Developing an Intentional Marketing Strategy

I am sure most of you have heard the statistic that 80% of your business comes from 20% of your clients. The truth is- all clients aren’t created equal. We all have clients we love working with, who trust us with their business, where we are making an impact, there is less of a focus around pricing, and more of a mutual feeling of being truly valued. We love those clients and want more of them! But often, firms miss the opportunity to focus their time and marketing efforts towards these ‘A clients’ and instead, try to be everything to everyone. But ‘everyone’ is not the 20% we love and the ones that are truly growing and impacting your business. So how can a firm spend less time focusing on everyone, and spend more time marketing and growing the business to the clients that matter? Here are a few steps to help narrow your focus.

Identify Your 20%
Many times, when I ask firms to describe and define their best clients, they have a hard time explaining who and how their clients are truly impacting business. If you recognize with this, you are not alone! Identifying and ranking your clients is crucial to understanding where and how you are growing your business. Distinguishing your 20% provides the firm the opportunity to narrow in on a niche you serve, the types of clients you want to target, and how to position yourself in the market.

Determine How to Position the Firm
How are you different from the competition?
How do you wish to be known in the marketplace?
These are the questions your firm should be asking.
For example, if a firm handles business law issues and concludes a lot of their best clients are current/future entrepreneurs under the age of 35, they will want to focus on ways to connect to that group and be seen as the provider to their specific needs. Their market positioning would probably be- young, innovative and technologically advanced. However, they choose to position themselves, it needs to align with who their best clients are and how to best identify with them.

Foster Subject Matter Experts
The next step is to begin presenting individuals, not just the firm, as subject matter experts. Of course what does it mean to truly be a SME? Do you need to quickly have all the knowledge and answers to every question? No. Become a recognized thought leader means making yourself visible and knowledgeable in a particular field. Attending networking events, creating content marketing strategies, and finding opportunities to present to your targeted audience are just a few ways to grow and develop your brand. In the end, firms should create strategies that empower their team to develop personal brands that result in this type of standing.

Develop a Marketing Strategy for the 20%
Finally, your firm is ready to develop marketing tactics that can speak to the specific needs and pains of your 20%. Many times we want to skip the first three steps and jump into the tactical work. This creates unclear direction and goals. When slowing down and strategically marketing to a specific audience, firms find more success targeting the current and future clients they know can and are growing the business.

Again, if the business law firm decided to be known as a technology solution provider to young entrepreneurs, addressing their technology pains will be far more effective in reaching and motivating them. Firms want to continually speak to topics and issues that are important to their target niche. As the market and industry continues to evolve, firms need to be continually researching and understanding what their clients need and want from their law firm. And if you can pinpoint a future need and begin developing and offering solutions before your competition, you are ahead of the game!

- Jennifer Kernan
This article was originally published in Attorney at Law Magazine