Podcast: Episode 2 – How to Identify and Target Your Law Firm’s Ideal Clients on Social Media

February 4, 2019

This episode will teach you how to craft a communications strategy that speaks to your target clients and sets your law firm apart from the competition. In order to attract new clients for your law firm through social media, you first need to identify who your clients are and what you can offer them. Doing this will help you develop a communications strategy that resonates with your target audience and demonstrates how your legal services can help them. Once you’ve identified your target clients, you then need to determine the unique characteristics that will persuade a potential client to hire you as their attorney. In other words, there’s a lot of lawyers out there. What makes you unique? Social media attorney and legal marketer Ethan Wall will guide you on how to identify and engage the right type of clients for your law firm through social media. Give the episode a listen:

Transcript:

Want to reach your target clients on social media? On today’s episode of Social Skills, you’ll learn how to reach your ideal clients. You’ll also learn the best practices for creating content that resonates with them, so your law firm will stand out from the crowd. We call this your communication strategy and we’ll help you develop one for your law firm. And we’ll get started right now.

Welcome to Social Skills. I am your host, Ethan Wall, social media attorney, digital marketer for lawyers and author of the book Social Skills: How You Can Attract More Clients for Your Law Firm through Social Media Marketing, and with me is my tag team partner Chido.

Hey guys. Welcome back to the Social Skills podcast. My name is Chido Chola, and I’m the Social Media Manager here at Social Media Law and Order. Today’s episode is how to identify and target your ideal clients.

So let me guess, I bet that you have a social media profile, your posts from time to time get a few likes every now and then, maybe a couple hundred followers, but you’re not getting a lot of leads and you’re certainly not generating clients from your social media profiles. Sound about right? Don’t worry, we’ve all been there, myself included. About four years ago when I founded the world’s first social media law firm, I experienced the very same problems on social media. Over time, and through a lot of trial and error, I realized that you can use social media to attract more clients for your law firm, but you have to have a plan. And the first step in your plan is called your communication strategy, which answers three really important questions. First, who are your ideal clients? Second, how can you help them? And third, what makes you unique? By finding answers to these three questions, you could put together a social media marketing plan that helps to attract more clients for your law firm and the types of business that you want to attract.

Okay? So the first step is to identify your ideal clients. This sounds easy enough, right?

You’d think so. I mean, we’re in the business of getting clients, but what I found over the years is that lawyers are really good lawyers, and by and large not great marketers. So what do I mean by that? Let’s say last week I had someone reach out to me and say, “I want to attract more clients for my firm.” I said, “Okay, great. What type of clients?” And he says, “Businesses.” I’m like, okay, could you be a little more specific? And he says, “Small to medium size businesses.” And I’m like, “Okay, let’s stop for a moment and think about how important it is for us to really identify our target clients.” You see, if you just say that you represent businesses, then how are you going to create a communication strategy? How are you going to figure out what are you going to write in your posts that’s going to resonate with these people?

You see, social media sites like Facebook and LinkedIn have these incredible targeting features that allow you to get laser focused and to send your content only to the specific types of clients that your law firm can help, and so if your clients are just “businesses” or “small businesses,” you’re not taking advantage of the social media site features that can really help you. So you want to be incredibly specific. So instead of saying something like, “I represent small businesses,” you may say that, “I represent restaurant owners within 15 miles of Boston, and I help them defend against wage and hour and overtime claims.” In that way you can really be specific in how you tailor your marketing. First, you know what your client’s problems are, they’re restaurants, they have servers, employees, waitstaff, and sometimes these employees will bring bogus claims for overtime or unpaid wages. And that’s a serious problem because plaintiff’s attorneys may bring these suits and try to negotiate a settlement and get attorney’s fees.

So it’s important to know that there is an attorney out there that understands the specific problems that these restaurant owners face, and how you can help them. So being specific with identifying your target clients allows you to create messaging that truly identifies the problem and offer solutions that is relevant and resonates with that target client.

Second, you can then use social media’s advertising features to get your content right in front of restaurant owners who live in and around the same city where you practice law. So, if I were to type into Facebook and want to create an audience of businesses within 50 miles of Boston, I might find a million people that fit that particular description and that might be too broad, but if I typed in restaurant owners or a president of a particular restaurant or the compliance department, or legal department, or people who work at restaurants as like a C level executive, I might now find that there are 15 to 20,000 people that identify with that particular description within that geographic area.

