All businesses face fierce competition to stand out, including law firms. Understanding how to advertise a law firm is one of the most important aspects of attracting clients to your firm and making it a household name. For busy attorneys, finding the right law firm marketing strategy can be a time-consuming and costly process without the proper resources or a basic understanding of marketing principles.
However, there are many ways to advertise a law firm with little or no marketing expense. Find out how you can optimize your law firm’s marketing on a limited budget.
Importance of law firm marketing
Whether you’re venturing on your own or have opened a new firm or office in a new location, how will clients know you’re available for legal services without marketing? Sure, you may have clients who naturally find your practice, but you need a targeted marketing strategy to attract them.
As the legal industry becomes increasingly competitive, it is essential that law firms understand how to position themselves in the market through proven legal marketing tactics.
Regardless of the size of your law firm, profitability and measuring your return on marketing are critical to your overall growth. While marketing can be a process of trial and error, you need to analyze each campaign to make sure you’re maximizing your marketing dollars, not throwing money at the latest trends.
Can law firms advertise?
New business is the key to the success of any law firm. While law firms can – and should – advertise to attract new clients, there are a few rules and regulations that law firms must pay attention to in order to remain ethical.
Lawyers are permitted to advertise, but they must follow the legal rules for advertising and the ethical obligations outlined in American Bar Association (ABA) Rule 7.2 on Communications Regarding the Services of an Attorney. This states that a lawyer can communicate information about his services on any platform, but he must not violate rules such as, but not limited to, “A lawyer must not declare or imply that a lawyer is certified as a specialist in a particular area of the law.”
Types of advertising for law firms
There are many ways for law firms to advertise their services, including:
Social media marketing including major platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter
Search engine advertising
Ads and Video Campaigns
TV and radio commercials
Inexpensive ways to advertise a law firm
With so many possible channels for marketing and advertising, it’s not practical to spend time, money and resources on every available option. And some law firms work with limited budgets to execute extensive marketing strategies.
Fortunately, there are many inexpensive or free ways to advertise a law firm. You’ll have to invest some time, but these options won’t blow your marketing budget.
Google My Business
Google My Business is a popular and powerful tool for businesses and consumers. You can list your business on Google Maps to help customers find directions to your office and rank in local searches.
Creating a local listing establishes a Google business page for your practice. An essential part of your business page reviews. Collecting reviews is a strong lead generation practice with 9 out of 10 consumers seeking reviews as a decision-making tool when choosing services.
Although Facebook has reduced organic business appearances on the platform, you can create a free Facebook business page to establish an online presence on this major social media platform. If you can, consider combining paid and organic Facebook tactics.
You may still remember the big book of business listings which has mostly become obsolete. The physical book may be gone, but people still use the Yellow Pages to find local businesses.
It only takes a few minutes to add your listing, ensuring your business appears in another online business listing to attract potential customers.
Justia’s legal information portal offers lawyer profiles that appear not only on the site, but also on the Legal Information Institute. Profiles can be expanded, allowing you to add photos, links to social media accounts, and a map for directions.
Naturally, you should have your business in state and local bars. You can include your name and contact information on your profile if it’s new or if updating your existing listing takes time.
You can also check with the local bar associations you have joined to see if they have a directory and what the costs are. If you have already paid to register, you can have free or discounted ads.
Thought leadership is a powerful tactic to get your name out there and drive people to your website. You can write articles for popular websites such as The Huffington Post or local legal news websites.
Each post you create provides another place for online discovery by customers and showcases your authority. You’ll also have links directing customers to your website, as well as potentially improving your website’s ranking in search results.
Pro tip: If your law firm doesn’t have a blog, this is an easy solution to incorporate into your content marketing strategy. Publishing a blog once or twice a week can support search engine optimization (SEO) which is directly correlated to your website’s visibility.
How to measure the advertising performance of a law firm
Whether you use paid or free law firm advertising methods, you want to maximize the time, effort, and money you spend on it by measuring results.
Creating a process to evaluate your marketing tactics will help you hone in on which tactics are driving returns, which could be improved, and which aren’t working. Establish key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure success, such as:
Segment your tracking using variables such as marketing channel, campaign, and target audience.
Focus your efforts on the most effective methods and channels by:
Monitoring your return on investment
Make sure you’re on a budget
Work with your team to establish a realistic budget and strategy
Law firm management software simplifies the reporting process with tools to harness the power of your data. You can use custom tags to sort and analyze your results based on your segments, such as your marketing channel or audience, and assess your progress.
Maximize your law firm’s publicity with low-cost methods
Law firm advertising is key to maintaining a steady flow of clients, building brand awareness and encouraging referrals. Advertising isn’t cheap, but you can use free or low-cost platforms in conjunction with law firm management software to generate and track results without a lot of marketing expense.