You Don’t Need Bigger Traps; You Need A Bigger Market: Part I

In 1966, a mail-order copywriter published a book called Breakthrough Advertising. It is the foundation for everything I have come to believe and embody as a marketing professional. However, you won’t find this book on Amazon; it’s unavailable for download on Audible. Used copies of it can cost around $400.

People who have read (and reread) this book understand that it is not just a copywriting manual, but it is about “…helping to shape the largest and strongest market possible, and then intensifying that market’s reaction to its basic need or problem, and to the ‘exclusive’ solution you have to offer it.” (Schwartz, VIII) Eugene Swartz says you don’t need bigger mouse traps to be successful; you need to target larger mice. He’s referring to the size and power of the market that you’re pitching your services to.  

The first step is to think about desire. All these universal desires exist, such as feeling safe, loved, and wealthy. The goal of the copywriter (and businesses in general) is to figure out what desire their product or service meets—and then channel that market toward your company. You don’t create desire; you work with it. (A service may meet several desires, but you must focus on one.) The next step is to assess how aware the prospect is of the service you are offering. This is where the five stages of awareness come into play. 

The Five Stages of Awareness

If you search for this, it pops up everywhere. However, the popularity of this concept can be traced back to Eugene Schwartz and Breakthrough Advertising. As an attorney markets their firm, these levels of awareness dictate how your potential clients will engage with your efforts. 

  • Unaware
  • Problem Aware 
  • Solution Aware 
  • Product Aware
  • Most Aware 

The way you market to each group is fundamentally different. (Our following blogs in this series address each in more depth.) 

  • Awareness Level: Prospects who are unaware do not know they have a problem that needs a solution. 
  • Marketing Approach: Imagine someone who has never heard of estate planning and doesn’t understand the ramifications of not having one. You have to highlight the problem’s existence and use indirect questions to help your prospects realize there is a problem. E.g., what happens to your mortgage when you pass away? 
  • Awareness Level: Problem-aware prospects are in a position to acknowledge that they have a problem but do not know that a solution exists.
  • Marketing Approach: This person may be familiar with the fact that their debts will not disappear when they pass away, but they do not know about estate planning. Marketing to these prospects is about highlighting the problem and then guiding them to the anticipation of a solution. 
  • Awareness Level: The next level is either solution or product awareness. This is a key distinction between the goods and services industries. As an attorney in a service-based industry, you sell solutions rather than products. 
  • Marketing Approach: When working with people who are this aware, your content and marketing can be more targeted. Because you don’t need to educate them about the problem or the solution, you can address the benefits of working with your firm or the unique things that you offer. What are the key elements of your estate planning services, and why do they meet the prospect’s needs efficiently? 
  • Awareness Level: Lastly, the most aware people are familiar with the problem and the available solutions. These prospective clients are ready to book a consultation and just need a bit more to find you.
  • Marketing Approach: This is why top-of-mind awareness is so important. Prospective clients need only realize that you exist and are ready to assist them. Many people ask for referrals because they’re looking for the right person to work with. They know they need an estate plan and an estate planning attorney and are ready to discuss a course of action.  

What’s Next?
Breakthrough Advertising and the stages of awareness teach us that effective marketing within the legal field goes behind promotion. It’s about engaging prospective clients at their current stage of awareness and guiding them to your services. Our upcoming blogs will take a closer look at each stage, providing strategies for how your content can connect with clients more meaningfully. By focusing on the right market and understanding the needs of your prospective clients, your firm can stand out as a go-to solution.

The following two tabs change content below.

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!