from Marketer to Lawyer to Coach
Davina came to marketing by way of journalism, becoming a copywriter after earning her undergraduate degree. Over the next 15 years, she worked with engineering firms, became marketing manager for the largest law firm in Central Florida, and eventually landed at an agency serving clients all over the nation and the world.
Davina went to law school with the intention of launching her own business and started two law firms – one virtual – after earning her J.D. The gradual realization that many of her colleagues had no idea how to run a business – something that’s not taught in law school – led her to coaching. She initially worked with men and women but eventually founded Wealthy Woman Lawyer® to help women attorneys grow their practices. Since then, Davina has helped many women attorneys scale their businesses to and through $1 million.
2. The Unique Challenges Faced by Women Law Firm Owners
Because men traditionally dominated law, law firms adopted a masculine structure based on billable hours. As Davina noted, that structure doesn’t always work for women, who often shoulder the bulk of family responsibilities in addition to their careers. But now that women account for more than 50% of all law school graduates, female lawyers are redefining what it means to be a lawyer and creating firms that align with their lifestyles and goals.
3. Identifying Your Ideal Clients Will Help You Attract Them
According to Davina, defining your firm’s ideal clients will put you in a better position to attract those clients. Think back to clients you enjoyed working with in the past and those who proved problematic, and write down the key factors that differentiated the two. Maybe a less-than-ideal client was looking for a “bulldog” type lawyer who goes for the jugular when you favor a more reasonable, measured approach.
You’ll also want to consider other more tangible factors, including a potential client’s ability to pay, willingness to pay, and eagerness to pay on time and in full. Demographics (local vs. regional, age brackets) and practice areas (a family law attorney won’t want to field inquiries from personal injury clients) should also enter into your definition of an ideal client.
4. Should I Be on Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, TikTok, YouTube, or Something Else?
Davina warned that it’s all too easy to waste a lot of time and effort on social media. TikTok videos, for example, are extremely popular, so everyone is migrating there. But if your ideal clients aren’t using TikTok, the time spent creating videos for the platform probably won’t help your firm attract much new business.
5. Know Where Your Clients Are and What They’re Doing on Social Media
Davina emphasized the importance of determining which platforms your clients are using and what they’re doing on social media. A lot will depend on who they are and the nature of their business. For example, TikTok attracts a lot of women in their 30s, but a closer look suggests many are on the platform because their kids are using it. The women attorneys Davina works with prefer Facebook but tend to hate LinkedIn. While some have migrated to Instagram and TikTok, they’re unlikely to be on YouTube, as it tends to attract primarily men.
While there might be exceptions to the social media trends you identify among your ideal clients, knowing the platforms they generally prefer will help you determine where you should spend most of your time.
6. Take Your Firm’s Business Model Into Account
The final calculation will depend on your ideal clients’ preferences and your firm’s business model. For example, you might find that Google and Google advertising would be more effective than spending time on Instagram. But if you don’t have a big advertising budget yet, Instagram might be where you should start.
While law firms have many options when it comes to marketing, rushing in absent a robust strategy will not attract the ideal clients you need to grow your practice. Start by defining your ideal clients, identify where and how they’re using social media, and align your efforts with their preferences and your firm’s particular business model.
You can buy Davina’s books here.
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