And that’s a really good audience size because it’s large enough where there’s many people that I can help. But it’s specific enough to know that if I write blogs about how you can defend against wage and hour claims brought by restaurant employees, that this is really going to resonate with that target audience. So, the more specific you can be, the better because it helps you to craft your messaging and to use the social media advertising features to really craft an effective social media advertising campaign.

So once you identify your target clients, your next step is to articulate to them how you can help them. Are you talking about your practice areas?

Absolutely, but it’s got to be a little more specific than that. And let me give you an example and a mistake that I made when I first started practicing law. So I practiced Commercial Litigation with a wonderful law firm, Richman Greer for about eight or nine years.

And I remember going out to a friend of mine at a cocktail party and he said, “Great, you’re a lawyer, what do you do?” And I said, “I’m a Commercial Litigator.” And he looked at me and he said, “Okay, so do you help make TV commercials legal?” And I said, “No, I’m a business lawyer that helps to resolve disputes between companies in court.” And he said, “Okay, well why don’t you just say that?” And that’s the mistake that so many lawyers make is that we know what we do for a living, but we don’t speak in plain English or we don’t explain it clear enough to know more for our prospective clients to know the public, to know what we actually do and how we help people. And so it’s so very important, not just to say “I’m a Family Lawyer” or “I’m a Personal Injury Lawyer” because we know what that stuff means. And maybe some clients know what that means, but not everybody. So it’s important to really spell out how we can help our ideal clients.

So for me, for example, instead of saying I was a Commercial Litigator, made much more sense to say, I’m a Business Lawyer or I help resolve business disputes, or I helped to settle disagreements between business owners. And when push comes to shove, we sometimes have to go to court to help them out. And that’s something that anybody can understand. And this goes across all different types of practice areas. So if you practice Personal Injury, for example, some of us may know what that means, but it may be better to say I help people who are injured in car accidents recover money for their injuries, or I help people who have slipped and fell at department stores recover for a store owner’s negligence.

Or if I practice Criminal Law, I might say I represent people who get arrested for DUI’s, and help them through the process. Or if you practice Family Law, it’s I helped people get custody of their children. I help people separate from a difficult marriage. By being specific as to how you can actually help people. Then your messaging will really resonate with your target audience. So you might say that I represent single mothers in the Delaware area, get custody of their children, or I help small business owners protect and grow their business through trademark, copyright and intellectual property protection. By figuring out not only who your ideal clients are, but how you can help them, you begin to see how you can shape the type of content. And the type of messaging that you’re going to want to post on social media, so that is both relevant and resonates with your potential clients.

Got It. So now we understand that you have to get really specific in identifying our target clients, and clearly explain how we can help them. You also said you have to figure out what makes us unique. What does that mean?

Well, there are in this world way too many lawyers, millions, billions. I don’t know. There’s lawyers coming out of the woodwork here in our studio. In a world full of so many lawyers what makes you unique, and what makes you different? Helps you to stand out in front of the crowd. I mean, look, I practiced Social Media Law and so there’s not many of us out there mostly because we made that area of law up about four years ago, but it is still new and emerging. But if I practice Criminal Law, how many criminal lawyers are there in Florida? A thousand? 5,000? 10,000? Think about if you practice something like Intellectual Property Law, where people may be able to hire folks from across the country.

There may be 40 to 50,000. What makes you different from everyone else? Because if you can’t figure that out, then you just become a commodity. You’re just one more lawyer, one more billboard, one more ad that people scroll and you don’t stand out from the crowd. And let’s face it, you listening out there are special. You’re a unique snowflake. There are things about you that can set you apart and it’s so very important. So maybe you’re someone like me. Maybe you’re an entrepreneur who started his own firm, and therefore can help other small business owners grow their firms and protect themselves from the dangers or mistakes that you may have made when you started up your own firm. Maybe if you’re a family lawyer, you’re someone who has gone through a difficult divorce themselves and therefore had the ability to empathize with your client and be a counselor as you guide them through that process because you know what it was like to stand in their shoes and to go through a very painful and uncomfortable process.

