When you go fishing, you won’t catch anything if you don’t know what you’re fishing for. In the same way, having goals without focus or direction won’t bring in new “fish” for your law firm.
I caught an episode of Deadliest Catch the other day, and it got me thinking about how often I talk to lawyers about their marketing goals.
It’s fairly common for “greenhorn” digital marketers to start with broad, unfocused goals for their law firms. They know they want “the best” or “the most,” but they haven’t focused in on what that really means for them and their law firms. The problem is that there are dangerous waters and rough competitors online, and you have to know exactly where you are and what you’re doing if you want to succeed.
“I Want to Catch All the Best Fish in the World!”
You can approach your marketing partners and say that your goal is to make a million dollars or get all the biggest cases. Don’t get me wrong—it’s great to have big goals. However, it’s these kinds of big goals without focus that will destroy your law firm in the end.
Think about it. If you go out and say, “I want to catch all the best fish in the world,” you sound crazy or misguided to the pros. No pro fisherman would go about it that way. There are a lot of kinds of fish. To catch the kind you want, you need specific equipment. You need to be in a specific area. You need to know your target. This all holds true when you’re fishing for your perfect clients, too.
Different Fish, Different Ponds, and Different Tools for Capturing Your Perfect Client
There are a lot of different kinds of perfect clients for law firms, and there are a lot of ways to “catch” them. Before you can go out and start reeling them in, though, you have to define your goals and hone your focus. Otherwise, you risk wasting money and time on methods that won’t work for you.
What kind of fish are you really trying to catch? Here are some examples:
- Tuna is a commodity fish. They’re caught in great volume. It’s a huge industry with lots of regulation, and a consistent catch is something crews depend on for their livelihoods. If you want to catch tuna, you need to get on a boat and hire a crew. Just like trying to attract more leads on your bread-and-butter cases, you’re casting a wide net in the right area to attract the kinds of routine car accident cases, estate planning cases, or DUI defense cases that keep your law firm in business.
- You can’t use a tuna net to go fly-fishing for trout. Instead, you have a very specialized target and very specialized equipment. Everything from the rod to the style of fishing is different. Like when you want a very particular kind of client or case, you have to have a specialized marketing strategy to attract them.
- You may even be fishing for an elusive white marlin. The competition is intense. It’s a world of multimillion-dollar boats, cutting-edge equipment, and big winning purses. The whole reason for fishing is different, and the goal is to catch something legendary. What kind of case is the “white marlin” for your law firm?
The point is that it takes very different methods, perspectives, and tools to capture perfect clients for different law firms. While all might share the general goal to “catch fish,” that’s all that their goals have in common. You have to know what kind of fish you want. You have to know where it lives. You have to know what it likes to eat and when. You can’t market on autopilot and expect the best results.
Adjust Your Marketing Methods to Get Better Bites From Your Target Audience
Fishermen used to navigate by the stars; now, they navigate by GPS. The truth is that things don’t stay the same, and nothing changes faster than the internet and digital marketing. Once you’ve created the bait and lures for your perfect clients, you still have to be ready to adjust and change your methods. If the fish aren’t biting where you are, then you may have to move.
At the same time, though, you can’t blindly follow the crowd. You should pay attention to what your competitors are doing, but don’t be a lemming. If someone tells you that “over there” is the best fishing spot on Earth, is he giving you great advice or is he trying to get you out of his way? Is he trying to make a quick buck before you realize nothing is biting? Trust, but verify. You can learn from competitors, but you also have to make the best decisions for you. Avoid “big fish” stories, and make sure you can build a trusting and reliable relationship with your marketing partners, too.
Fishing for What You’re Really Looking for From Your Digital Marketing
Ultimately, your goals can be big, but they need to be realistic and clear. To get that clarity, you may need to adjust the narrative in your head. When you really look at what you want for your law firm, is it really just the biggest cases? More than likely, you have something else in mind—something that is more tailored to you. For example, an estate planning attorney might not be looking for just the biggest cases, but for cases within a certain dollar range or from a particular type of client. Instead of setting the bar at the biggest or the best, you’re really looking for the “sweet spot” of your perfect client. That’s not the same for everyone.
You can reinvent the wheel, but can also take a cue from experienced teachers who will save you time and money as you experiment. Do you need help putting out the right bait for your law firm’s perfect clients? Sign up for a free website analysis with our experts, and let’s talk about what it will take.