By Brianna Sullivan
A key part of brand development is developing one or more “personas”, or users of the brand. These personas are kept in mind throughout the entire branding and design process, and should help to shape decisions in the future.
Previously we have discussed the importance of identifying your target market to guide your marketing efforts. A persona is the personification of that target market, creating a personality so that your ideal client feels like a real, relatable person rather than just a collection of demographic information.
What is the benefit of creating a client persona?
Client personas are an effective tool for targeting all of your law firm marketing, but we find them to be especially useful when utilizing online ads.
Targeted Efforts = Better ROI.
You’re dialing in on the people that not only could use your services, but that you actually want to come in to your office. By narrowing your efforts to only those individuals, you can expect a greater result for a lower cost.
Engaging Online Presence
Since you are targeting a specific group of people, you can make sure your marketing efforts are very specific to their needs. In the eyes of a potential client, they will feel that you are speaking to them directly, and they will have more confidence that you can address their specific issue than if you had just put out a general ad.
Know Where to Advertise
Creating personas allows you to identify the technology and media your ideal clients is using. For example, someone in their mid-40s is likely on Facebook quite frequently. A person in a younger demographic may be more likely to use Instagram.
Thinking critically about platforms and media types then making selections based on what your clients use allows you to direct your advertising spend wisely and to the right channels.
How do I create a persona?
To create a persona, you must first begin by identifying your target market(s). This includes demographic information about the clients you hope to gain, such as where they live, their income level, education level, etc.
Creating a persona is taking this identification one step further, fleshing out the demographics into a believable personality that could potentially walk through your door with a case. For Facebook advertising, it’s especially useful to try to identify your persona’s interests and brands they associate with.
It can also be a useful exercise to develop a scenario around why your target market is looking for a lawyer, and why they would choose your law firm specifically. This helps you empathize and think like your potential client, identifying potential roadblocks along the way.
Here’s an example of a persona that a divorce attorney may use. They have already identified their target market as middle class women with children in the Dayton, Ohio area.
Name: Carolyn Adams
Location: Springboro, Ohio
Education level: Bachelor degree
Occupation: Health inspector
Annual Income: $65,000
Children: 3, ages 10, 7 and 4 years old
Marital status: Separated
Interests: Parenting, baking, dogs, Zumba
Where she shops: Target, Kohls, Kroger, Bed Bath & Beyond, PetSmart
Social media use: Very active on Facebook, has just started to get into Instagram
Carolyn and her husband Steve have been married for 14 years and separated for the past 18 months. They decided to separate when Carolyn discovered Steve was unfaithful. They have gone through marriage counseling for the past year but have not been able to reconcile.
Carolyn is devastated that her marriage is ending, and feeling betrayed and hurt by her husband. She is worried about how her children are handling the crumbling of their parents’ marriage, and she wants to give them as much consistency as possible. She wants to stay in their house but is worried after the divorce she will be forced to move. Carolyn has a decent income but makes less than her husband. She also worries about being able to support her children after the divorce is final.
Carolyn is now beginning to research divorce attorneys. She is looking for someone who will make her feel comfortable throughout the process. After all, she’s never been through a divorce or any other kind of legal proceeding before. She’s wants to find someone that will listen to her concerns and give her advice on the many aspects of a divorce case, and will have reasonable fees.
Our example is pretty detailed, but it takes details to create a realistic personality. If you are targeting multiple markets in your area, we encourage you to create a persona to correspond to each of those markets. Then hold yourself to the personality while creating your materials.
For example, say you wanted to do a YouTube ad. Think to yourself, does someone like Carolyn use YouTube? Will she respond to this tagline? Checking in and asking these types of questions will make sure you’re staying true to your ideal client, and producing the most targeted content possible to gain the most return.