There is a common misconception in law practice – your reputation or competence alone may not be enough to draw a large clientele if you work for a small legal firm. Don’t fall for it!
A successful firm relies on an effective marketing plan to achieve its goals.
Small businesses may not have the luxury of professional marketing teams, but your business does not have to be frightening or costly.
Marketing your small law practice doesn’t have to be an expensive endeavor.
Every successful business has an effective marketing strategy. There are tons of ways to get your small law firm noticed in the sea of big fishes, but an important factor is to plan your strategy out smartly.
Marketing-wise, the provided value comes in front of cost. And sometimes, ways you advertise yourself can cost very little. But, before we dive into advertising possibilities, let’s cover some basics.
Why Is Marketing Important?
This is a subject that can be discussed for 1001 nights, but to keep it simple – the main goal is attracting the clients who will have the greatest impact on your revenue.
Yes, marketing is a question of investment, but three letters will make you realize why that’s important: ROI.
Understanding the notion of return on investment (ROI) is critical to understanding why law firms spend so much money on promotion. It’s equivalent to the percentage rise in revenues following a marketing effort.
A company’s ROI is calculated by dividing its marketing costs by the amount of additional revenue it generates.
The good news is that marketing firms don’t anticipate their operational money to never return home once they give it over to them. A return on investment is the goal of marketing initiatives.
When planning your marketing budget, many other factors come into place.
In many cases, law firms refer their financial plans to their previous year’s budgets in order to create cost-effective methods, and it’s not impossible that advertising gets the last slice of the cake.
In order to avoid falling into that trap, here are some important points and questions to keep in consideration when budgeting your promotion strategy:
- Institutional costs. What have been the non-negotiables in the past for your company’s budget, and should they remain the same?
- Practice type. During the economic crisis, has your company’s emphasis altered, or has it opened up new avenues of business? Spending on programs and events, travel, memberships, professional development, public relations, and advertising will all be influenced by your firm’s practice areas.
- Profitability and cost-effectiveness. Prioritizing certain services when allocating your marketing budget should be based on the industry sectors or practice areas your company has recognized as lucrative in this new climate. In order to make better use of available cash, the business may want to reevaluate which services or practice areas it should discontinue or at least suspend.
- Where are your staff and clients? Local or national laws may have changed the impact of some of your marketing budget’s elements. Reduced commuter traffic may render airport or billboard marketing ineffective. As a consequence, many corporations used to spend a lot of money on huge client events and conferences. Since large-scale in-person meetings are no longer allowed, firms must rethink how to attract a similar demographic.
- Firm size. The amount of a company’s marketing budget is one of the most important elements to consider. This equation incorporates the total number of lawyers, the total number of clients, and the total gross income. Bigger law companies will spend more money on marketing than an individual attorney would. As a result, marketing budgets are often represented as a percentage of gross sales.
- Client retention. A client’s average tenure with a business is another essential aspect of marketing budgeting. The longer a company keeps a customer, the more money it makes from that client. It may make sense for this sort of organization to invest more and tolerate a lower early ROI, knowing that long-term advantages would accrue.
Okay, these are the basics a firm should think about when sketching a budget for promotion. It may seem intimidating though. And you may not be getting what you’re searching for.
Luckily, there are ways to advertise your law business in a way that doesn’t suck out the last penny out of your wallet.
Budget-friendly Law Marketing Tips
Listing your firm on Avvo.
This one is obvious. Why? Because it’s free! Search engines like Avvo are often used by people seeking legal counsel. It is possible to list yourself for free on a variety of search engines, but Avvo is one of the few that provides this service.
Spreading your network.
DIY law firm marketing necessitates, above all else, setting up a time to attend networking events and make connections with like-minded legal professionals. A new customer won’t stroll into every networking event or lunch meeting, but creating relationships in your community boosts your chances of a new business contact suggesting you to their friends or colleagues who require legal services.
Good old “word of mouth.”
No marketing strategy is complete without the power of word-of-mouth referrals. In the long term, if you can cultivate these kinds of referrals, you’ll reap the benefits. Make it simple for customers to spread the word by sending them an email with a link to submit a Yelp review at the conclusion of each engagement. Or even offer a discount to customers who bring you to a new client in addition to networking in person.
Become a trustworthy voice in the community.
It doesn’t matter if you speak at conferences or share important information on social media, establish yourself as an authority in your field. To do this, you may use speaking engagements, as well as digital techniques such as writing about relevant issues and posting fascinating articles on social media.
Conduct a good digital marketing strategy.
Speaking of social media and digital techniques, here comes the most powerful one. The greatest tool of all in the contemporary world is a well-rounded digital marketing strategy. Before you say no to it, give us time to explain to you why.
A Good Digital Marketing Strategy Is Always Worthwhile
There can be a lot of stigmas around digital marketing. A lot of unknown terms can appear, and people can just get overwhelmed and decide to opt it out. But, being present on the Web is the best way you can promote your work and attract new clients.
