What is the vital first step towards SEO or any law firm marketing?

first step lawyer marketing
Developing the correct messaging to engage with your target buyer or “client” personas.

I used to be as guilty as anyone at NOT doing this. To start a law firm SEO, PPC or any strategy I first looked at keywords, which to be fair is one of the first steps. However, it is vital that before you do this you understand your target clients and the messaging they are likely to respond to intimately.

How Can This Can Have a Huge Impact on The Success of Your Firm?

If you do this well, you will increase the quantity and the quality of the new client leads generated for your law firm from digital marketing, and for that matter any marketing strategy you decide to implement. This will save you time and lower your cost of client acquisition.

How to Develop The Right Messaging for Your Firm

Ask any attorney who his target clients are, most of them will be able to describe a few scenarios.

  • People who have been involved in…
  • People who are looking for…
  • People in a certain geographic location…
  • People who are between the ages of…

However, this is far short of defining your target buyer personas.

You need to get much deeper if you are going to engage with them online:

  • What is the Sweet Spot?
  • Who they areWhat they are responsible for
  • Where they live and/or work
  • Why are they choosing to buy

We have free worksheets you can use to work through this on my C1 Partners agency site, but below I have an example of a real world messaging platform we worked on for a personal injury attorney.

Bad Example of Buyer Persona Definition

“Men or Women 30–60 years old”

Good Example of a More Thorough Buyer Persona Definition


30 – 60



Job Titles(s)

More professional, corporate types, less blue collar

Typical Experience

Suffered an injury or loss and they feel that they have not been treated fairly. Don’ t have an unrealistic expectation of the monetary outcome


College graduate or at least some college


Texas and Travis County


More service economy, professional skills


Well liked and involved in their community

Affiliation (social or business group)

Politically left leaning, varied

Personal preferences

Pet Peeves

I don’t want to take advantage of anyone. I just want to be treated fairly

Other Information

Align with our values – these are the things we hold the most important – ethical, honest,

Persona’s Objectives

Ethical, fair outcome for all parties in this situation

Key Issues or Key Problems You Can Solve for Persona

  • Were not treated fairly
  • Injury or a loss
  • Don’t know what fairness looks like
  • Feel uninformed and want information
  • I was in a car wreck. The other guy was at fault and I got his information and they wouldn’t return my calls , and I have all these medical bills and I don’t know what to do with them, its been three weeks and they haven’t looked at my car. I talked with my friend and they said you might be able to help. I’m thinking about handling this on my own but I’m not sure if I need an attorney or not. Or I tried it on my own, I’m not getting anywhere and now I need your help. I don’t want to be one of those people that take advantage of the situation. I don’t want to hire the guys who make big promises about the settlement he’ll get me.

Describe the Persona’s ideal solution to their problem or issue

  • Just don’t want anyone coming after me for my medical bills
  • I want to be able to pursue my favorite activities again
  • They want closure, they want you to hold their hand and guide you through the process
  • They feel in control of their case – and they take responsibility for the situation
  • Fairness and closure

Criteria that must be met to best address the persona’s problem or issue • Inspired confidence in attorneys skills

  • Feel educated and good understanding of whats happening
  • Make me feel at ease because I can relate to them on a personal level and connect with the attorney

Message inclination (types/tones they will likely respond to)?

  • More casual than professional
  • Reassuring because of the information that is helpful to them because they will are the client with the

Describe the Persona with only 3 words:

  • Honest
  • fairminded
  • realistic


Other Questions You Should Answer

  • What are key motivations for the Persona?
  • What is important to them?
  • What are they afraid of losing in their current situation?
  • What personal reasons do they want to buy?

Your Firm’s Positioning Statement

Next, you need to understand how to position your self to serve these clients. Part of this process is your value statement. Here is an example of the firm’s Value Statement that addresses the Buyer Persona

“Serving people who are dealing with an injury claim or an insurance dispute, the Law Office of LAW FIRM NAME is a law firm of problem solvers who care about them, guide them through the process, and are experts in insurance and injury claims, with the experience, history of success, and the courage to see the client’s case through to trial if necessary.

Once you have all of this information you can begin to develop your engagement messaging that can be used in digital marketing, including website design, content development, social media, SEO and PPC landing pages, and even your offline marketing efforts.
Example of a Law Firm Engagement Message
To: People who are dealing with an injury claim or an insurance dispute

Engagement Message

You have suffered an injury, were in an accident or you are in a dispute with an insurance company. You have tried to resolve the situation on your own, but you have been given the runaround. You haven’t been treated fairly, and you feel at a loss for how to resolve the situation. You aren’t looking to take advantage of anyone, but you want to be treated fair as well. You want help in taking control of the situation and making the right decisions.

Solution Message

My lawyer took the burden of the case from me so that I was less stressed. I was well informed, educated, and in control of the decisions I had to make. I reached a resolution that allowed me to move forward with my life, all while not being taken advantage of.

People like you are looking for an attorney who

  • Is an expert in their field
  • will educate you and gives you a good understanding of what is happening in your case
  • will make you feel comfortable because they can relate to you on a personal level

Reinforcement Message

The Law Office of LAW FIRM NAME helps you to take control of your legal situation. Our team has over 40 years of experience in handling matters just like yours. We know where the problems are going to be, we have time-tested strategies for dealing with the situations that can arise in your case. Our clients feel at ease because of our experience, our skill, and our proven process. We will guide you, educate you, and support you throughout your case. We provide accessibility, expert trial experience, and courage to see your case through to the end. We are experts at what we do, but we are not the only good lawyers in town. We encourage you to talk to several lawyers and find the one that makes you the most comfortable.

Value Message

We’ve got this. You can stop worrying about this and take care of the rest of your life, and we’ll take care of this.

  • Testimonials
  • Awards
  • Client satisfaction

You will likely need a professional marketer to develop and implement this, but we do have the do it yourself worksheets available on the C1 Partners resources on the website at these link:

Positioning and Messaging Presentation