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Soft PR isn’t the answer to all your client growth prayers, PR+BD is!

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In the realm of legal marketing in India, Months of paying for expensive visibility over the highest circulating business publications, sponsoring sophisticated GC dinners at the country’s most exclusive trade bodies, buying profile space for an arm and a leg in some legal publications, and hiring a social media manager to float all of this over LinkedIn, and you’ve got more vanity metrics than actual clients?

Vanity metrics do more damage than good to your vanity, if after 9 months of appearing at every forum you haven’t added clients you can speak of.

The protection from this fall from grace? ‘Persona-development’.
Law firm marketing strategies in India are evolving, and the need for a more nuanced approach is apparent.

This strategic shift towards understanding and developing buyer personas is essential for successful law practice marketing in India. A buyer-persona is ground zero from which all visibility efforts should flow for your practice. You should know multiple traits about the potential client to whom you are aiming to sell through your thought leadership.

These law firm marketing strategies sound intuitive enough. And yet, while you think you know who you’re designing your content and forum spending strategy for, hand on heart are you a practice which can produce even a 2-pager of a list of properties of your potential client?

We hear you tell yourself – of course I know my client, why would I waste resources writing it all down as if developing a Novella character? As you embark on this journey of marketing for lawyers, here’s why: A buyer-persona is much more than their region of operation, their most obvious problem, their sector and their turnover range.


  1. Why the extent of a buyer-Persona is wide?


Crafting an effective legal marketing strategy involves a keen understanding of the ‘Ideal Client Persona‘ (ICP). The ‘Ideal Client Persona‘ (ICP), or buyer-persona, is an elaborate description of what would make for the best client within each possible client type for your practice.

It flows that since there are multiple sectors and practice areas from which clients come to your practice, and there is a perfect version on the value side plus a perfect version on the volume side within many sectors and practice areas, there are multiple ICPs.

The ICP combines the concerns of several kinds of clients that your practice wants to attract. Marketing for lawyers goes beyond the surface-level demographics. Deep market research would be needed to come up with attributes beyond the basic: age, location, gender, income/turnover, industry, job title, common questions interests, challenges and goals while searching for advice and representation.

Effective law firm marketing strategies in India demand in-depth market research. The biggest challenge in a crowded market serving these personas, is to find the blue oceans of problems to be solved. Navigating the competitive landscape in law practice marketing in India involves not only identifying your ideal clients but also to develop that forward-approach within existing sectors served, the market research to dig for deeper attributes is an endless pursuit.


  1. How buyer-personas tie up into your content creation specifics and outreach platforms?


Navigating the intricate landscape of law practice marketing in India requires a strategic approach and the above question can be best demonstrated through a practical example. Imagine that you serve the FMCG sector – highly divisive in its representation across India. The depths of this sector extend much beyond the organised part of it which starts its day on LinkedIn every morning.

There are deep pockets and hundreds of crores of business turnover in the regional towns of North and South India which has no awareness of the role of lawyers where their CAs may be filling in for decades. Nor do they have an interest, or even an account, over their LinkedIn.

How does appearing as an expert commenter over Mint and publishing that on your LinkedIn 4 times a month – applause-worthy to the LinkedIn audience – gain you facetime in those droves of potential clients spoken of above.

And if not, shouldn’t you be balancing the amount of resources you divert over building your LinkedIn and those that you divert to facetime with regional traders associations? Further, one has to gauge the level of sophisticated engagement which business leaders in various climes may entertain, demanding a nuanced approach to law firm marketing strategies. The same branding language doesn’t speak to everyone.

At the same time, the part of this sector that does access LinkedIn is divided amongst various levels of seniority. If you have access to less senior designations you may catch their attention through deeper technical knowledge dissemination. If you have access to more senior designations – their calendar gives them just about enough time to sense whether your softer personality aspects make you a great decision in terms of the advisor they hire. (By access we mean, who can you get the fastest one-on-one introduction meeting with).

In essence, the approach to marketing for lawyers in India involves recognizing the varied dynamics within a sector. Therefore, we illustrate how- for even general corporate advice for just one sector, we have at least three ICPs and a different platform and branding language targetting each.


  1. Where is the easiest lead to define the ICP?


Developing effective legal marketing requires a strategic approach that goes beyond traditional methods.

The Why and How understood, there are a few resources which make the persona-development process less daunting.

A) Existing client data: One valuable resource for enhancing your law firm marketing strategies is existing client data. Track your unit economics (UE) with all current clients and draw as many similarities as can between those with the highest UE.

Sheet-based segregation, email lists, previously answered client support emails, patterns in client communication and a lot more can help track this data, making your law marketing efforts more holistic.

B) Existing client feedback: While data is mute, direct feedback whether given on its own, in situations, or in answer to regular response sheets float by your practice speaks volumes. It conveys a lot more of the nuances of their challenges than statistically segregated data.

C) Google Console: To uncover relevant keywords integral to legal marketing in India, leverage tools such as Google Console. Setting this up in your website backend can regularly throw up the keywords that users search to reach your website.

D) LinkedIn, Mailchimp, Website, Instagram: See visitors, clicks, opens, shares – these vanity metrics can be useful in a limited manner as they contribute to shaping your overall law firm marketing strategy.


  1. What to do with the ICP?


Your marketing budget is a precious piece of analysis in the landscape of law firm marketing strategy. If it runs dry before there’s return on investment, your motivation to market will run dry faster. Thereon its a slide down into irrelevance. Therefore, really ask yourself, why each allocation to each platform. Which and how many ICPs face that particular platform and what is the expected conversion rate. Crafting law firm marketing strategies requires a strategic approach to ensure sustained relevance and success.

Second, develop messaging that speaks to each persona is a cornerstone of successful legal marketing in India. Create a checklist of traits of the persona and check off messaging items against those traits. In the realm of law firm marketing strategies, be ruthless in deleting and modifying erudite-sounding statements that do not, very honestly, check off any of those traits.

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