Stages Of Awareness: Problem Aware (Part 2)

As a law firm—or any other business for that matter—you’re swarmed by a hoard of different marketing tactics. While there is room for what is new or trendy, the best strategies have stood the test of time. To continue our conversation about the stages of awareness, which were identified in the 1966 copywriting staple, Breakthrough Advertising, we will focus on problem awareness. It’s a simple concept that bears repeating because of how overlooked it gets.

When your prospects (potential clients) realize they have a problem, they will look for solutions. Once they are aware of the problem, these same people will have questions about it, based on what it is and how other people have overcome it. Although the ultimate goal is that you, their attorney, can resolve their issue, that isn’t the solution we need to advocate for. Go for a lower threshold offer in the form of free, valuable content that guides them toward an understanding and an eventual resolution. 

Understanding the Problem-Aware Stage 

People in the problem-aware stage know they have a specific issue and are in a position to seek more information to understand it better. They turn to search engines, social media, YouTube, Reddit, and other forums to find content that addresses their concerns. People who use SEO want to channel these people toward their website, but much of their content is written to get the prospect to the page. This is a missed opportunity. When the prospect gets to your website, they should find content that doesn’t just recognize the problem but deepens their understanding of it. Effective content must resonate with their experience and provide clear, straightforward information that aligns with their questions. This is why we write for people, not for robots. 

People want to learn the scope of their problem and whether others experience similar issues. This is where content acknowledges the problem and expands on its implications and prevalence. The objective is to make the reader feel understood and inform them about aspects of the problem they might not have considered. Engaging with this audience through factual, informative content helps build trust and prepares them for the next phase of the client journey. 

Is It Time for a Sales Pitch? (No, No Isn’t.)

Once the problem-aware audience identifies and understands their issue, they introduce potential solutions. At this stage, direct sales pitches are less effective than educational content.  Articles, videos, or infographics that explain common solutions or steps others have taken to address similar problems can be very effective. This content should help them evaluate their options without prematurely pushing them toward a specific product or service.
Creating content that addresses their initial questions sets the stage for moving them from merely problem-aware to solution-aware. (The next blog in this series will be on solution-aware people.) If your content is valuable and insightful, they are more likely to return for more detailed information on potential solutions. This content should not introduce your legal services as the answer but should prepare them for that introduction by building a foundation of knowledge and trust. The goal is to guide them gently to the next stage of awareness, making them ready to consider specific solutions or products.

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Spotlight Branding

Spotlight Branding is a content marketing and branding firm for lawyers and other professionals. Our goal is to help you create an online presence that positions you as a credible expert in your field, keeps you connected with your network in order to stay top of mind and increase referrals, and to become more visible online so prospects can find you!