Next in my series on how lawyers can use digital body language to better understand the people in their audience and where they stand in their journey from prospects to clients, I look at the Interest stage of the Sales / BD funnel:
Prospects who move into this stage begin to take an active interest in the solutions you provide. They read your articles and whitepapers, attend your webinars, and share your firm’s content with their colleagues. They look at the bios of lawyers who might be able to help them. In short, they’ve become interested in your skills and experience for solving their problem.
Seeking out your firm’s thought leadership is a sign that people have moved into the Interest stage. Their digital body language tells you that they appreciate the insight and perspective you offer, and most importantly: have started coming back for more.
More than that, the data you gather at this stage begins to tell the story of the people who have taken the first step to becoming clients: who they are, what they worry about, and how they like to get your thought leadership.
Which ‘Interest Data’ Is Available?
Track the numbers that reveal audience interest in the solutions you propose. Look, for example, at data that show when people:
- Run multiple searches on your website
- Read biographies of speakers and authors
- Open ‘related reading’ articles in your blog posts
- Register for second and third webinars on a given topic
- Share your content and invitations with their colleagues
What Can Be Learned From It?
The intelligence you gather on prospects at this stage gives you several valuable data points:
- It shows you who exactly is seeking out your thought leadership. Make a list of their names and companies so you can track their future interaction with the firm, share their concerns with lawyers who are targeting their industry, and – if they’re already on your mailing list – invite them to webinars and other events on the topics that concern them.
- It tells you how people prefer to access their business and legal news: blog posts, articles, podcasts, webinars, etc.
- It provides a refined view of which content is doing well with the people most interested in your solutions. That’s important, because you want to keep producing more on those subjects.
- Finally, it reveals the full range of top-of-mind issues for this audience, including in particular subjects you haven’t yet addressed. Use this information to guide your content calendar, identify topics to cover in upcoming webinars, and more generally better understand what motivates your clients and targets.
What Does The Data Say About Moving People Down The Business Development Funnel?
The audience that has moved from awareness of your firm to interest in your solutions is one that has taken the first step of moving down the sales funnel, effectively positioning themselves to become clients at some future point. Obviously, not all will, but it’s an essential part of the journey from prospect to client, so you should pay close attention to what this audience does: the articles they read, the webinars they attend, the attorneys they research.
Then start nurturing them:
- Produce new content that answers their questions and offers specific solutions to the problems they’re facing. For example, if you see an uptick in website searches from financial institutions around cybersecurity issues, consider a series of webinars that offer practical steps on complying with data privacy regulations, strengthening measures to ward off cyberattacks, or protecting customer data.
- Offer new ways to access the content they’re consuming on your website, like with a content portal that houses your firm’s thought leadership on workplace drug policies in states with legalized marijuana to respond to an increased interest in that issue.
- More generally, make it easy for this audience to subscribe to your announcements, client alerts, and the like, both with a simplified process and also by actively encouraging them to do so in the content you produce.
It’s important at this point to start planting seeds that will lead prospects to engage with you when they are ready. I’d love to hear how you’re doing that.
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Katie O'Rourke is Regional Vice President, Sales, at ON24. Connect with her on LinkedIn; follow for her latest writing on JD Supra.