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Stop Chasing Leads Who Aren't Your Ideal Audience

Krystle DodgeKrystle Dodge

Krystle Dodge

Posted On: April 2, 2024

If the content you’re creating doesn’t revolve around the interests of your ideal client, you’re wasting time and money.

This common misstep divides your focus without any real payoff. It could even be driving away the clients who most need your help and the cases that are most profitable for your firm.

Here’s how I create content to draw in an audience that has a chance of actually turning into clients.

Put Yourself in the Shoes of Your Ideal Client

You have ideal clients, even if you don’t know it.

Focus on Needs, Not Personas

I’m not talking, necessarily, about the personas commonly used in other areas of marketing. I know that not all people in need of legal services fit neatly into categories like “30's soccer mom.” Depending on the kind of law you practice, your potential client base could be far too diverse for that.

Instead, I’m talking about really focusing on the types of cases you want to handle and what people in those situations are looking for.

Imagine for a moment that personal injury law is your firm’s bread and butter. It’s true that accidents affect people of all demographics, so reducing them to a marketing persona may not be easy or even helpful. But, from the excellent work you’re already doing for your clients, you know their problems. That’s your secret weapon right there, and it’s huge.

Your Secret Weapon in Creating Legal Marketing Content

  • You know the questions your clients ask the most.
  • You know the worries they get emotional over and the issues that keep them awake at night.
  • And you can safely assume that at least some of those pain points are equally relevant to people earlier on in the legal process, the ones who would be ideal clients for you.

What you have to do is help them find you. How? By creating content that speaks to exactly those problems and offers hope for a solution.

This strategy is just as relevant to other kinds of law, by the way. Whether you handle criminal defense, family law, immigration law, estate law, business law, or any other kind of legal matter, you’re in the business of solving problems for your clients.

Ask yourself what those problems are, and center your sales content on those needs.

Don’t Get Distracted by Content Your Ideal Client Doesn’t Care About

The one legal content brief I received (years ago) that really made me want to pull my hair out insisted that the personal injury practice area page begin with… a section on the history of personal injury.

The principle dates back to the Code of Hammurabi. Your clients couldn’t care less.

For the record, your real estate clients aren’t interested in how the cavemen lived, either. Your intellectual property clients don’t care about the history of patent laws. And your criminal defense clients definitely don’t want a tone-deaf lesson on the history of capital punishment.

It may be factually true, but this information isn’t helpful. It isn’t relevant to the needs of your ideal client, even if it has to do with the topic of law in general. And the message it sends your ideal client about you isn’t very flattering. Because the biggest problem with this kind of content isn’t just a low ROI. It’s how this content communicates to the ideal clients who do find you. They’re on the verge of picking up the phone to call someone. But if what they find on your practice area pages shows them that you don’t understand their needs, it won’t be you.

Not now. Not later. If your content makes it clear you aren’t concerned with what they’re concerned with, they’ll look elsewhere.

Following them with targeted ads won’t help you. You’ve lost them.

Imagine for a moment that someone comes to you, bleeding out from a nasty wound. You wouldn’t stand there and educate them on the history of bandages or the scientific mechanisms of hemorrhaging. You’d help them.

And that’s exactly what your ideal audience is asking you to do in your sales pages: help them with the pressing, immediate problem that’s consuming their life right now.

The legal marketing content that’s most successful at appealing to actual potential clients provides two things:

  1. The answers and information the person who truly needs your services is looking for, and
  2. The information they don’t yet know they need (legal deadlines, complex rules, the worst-case scenario they could be facing)

The former type of content allows people who are looking for your services to find you. The latter gives them a nudge to take action and contact you.

The problem that sent them searching for help in the first place is the tip of the iceberg. Now that you’ve shown them that, they’re able to appreciate the reality that they need professional legal help—your help.

One-Minute Takeaways

  • Too often, lawyer marketing focuses on topics that simply don’t matter to the firm’s ideal audience. Maybe it’s because a term appears on a list of keywords they “should” be targeting, or maybe sales pages and linkable assets (the only acceptable place for this kind of content) have been conflated in the marketing strategy.
  • Whatever the reason, it’s time to shake up how you think about legal marketing content, specifically on your practice area pages.
  • Write for real people, specifically the needs of the people who could most benefit from your legal services.
  • Address their problems (you already know what they are). Make them aware of the complications they don’t even know about yet but which could have serious implications for them.
  • Offer them solutions, support, and most importantly hope.
  • And please, whatever you do, don’t wax poetic or academic about tangentially-related topics. Your potential clients are coming to you (and your practice area pages) for help with an immediate problem, not for trivia. The history of law belongs in a textbook, not on your sales pages.
Krystle DodgeKrystle Dodge


Krystle Dodge

Krystle Dodge is the Senior Content Marketing Specialist for Esquire Digital. With more than 12 years of experience writing legal marketing content in in-house, freelance, and agency capacities, she crafts content that connects and converts for numerous law firms in a variety of practice areas across the country.

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