Essential Tips To Developing A Client Acquisition Plan For Service-Based Companies And Law Firms

Essential Tips To Developing A Client Acquisition Plan For Service-Based Companies And Law Firms

Without new customers or clients, it’s tough for businesses to survive, grow and thrive. So it goes without saying that client acquisition plans are essential.

But according to data from SalesForce, consumers and customers are losing faith in how businesses carry out their marketing. 

So how can service-based companies, including law firms, ensure their marketing builds enough trust and credibility to encourage potential clients to sign up?

There’s a simple solution. 

Have a client acquisition strategy in place that fits into the broader marketing plan

Build Your Client Acquisition Strategy Around The Acquisition Funnel 

Similar to a sales funnel, a client acquisition funnel should form the basis of the strategy. There are 6 stages to an acquisition funnel:

  • Awareness – potential clients become aware of the brand through targeted marketing.
  • Interest – marketing focuses on educating and engaging potential clients, targeting emotions through highlighting benefits over features. 
  • Consideration – downloadable and easily accessible content allows interested parties to find out more and consider their options. 
  • Intent – potential clients can book discovery and consultation calls to find out more. 
  • Evaluation – this is the decision stage, and potential clients should be encouraged through free trials or discounts to discourage them away from competitors. 
  • Purchase – a new customer/client is signed up. 

Using the funnel as a strategic plan helps to ensure each marketing effort contributes directly towards client acquisition. 

What Every Client Acquisition Plan Should Focus On For Maximum Impact

There are several areas to focus on when aiming to bring new clients into the business. 

Have a clearly defined target audience

The marketing might be spot on, but it’ll see little to no results if it’s hitting the wrong target audience. Businesses need to know who their target clients are. 

For service-based businesses and law firms, this can sometimes be challenging. Target audiences often seem so broad and generalized. 

And so it’s essential to break it down. 

Figure out who the target audience is for each specialized area within the business. For example, a law firm may have 4 different areas with different target audiences:  

And within those areas, there may be different target audiences again. 

But by breaking them down and focusing marketing on specific issues that affect each target audience, the messaging is personalized. And data show that personalized digital messaging is more likely to convert. 

Add the use of insights about demographics into the marketing mix, and it’s more likely client acquisition will succeed. 

Set SMART goals 

Without goals, a marketing and acquisition plan has no direction. 

It may seem silly – the main goal of client acquisition is to get clients, right? 

Yes. And no. 

The end goal is new clients. But along the way, smaller goals need setting. Goals that can be tracked and measured to check success rates and alter where necessary. 

Goals should be SMART:

  • Specific – only one outcome per goal
  • Measurable – able to be tracked and monitored
  • Achievable – don’t set impossible goals. It’s a waste of time
  • Relevant – goals should fit within the overarching business plan
  • Time-based – all goals should have a deadline

Take into account factors like how many new clients and over what period of time. It’s even possible to break it down further and focus on clients per quarter rather than per year. 

Decide which digital marketing channels to focus on 

Marketing is a vast area of expertise. Most lawyers spend years studying and practicing in law and not marketing. 

But, like any service-based business, marketing is an essential aspect of a law firm. 

There are a variety of options available when it comes to finding new clients. 

  • Inbound – where businesses help their clients find them by nudging them in the right direction. It mainly consists of online marketing, sharing content, and advertisements.
  • Outbound – where businesses find new clients through networking and cold pitching. 

Most service-based businesses and law firms use a combination of both inbound and outbound. 

The best place to start is by using the information gathered from the target audience and customer persona research to determine which marketing channel to use. Selecting the best channel may take some experimentation. 

And here’s the thing. 

Nearly all client acquisition strategies use content marketing. It’s an ideal way to educate and inform potential new clients about services without breaking the budget. 

Create A Variety Of Engaging Digital Content

Once the marketing channels are in place, it’s time to attract those potential clients. 

And the best way to do this? 

Through relevant, on-trend, and engaging content. But remember, client acquisition is different to lead generation. Content linked to acquisition needs to convert from potential client to actual client. 

Law firms and service-based businesses can encompass a variety of media types –

  • Social media platforms often help humanize a brand – especially a law firm that can sometimes seem intimidating to the general public. Social media helps provide a more empathic and slightly less formal front without the need to be unprofessional. 
  • Video marketing has massively gained in popularity over the past year. According to Animoto, video ads were the number 1 way consumers discovered a brand they later purchased from in 2020. For client acquisition, that’s too good not to try giving video marketing a go. 
  • Clickable Call to Actions. Making potential clients aware of a business is one thing. Actually converting them to clients is another. And that’s the most crucial part of a client acquisition strategy. All content needs an engaging call to action, whether that leads them further down the acquisition funnel or gets them to book a consultation call. 
  • Use a range of SEO, email marketing, and in-person marketing to complement the above. 

There’s a huge variety of marketing techniques available to businesses. Choose the ones that best fit the target audience and budget and grow from there. 

Use a CRM software package

Using a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) program helps keep all the different aspects of client acquisition in one place. 

Not only can it help redefine target audiences, it can also assist with creating more personalized sales messages and marketing campaigns. 

A CRM system enables a business like a law firm to store a client’s details. Then, when dealing with the same client in the future, it helps provide a smoother customer experience without going through all the preliminary information-seeking processes again. 

Retaining clients is an important aspect of client acquisition. The more clients that keep coming back, the less pressure it places on client acquisition. 

And using a CRM brings other benefits to the business, like staying in touch with email and newsletters. Keeping the firm in the forefront of past and present clients mean referrals are more likely to come through. 


Analyze The Data And Measure Results 

No strategy is worthwhile unless the data and results are measured. Regularly review the client acquisition plan and check it’s a success. Get rid of any processes that aren’t working and expand the ones that are. 

Client Acquisition Takes Time, But It’s An Essential Part Of Business

Having a solid and successful client acquisition strategy is essential for any business to thrive. By using the tips above, a business will avoid client stagnation and go from strength to strength. 

Author Bio: Maxwell Hills is the founder of Hills Law Group, a premier Orange County family law firm with a concentration on high net worth divorces. Max’s entrepreneurial career stretches back to his teenage days when he had his music used in Grey’s Anatomy and ESPN. Today, Max has used that experience to build Hills Law Group with 0 customers and $0 in revenue to a respected firm in the industry.