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The Five Stages of Client Needs: Tailoring Your Attorney Marketing Approach

Alex Valencia
Published   May 23, 2022

Your clients are consumers–they are customers shopping around for their legal representation. While no two clients are alike in their process for hiring an attorney, they do share some common stages of necessity:

Stage 1 – Curiosity
Most individuals research lawyers out of necessity, not leisure. During this phase, your marketing should resonate and leave a memorable impression. They don’t need you now, but they may need you in the future, and you want your name to come to mind when they think “lawyer”

Stage 2 – Learning
Your client is curious if they need a lawyer now or not, so they’re going to learn about their situation and make that decision. Here’s where you get a big chance for your attorney marketing to hook those new clients. Instead of just telling them your services, offer to help them with more information. Offer them as much information as you can, through your content relevant to their case, free information like guides or marketing e-books, and then offer your free consultation.

Stage 3 – Browsing
Once they realize they need a lawyer, most clients will explore their options rather than settling for the first one they come across. Comparison shopping has been made much easier with the Internet, especially when so many search sites allow for user reviews and comments to be posted. Your marketing should clearly convey how you can assist, the services you offer, and how clients can reach out to you.

Stage 4 – Buying
Your client is ready to hire their lawyer, and that lawyer should be you. If they’ve got your information package sitting on their desk, exchanged e-mails with your firm, and maybe even come in for a free consultation, you’re in a great position to be their top choice. You’ve already established a helpful relationship with them and shown you’re interested in their case. If you’ve effectively shown them that you’re their ideal attorney, it’s only a matter of signing the contract.

Stage 5 – Desperation
Clients in this stage are in emergency need of legal representation, and in some cases, the first lawyer name that pops up will do. This can be both a good and a bad thing, depending on the type of client you want to represent. If your firm makes a living off of small, easy-to-close cases, then this client stage may be necessary for you. Marketing for your law firm in this stage is straightforward: clearly communicate your services and how they can contact you.

Even if you’re not seeking new, urgent clients, this stage can be an opportunity, especially if they’ve worked with you before. If you’ve made a good impression in their minds with your previous service and continued attorney marketing, they’ll remember your name in their time of legal need.

A consistent theme across these 5 stages is the need for your attorney marketing strategies to be adaptable, catering to clients at any phase. To captivate a potential client, offer assistance rather than a sales pitch. As consumers, we’re used to being sold to at every turn; from our TV to billboards to Internet banners, advertising is everywhere. Clients can get sick of constantly being sold to; it’s great to be the first lawyer to offer them information first and then let them know if they’re ready, you’re there for them.

Companies are achieving success by providing clients with information and advice instead of merely selling products or services. A good example is with Best Buy’s Geek Squad, their technology repair and service division. While their main game is selling their services for electronic repair and home install service, they’ve started offering free how-to videos on YouTube to give consumers a chance at doing things on their own. When it’s too complicated, the customer knows to call Geek Squad to get it done right.

You don’t need Geek Squad to fix your Internet marketing strategy. All you need is We Do Web! We can help make your law firm website content search engine optimized and rank up on search engine rankings so your clients can find the attorney website content relevant to their needs. For affordable, quality content exclusive to YOUR website, blog, and clients, contact us today!

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