Or maybe let’s say that you’re a criminal lawyer who has helped over a thousand people who have been charged with reckless driving or DUI’s, and therefore truly understand how to go through the process and what those nuances are to try to get the best result for your client. We all have something that makes us unique. We all have something that makes us special and by emphasizing that you’re going to separate yourself from everyone else and it helps you to craft social media content that not only is relevant and resonates with your target audience, but helps you stand out from the crowd and makes you, you.

So, essentially connecting with your target clients.

Yeah, definitely. I mean, look, the law practice, I think it’s awesome. I have a ton of fun doing it. I’ve been practicing for over 10 years now. Internet Law is so much fun.

It’s enjoyable to me, but when you look at the, the practice as a whole, it’s not the sexiest of all the professions out there. We’re not rock stars. We’re not baseball players. We don’t generally have that type of connection, but to create that with people then makes you separate and unique. And so really figuring out who you are, and what’s important to you play such an important role into your overall social media strategy. I mean Chido, we’ve been working with a wonderful personal injury client in southeast Georgia, and it’s one of our favorite clients because he came to us and said, look, I’m not a big city, suit and tie lawyer and I don’t want to be posting just pictures of car accidents online. I want people to really get to know who I am. And when we got to know our client, we understood that he’s someone that really has southern values.

That was a hometown attorney who had practiced there for over 25 years. He is someone who truly cared about his community and that helped us to come up with his communication strategy because we knew that he helped individuals who were hurt in car accidents within the Southeast Georgia area, so he wasn’t trying to help everybody that’s out there. And he was their local home town attorney. Someone who truly cared about his community, and cared about his friends and neighbors, and wanted to see them to be okay through some of their most difficult times and coming up with a strategy like that does exactly what you said. It connects the dots. People not only know, hey, I know this lawyer and I know what he does, but I also know what he’s all about and that he cares and that I want to choose him if I find myself in that unfortunate situation.

So that’s how you put all the elements together of who are your ideal clients, how can you help them, and what makes you unique to craft a social media campaign that’s tailored to your law firm and your strengths.

That is awesome. All of this information is really helpful in creating our communication strategy. But last week you promised to leave us with one specific step that we can take right away to begin crafting our law firm social media strategy. So what’s the first step?

I think the first step is figuring out who are your ideal clients. That’s an easier one of the three questions. Meaning, think about the last two, three, four, five clients you’ve represented. Who are they? What do they look like? Write them down. Some people call this client personas. That seems to be a little technical, but I might say, okay. For our from our last five clients consisted of a Construction Lawyer in West Palm Beach, Florida, a Personal Injury Lawyer in southeast Georgia, a Criminal Defense Attorney in Boston, and a Corporate Lawyer in Arizona.

And what we all had in common was that they were all solo practitioners. They all started their own firms and they had to balance both running a practice and marketing to clients. And so we were able to kind of look at our ideal client and say, oh, a light bulb went off. We’re doing a really nice job of helping to take the heavy lifting off the shoulders of a solo practitioner, so they could focus on running their practice and we can focus on handling the marketing. And so I think that what you can do today is to just grab a pen and a pencil, or an iPad, or an iMac, or an android or iPhone, or whatever it is that you’re doing. Just think about who your ideal clients are and to help you with that, you might just take a look and survey your last few clients, or who you would want your ideal clients to be. And from there you’re going to have a really good starting point about putting together your plan.

Now, to help you put that plan together, Chido and I have come up with a free resource for you that might assist you in coming up with your communication strategy. It is our five step guide to developing your social media marketing plan, and you can download this free guide today and you can use it to write down who your ideal clients are, how you can help them, what makes you unique, and all of the other parts of a social media marketing plan that you’re going to need to attract more clients for your law firm that we’re going to be discussing on some future episodes. But if you’d like to get that guide, I invite you to go to DevelopYourPlan.com. You can download your free five step guide to developing your social media marketing plan so you can target your ideal clients and grow the firm that you’ve always imagined.

That’s it for today guys. On our next episode of Social Skills, we will be discussing what should you post on social media. But before you skip to the next episode, please take a moment to subscribe to our podcast if you like what you’re hearing, please leave us a review, and if there’s anything we can do to help you attract more clients for your law firm, please send us a message.


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