What are some basic steps you can make in order to get yourself out there? Here are X of them:
1. Creating a functional and appealing website
Having a website that describes your work briefly, understandably, and effectively can skyrocket your business. All your other channels of communication will take people back to it.
What do we mean when we say functional and appealing? A good example of a digital marketing strategy is a website that follows some of the most important criteria:
- Responsiveness on different devices (mobile, computer, tablet, etc.)
- Informative and engaging text
- Multiple menus that satisfy specific needs and answer questions
- Easy navigation
- A clear description of services provided
- Client reviews
- Questions inquiry
All of these elements combined represent a cohesive idea of what their firm is all about. People don’t want to spend time endlessly searching for their answers. Providing clear instructions right off the bat in a visually appealing way is a way to go!
2. Good Search Engine Optimization
Search Engine Optimization is a science of its own. In a nutshell, it resembles a set of activities that moves a website up in Google search results when you type “best law firm in the USA” in the Google search bar.
There are things you can do even today that can boost your SEO. Create your law firm’s listing on Google My Business. Check to see if any of your online profiles have different contact information. Take, for instance, a listing in an online directory. In terms of SEO, this is critical.
Do everything Google tells you to do, including uploading photographs and creating posts. Use professional photographs of your staff and workspace to give your listing a unique feel. This will make you stand out from the crowd.
3. Running an informative blog
Writing an informative article is one of the best ways to boost your SEO. You need lots of alluring and irresistible content. This drives traffic and tells Google what type of users would enjoy your website.
Google’s job is to direct people to the best website for their needs. The best way to appease it is to generate regular content that satisfies its users.
Preferably, writing a new blog post every two weeks will keep you consistent and in the game.
Every post should comply with the same design standards. Include a CTA (‘call to action’) in every blog post. Listening to your audience and creating content based on their needs is key.
This way, you will establish authority and expertise in your area of work. You can write current relevant events or when a client in need of legal representation in your area of expertise seeks a lawyer from your firm.
For small law firms is important to have an informative blog section, especially for foreigners with immigration problems.
A good example is Spar Bernstein’s website. This leads us to another great way to establish communication. Have a segment on your website where people can ask questions. That way, you will have an endless source of topics you can write about.
4. Being present on social media
Social media is an extension of your overall law firm marketing strategy. And the truth is, running good social media accounts for your firm is a gold mine. There is so much you can do – create videos, infographics, or even post pictures.
Set up an appointment with a professional photographer. Consider stockpiling images for a number of uses. In other words, take pictures in areas that aren’t particular. Your website should be able to use them as well.
Trust us, you will be happy with this investment, and ROI is more than expectable!
5. Running PPC Google Ads
Quickly get your website listed in Google searches. It’s done using Google AdWords. How? You tell them your keywords. You only pay when your ad is clicked. So a fantastic website and a terrific PPC (pay-per-click) campaign are required.
Your ad normally appears in the top three results. But, remember that PPC leads convert less than organic search. So, temper your expectations. Using PPC has many more advantages, and market research is one of them.
For five more strategies that can help you develop a good digital marketing strategy, check this article out.
Frequently Asked Questions About Digital Advertising
How much money does a law firm spend on marketing?
A typical monthly marketing budget for legal practice is from $1,000 to $3,000 per company. Some legal firms spend as much as $8000 a month on advertising. Bigger legal firms spend. For a smaller company, you may want to consider occasional consultations or even hiring an agency to cover your marketing actions.
How can marketing help us get more clients?
A legal company might find new customers in a variety of methods. Referrals, SEO, Google Ads, Facebook marketing, content marketing, email marketing, and more are all included in this. Most of the time, it’s ideal to use a mix of these approaches.
Should marketing always be expensive?
Not really! But, if you plan on doing your advertising yourself, it is advised to attend some basic courses in both digital and general marketing. That way, not only will you learn more, but possibly save some money in order to launch your basic advertising strategy.
When profit starts to grow, then consider employing a full-time employee or a marketing company that can help you.
Don’t be intimidated by doing marketing without its own department. There are lots of resources ready to be tapped.
Using free web marketing tools, cultivating strong connections with your network, and monitoring your strategy’s effectiveness will help your company grow faster than you ever imagined.
Remember that although boosting income is the aim, marketing activities aren’t just focused on attracting new customers.
Marketing, in its broadest sense, is tasked with maintaining and enhancing a company’s standing in the eyes of the general public and the professional community.
A well-executed marketing plan can transform a brand into a legacy—and a legacy into a brand. In that sense, investing in a reliable marketing strategy will obviously turn out to be a return on investment.
Travis Dillard is a business consultant and an organizational psychologist based in Arlington, Texas. Passionate about marketing, social networks, and business in general. In his spare time, he writes a lot about new business strategies and digital marketing for SEO Thugs.