If you’re part of a small law firm, creating an effective marketing strategy can be daunting. You may find it difficult to compete with the larger firms in your area with more marketing dollars to spend.
No doubt you’ve heard the phrase “It takes money to make money”. That’s easy to say when you’re an enterprise-level firm, but what if you’re a smaller firm or solo practitioner?
There’s no need to simply wait until you have more revenue to play with. Having a strong online presence for your practice is extremely important in 2022 and there are many impactful strategies you can employ that won’t break the bank. In this post, we detail 20 low-budget strategies and tactics that are perfect for marketing small law firms. The following strategies are fundamental as you generate awareness and revenue for your firm.
Marketing for Small Law Firms: 20 Key Strategies for Success
The following 20 strategies are key to helping scale a small law firm’s marketing efforts.
1. Know Your Client
It doesn’t require a ton of resources to simply be educated on who is best suited to your services. When it comes to marketing, you’ll have the most success in specific niches. Understand your audience, what their challenges are, and what pushes them to make a decision on an attorney. You can start by creating an ideal client profile, check out this free guide for help on that: A Law Firm’s Guide to Creating an Ideal Client Profile.
2. Emphasize Your Value Proposition
Hopefully, there are differences between you and your competition. You need to be able to explain those differences and emphasize them in your content and marketing efforts. Make sure you properly convey the things you do better than anyone else.
3. Focus on Your Biggest-impact Objectives
The world of marketing is growing and there are endless options to explore. We suggest identifying where you can make the biggest impact and creating singular goals around those areas. Set specific performance goals in one or two key areas and focus your efforts there.
4. Capitalize on Short-term Plays
These are the wins that will get you a higher return on investment (ROI) and a little more revenue to put toward new activities, and things will snowball from there. For example, search engine optimization (SEO) is a long-term play that, while important, will take a while to manifest ROI. Instead, you may find that paid ads immediately generate leads that you can work with right now.
5. Double Down on What Works
After you’ve experimented with a few initiatives, you’ll get web analytics data from Google Analytics (which is free to set up) about what’s working and what’s not. When your budget is tight, make it a point to double down on what is working. You can try doing more in other areas once you have a bigger budget.
Related: A Primer on How to use Google Analytics for Law Firms
6. Market to Existing Clients
According to a Harvard Business Review study, it costs five times more to acquire a new client than it does to close an existing one. Focus on strategies that allow for expanding contracts to new services, up-selling, etc. You’ll have to be confident that you’re providing a consistently positive experience to utilize these tactics, though.
7. Use Free Promotional Tools
There are plenty of options available that can move the needle before you need to spend money. Check out this list of marketing tools to get an idea of what is free and what you should consider paying for.
8. Create a Website to Own Your Online Presence
No matter how small your law firm is, it’s important to have a professional website. It’s the first impression most people will have of your firm, and it’s an asset that you will always own (which provides a lot of flexibility). Don’t make a website that’s just an online brochure. Use your website to explain who you are and why people should work with you, while also making sure you optimize for capturing leads and nurturing traffic.
9. Consider Blogging
Blogging is a great way to generate organic traffic, particularly for those prospects who have not reached a decision yet. In addition, it can establish credibility in your niche and position your attorneys as thought leaders. Even if you only publish once a week, it will improve your website’s visibility online and help educate your potential clients on why they should trust your firm.
10. Leverage Social Media
Social has become a powerful business tool. Not only is it a great way to promote your firm, but it can also help with SEO, increase your website’s domain authority, and help you to engage with your audience. Social media is free – take advantage of what’s available.
11. Invest in Social Media Ads
Google Ads and programmatic advertising are a smart play when you know your audience is actively searching for your practice areas online. However, these forms of digital advertising can be quite expensive. For a lower cost per click, you can advertise on social media through LinkedIn or Facebook (whichever channel your target audience is more likely to be found). Both platforms provide a high level of targeting, using both demographic and behavioral attributes.
12. Make Sure You’re Capturing Web Prospects’ Information
If you are driving traffic and visibility to your website, eventually you should be able to capture some contact information from prospects. Consider implementing a conversion tool like HubSpot Marketing Free. By using this tool to add a pop-up widget to your website, you can start collecting the email addresses of potential clients. The goal is to get people to submit their email addresses so that you can nurture them through the buyer’s journey.
13. Nurture Leads with Email Marketing
Once you capture leads, it’s essential to nurture them. It’s unlikely that any of those individuals are going to be immediately in need of an attorney, but you can stay top of mind for when they are. Email marketing is a free, easy, and scalable way to communicate with new or old prospects. This marketing tactic is particularly important for small law firms that are short on resources to try marketing automation. This will help streamline communications and make the process easier.
14. Manage Relationships with a CRM
Marketing works best when you can send targeted and personalized communications. The ability to do this is based on a CRM system where you document information on your contacts. A CRM also stores data on your leads, prospects, and clients so that you can keep track of interactions and identify sales opportunities more effectively.
15. Encourage Word-of-mouth
This is the traditional channel where lawyers gain new clients. Creating a great experience for your clients can drive them to recommend your firm. Do what you can to collect reviews, client testimonials, and even material for case studies – which are crucial for marketing both small and large law firms. Create a referral program to reward people who tell their contacts about your firm.
16. Create a “Google My Business” Profile
It’s free to do so and has become critical for local SEO for law firms. Your Google My Business Profile is likely to be one of your most valuable marketing tools. It’s what allows your firm to show up on Google Maps and the local section of Google Search. The more you optimize your business profile, the better its performance in local search results. Note: make sure you have verified ownership of your profile, which is done through the Google My Business account.
17. Create a Lead Magnet
Lead magnets are gated pieces of content offered in exchange for contact information like email addresses. These pieces of content are educational in nature. Some ideas for lead magnets are eBooks, on-demand webinars, whitepapers, infographics, etc.
18. Host a Webinar
Chances are you already have access to a Zoom account you can use to host a webinar. You can easily leverage other free tactics to promote it like social media posts and email. This is a great way to generate more leads, as you will collect email addresses from those who register, and can continue to engage with them via email.
19. Connect with Thought Leaders
Chances are there are many thought leaders in your industry, possibly from larger firms, who have already attracted a committed online audience. Find ways to engage with their existing communities by commenting on thought leaders’ posts, joining industry groups on social media, and engaging with posts under relevant hashtags.
20. Offer Incentives and Discounts
Although law firms don’t engage in the typical discounts of consumer marketing, there are still ways you can leverage incentives to help gain more business. For example, consider offering a free consultation to those that are interested in your services, or offer discounted services to those in need or a part of specific groups you market to.
Digital marketing success for small law firms can feel out of reach if you’re working with a small team or a limited budget – but it doesn’t need to be. There are plenty of free or low-cost strategies that small firms can employ in order to boost online visibility, capture leads, and gain new clients. And of course, don’t be shy about asking for help. Sometimes the best way to get new clients, faster, is to work with an agency who has supported law firms like yours before and understands the market.
This post has been edited and republished from Jul. 21, 2021.