— Content Marketing

How To Identify Your Target Audience

Law firms spend tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of dollars on marketing without a clear idea of their target audience. In this article, we discuss how to identify your law firm’s target audience so that you can speak directly to them through your marketing.

When we ask new clients to describe their “ideal client,” they will often reply quickly with “anyone who will pay”.

I used to think that was too broad (and maybe it is). However, as I have thought more about it, these lawyers might be onto something.

You see, the people willing to pay you for your services have a problem you can solve. If you are able to identify the people who have those problems, then you have identified your target audience.

Oversimplification? Perhaps, but it works. Trust me.

In this article, I want to share three ways in which you can reverse engineer your target audience to improve your marketing message and get more clients.

I encourage you to grab a pen and paper before reading further. In the next five minutes, we’re going to nail down your target audience. 

Identify People Who Have A Problem That You Can Solve

A square is a rectangle, but a rectangle isn’t a square. Similarly, your ideal client may be part of your target audience, but your target audience is not your ideal client. It is easy to get these two concepts confused.

Like a rectangle, your target audience is broader than the concept of an ideal client (this deserves its own separate article). Your target audience consists of everyone who can benefit from your services and who would be willing to pay you for them.

Think of it this way.

Are there people out there who are experiencing a problem so great that the pain of doing nothing outweighs the pain of picking up the phone, calling your law firm, and paying your law firm for its services?

The answer, of course, is yes.

Someone may be severely injured in a car accident and facing medical bills. Someone may be looking at a possible prison sentence. Someone could be on the brink of foreclosure. 

You already know who these individuals are and the challenges they are facing. These are the individuals that you are currently serving.

Now, it is time to put a name on them: “target audience.”

Identify People Who Desire A Transformation

Do you think that marketing is about creating desire?

Think again.

Marketing is not about creating desire. Rather, it is about channeling desire to sell your services.

Your target audience has a problem that requires a solution that only you can provide. They are in pain. They are facing jail time. They are at risk of losing their business. These are things that keep them up at night, wondering how they will ever be able to move past this challenging moment in life.

However, your target audience does not have a desire to hire your law firm. In fact, they would probably rather not hire a lawyer at all. 

As a result, many law firms focus on selling their services like a consumer product. They focus on the cost. They focus on the features. They might even try to dress up their marketing as if they were selling a luxury item at a premium. Law firms do this in the hope that they can create desire for their services.

This is a major marketing mistake. One that can cost your law firms thousands of dollars in missed opportunities.

Your target audience does not desire legal services. What they desire is transformation. Instead of focusing on your services, focus on the transformation that your target audience wants to achieve. Here are a few examples:

  • Someone who has medical bills doesn’t want to hire a lawyer, but they do want to get compensation for their losses.
  • Someone who is facing jail time doesn't want to hire a lawyer, but they do want to avoid jail time.
  • Someone who is facing the loss of a home does not want to hire a lawyer, but they do want to save their home.

In each of the scenarios above, the individual has some desired outcome, some transformation that they want to achieve. If you are able to identify the transformation they desire, then you will be able to channel that desire through your messaging to sell your services.

Identify Where They Are In The Consumer Journey

Now that we have identified people who have a problem that you can solve and a desired transformation that you can help them achieve, it is time to figure out where they are in the consumer journey.

The consumer journey is simply the steps an individual takes towards hiring your law firm. To break this down, we can look at the five stages of consumer awareness:

  1. Unaware - these are people who are unaware that they have a problem. This represents the largest pool of people who make up your target audience. At this stage, your messaging should be educating them about their situation and helping them identify and name their problem.
  1. Problem Aware - this represents individuals who know they have a problem, but they don’t know what to do about it. Here, you will want to create messaging that brings them to the next stage, which is being aware of the solutions available to them.
  1. Solution Aware - people who are solution aware know they have a problem, and they know that they need a lawyer to fix it. However, they do not yet know about your law firm and what you offer. This is where you throw your hand up and tell your target audience about your law firm and how you can help them.
  1. Product Aware - individuals who are product aware know about the options available to them, including your law firm. At this point, you want your marketing to help you stand apart from the competition, making you their only choice.
  1. Most Aware - these are consumers who have gone from being unaware to being product aware and are now ready to take action. All they need is something to justify or validate their decision to hire you. This might be a free consultation, a home or hospital visit, or some other point of contact that tips the sales in your favor. This represents the smallest pool or your target audience, and also the easiest audience to convert.

Each stage above deserves its own blog post. For now, I simply want to help you understand who your target audience is and how to speak to them at each stage of their journey toward hiring you.

Now You Know Who You Are Marketing To

At this point, you know who has the problems that you can solve, you know what transformation they are trying to achieve, and you know where they are in the consumer journey. 

This is the foundation of your marketing strategy.

Everything (and I mean everything) you do from here should be aligned with helping your target audience make the decision to hire you. Whether you write blog posts, post videos on social media, or run Google ads, all of your marketing efforts should be geared towards your target audience and where they are in the buying process.

If you are looking for help marketing your law firm and reaching your target audience, we can help. As a full service marketing agency, our first job is to help you understand your target audience and channel their desires for transformation to hire your law firm. Use the calendar on our contact page to schedule a free video marketing consultation with us today.

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