Buyer Personas and Legal Blogs: Who is the Target Reader?
Who is the target reader for your legal blog? When you’re thinking about what types of articles to post on your blog, you’ll want to think about that target reader and what that reader wants. To help you consider your target reader, you may want to begin thinking of the “buyer persona,” a term that HubSpot uses to describe a “semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market research and real data about your existing customers.” With a legal blog, the buyer persona certainly may be a potential or existing client, but it may also be other lawyers in the field. To develop posts that do what you want them to do—attract and retain clients, attract new attorneys to your firm, allow you to engage in scholarly conversation—you’ll want to think very carefully about the buyer personas for your blog.
For more information, see our Law Firm Marketing introduction.
Writing Blogs with Clients in Mind
When you’re writing blogs with clients in mind, you are likely thinking about ways of attracting new clients and supporting interest from existing clients. For both potential and existing clients, you should be asking yourself: what kind of information are these readers seeking, and how will they find that information? In other words, what content do potential and existing clients want, and what keywords will they enter into an internet search to locate that content?
Not all potential and existing clients will be searching for the same type of information, of course. When it comes to attracting potential new clients, you should start thinking like that potential client who is seeking out legal representation. The type of content you produce will depend upon the type of legal field in which you practice, as well as the reasons that a potential new client will be seeking legal representation. For example, if you are a lawyer who routinely handles large-scale class action claims and are seeking new clients for a data breach class action claim, you can imagine that a potential new client might be seeking out: 1) information about lawsuits pertaining to that class action in the news; 2) general facts about how to file a class action lawsuit; 3) attorneys who are well reviewed by other lawyers and previous clients; and 4) contact details for attorneys in their specific area who are managing class actions.
So, what types of posts might attract those potential clients? You can imagine that some blogs about news stories pertaining to class action claims for data breaches might be of interest to a potential new client, especially if it can bring that client from knowledge-gathering about class action lawsuits in the news to your law firm’s website. At the same time, potential new clients might want general information about how and why to file a class action claim. As such, evergreen content on class actions might appeal to a reader. For instance, you might consider a couple of blog posts with information on “How to File a Class Action Lawsuit,” or “Who Qualifies for a Class Action Claim.” If you’re hoping to target readers in a particular geographic region, you should include geographic keywords in that evergreen content. Finally, blogs about firm updates or lawyer awards can help to show a potential client that your firm is engaged in the field and is well respected among lawyers in the community. Of course, any blog content should give potential clients a way to contact your firm.
Existing clients may be looking for similar information, yet they might be searching in a slightly different way. For example, an existing client might want to know that you are staying up-to-date on the legal topic. Newsworthy blog posts, as well as some of that evergreen content, may appeal to existing clients. Moreover, blogs that highlight firm achievements can also solidify an existing client’s knowledge that they’ve hired the right lawyer for their legal issue.
Writing Blogs with Other Lawyers in Mind
While you may be hoping to reach clients with your blog, you might also be thinking about the ways in which other lawyers may be engaging with your posts. In most cases, legal blogs written with other lawyers in mind are designed with a couple of potential purposes. First, blogs can allow lawyers to engage in dialogue with other practitioners on a particular issue, such as a new piece of legislation or a recent case ruling. While legal scholars might engage in this kind of conversation with one another through law review and other journal articles, practitioners may develop this kind of discourse through blog posts. Accordingly, if you’re writing a blog with the aim of attracting other lawyers for purposes of research and scholarly conversation, you might consider analytical articles that discuss recent changes to the law.
At the same time, you might be imagining a reader who is also an attorney considering a firm change. In other words, if you’re hoping to attract new talent to your law firm, you might demonstrate your expertise in a particular area of the law, or your frequent engagement in contemporary and relevant legal issues, by writing posts to show potential hires that your law firm can provide a fresh and exciting work environment. Lawyers at very large firms, in particular, might want to move to a smaller or midsize firm in order to handle significant cases and to develop stronger relationships with clients and colleagues. You can keep this type of reader in mind when drafting posts about legal trends and legal analysis.
Regional Specificities and Law Blogs
As you think about your target reader, you’ll also want to be thinking in terms of geographic interest. If you’re aiming to gain new local readership and you’re thinking of “local” as being state-specific, then you’ll want to craft your blogs to be state-specific, as well. For instance, if you want to target potential clients in California and California alone, posts about issues in Florida or New York are unlikely to attract attention from clients who are running searches focused on California. Similarly, you may routinely handle appeals for a particular region such as the area covered by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. If this is the case, you’ll want to target readers in the region as opposed to in a particular state.
If you’re a nationally recognized lawyer and you handle cases across state lines, you’ll likely want to think less about state-specific or regionally specific posts and more about the subject matter. For example, you might be a class action attorney who handles cases from across the U.S. In a scenario like this, the regional focus of your blog posts may be less important than the specific subject matter. At the same time, you may also want to consider multiple blog posts on the same topic that target readers in a variety of geographic regions. For instance, you might write several posts pertaining to the potential for a class action lawsuit over a data breach, and each of those blogs might be focused on readers in a specific state or geographic region. As such, you could end up with multiple articles about data breaches, but each focused on a particular city, state, or province.
Finally, you’ll want to have an idea of what type of searches your regionally specific reader might run. For example, many American internet users who are searching for legal representation will use the words “lawyer” and “attorney” interchangeably, while most Canadian readers will search for “lawyer” as opposed to looking for posts about an “attorney,” a “barrister,” or a “solicitor.” The key is to know your intended audience, and to target your intended audience accordingly.