Preparing a Client Acquisition Strategy
Define the Audience
The target audience is an essential starting point for a client acquisition strategy. Marketing messaging needs to be targeted to the ideal client to be successful, and that can’t happen without a defined audience.
For service-based businesses like law firms, defining the audience can be particularly challenging. Often, these businesses serve a variety of clients with different intents and needs, making it difficult to tailor marketing messaging to all of them.
If this is the case, you can segment the audiences by their similar interests, psychosocial characteristics, demographics, and more. Law firms, for example, may have different audiences based on the area of practice, such as personal injury law or divorce and child custody law. These audiences have unique needs, and segmenting them ensures the messaging resonates with each one.
If necessary, you can segment each of these audiences further to ensure the messaging is as tailored and personalized as possible.
Goals and Objectives
Goals are necessary to a client acquisition strategy to determine if the strategy is working. While the overall goal is obviously acquiring clients, the strategy should have more drilled-down goals within it.
SMART goals are the best tool for strategic planning. These goals are:
- Specific: Goals must be specific, such as the number of clients to bring in within a given time period and from what channel.
- Measurable: Goal setting is worthless without a way to measure and see if the efforts are working. Set goals that can be verified by metrics and benchmarks.
- Attainable: Setting lofty goals will only set you up for failure and disappointment. Make sure goals are achievable and realistic, so you know they can be accomplished with the right strategy.
- Relevant: Goals should always serve client acquisition. Other business or marketing goals aren’t relevant to client acquisition and should be part of their own strategy.
- Time-Bound: Goals shouldn’t be open-ended. Put a realistic timeline on goals with milestones to see if you’re on track to achieve them. You can have different timelines for different goals that are appropriate for the goal itself, the channel, or the audience.
Client Acquisition Content
Content specific to the client acquisition process is essential to guide clients through the funnel toward conversion. While the content may be slightly different than general content strategy, it serves the client’s needs throughout the process and helps them make the purchasing decision.
You can use a broad range of content for client acquisition, such as short- and long-term video, webinars, blog posts and articles, PR pieces, ebooks, case studies, and more.
Remember that each piece of content should be directed at the appropriate stage of the funnel. For example, a prospect in the awareness stage would benefit from a blog post about the problem they’re looking to solve, while a prospect in the intent stage may be swayed to a decision by a case study that demonstrates how the product or service helped someone like them.
Selecting Marketing Channels
There are numerous channels for marketing, from social media to paid search ads to email campaigns to print advertising. Add a broad audience and it can be difficult to determine the best channels. Dividing marketing efforts between all of them is not only costly, but likely won’t provide a targeted campaign that converts on any.
Service-based businesses have varied audiences and benefit from a combination of inbound and outbound marketing efforts on selective channels. Inbound marketing may include paid ads, digital marketing, and content marketing, while outbound marketing may include networking and cold pitching.
However, you choose to allocate your marketing resources, make sure you devote attention to the best channels for your audience. Once you’re successful, you can consider branching out into underutilized channels to find new audiences.
Develop a Robust Client Acquisition Strategy
Client acquisition is expensive and challenging, but it’s a must for long-term growth and success in service-based businesses.
These tips should help you create a strong client acquisition strategy that fuels long-term success for your business.
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