When it comes to legal content marketing, we all know that at least some of your content should speak to your potential client’s problems, issues, or frustrations.
We also know that legal clients are typically coming to a lawyer during a time of need, transition, or difficulty. If you are trying to meet clients where they’re at with your content marketing, one mindset to have when attracting clients is empathy.
Over the years, I’ve seen and read many articles on empathy-driven marketing but it seems to have come back around in 2019. I assume this is prompted by the new corporate focus on vulnerability and empathy in the workplace brought about by the venerable Brene Brown. No matter how you feel about her perspective on corporate culture, one thing she understands is human nature.
According to Merriam-Webster, empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of others. Dr. Brene Brown’s description is a little bit different. She says empathy is “feeling with people.” When you apply this to your marketing, feeling with people is the idea of putting your audience’s needs before your own. It’s really a shift of putting yourself in their shoes and understanding the challenges they face.
How does one go about empathetic or empathy-driven marketing? Ask yourself what your client’s problems are. Ask yourself the mindset they are in when they step through your doors or call your law firm.
Consider that, as you create your law firm’s content marketing plan, so you can better target clientele and meet them where they might be looking before they know they have a legal need.
One thing you’ll need to know before you can create this content?
Who your clients are. You will need to look at demographics, data, and firsthand knowledge from interacting with your clients to figure out who they are.
On episode 39 of Clienting, Melissa Emery shared her experience in finding out client data to market more effectively.
Melissa wanted to stay in touch with former clients but knew that most of her clients didn’t have or use email. How did she know this? During her client intake, she asked for an email and most of her clients don’t know their email address. Simple idea, but you need to pay attention during intake to know these things.
Beyond client intake, where can you find problem-solving information to create content?
- Ask your customer-facing employees, these are the people on the ground and taking phone calls from clients. They will have great insight and may be able to tell you what clients are searching for before they make the phone call or get a referral to your firm.
- Search engine auto-fills and People Also Ask
- SEMRush, Ahrefs, Moz, and others. These (mostly paid) tools are great to find out what your competitors are ranking for and getting data on what people are searching for.
- Search your Google Analytics: Behavior –> Site Search –> Search terms/Queries
- Problems: yours and theirs. When people are searching online, before they contact an attorney, it’s likely because they have a problem. For our clients, some of the most successful content we create is based on a problem. Dangerous intersections, pool injuries, or any other topic that relates to your practice area and speaks to a problem potential clients are having.
Empathy-driven marketing is, at the end of the day, a focus on the people you are serving. Creating empathetic content that drives traffic to your website and leads to your law firm means research, understanding, and care.
Care about what questions people are asking and write it better than everyone else. Then, find places to share that content across the web.