Marketing is essential for the growth of any law firm. Even if your attorneys have impeccable reputations, without sufficient exposure, potential clients may never be aware of what your firm has to offer. Unfortunately, many small firms and solo practitioners do not have a large budget to spend on comprehensive marketing campaigns. Costly forms of marketing can be very effective in attracting new clients, but if the budget isn’t there, law firms can take advantage of alternative methods. Fortunately, there are many ways to attract new clients without breaking the bank. Even basic tools, such as a website, can help inform prospective clients about your practice areas and can convince them to request a consultation. Here are some more tips on where you should be spending your money when dealing with a tight marketing budget.
Web Design – Web design is crucial to a law firm’s success. Whether a firm is found through an online ad or through search engine results, it is important that the website gives the right first impression. Keep the following tips in mind when designing an effective website:
Make sure your website has a modern appearance and interface. If the website looks outdated, you may lose a potential client. An outdated appearance can give visitors the impression that a firm is no longer in business. Especially if a competitor has a state-of-the-art website and yours is lagging, the prospect will most likely assume the competitor’s services are of higher quality.
Design a mobile-compatible website. In today’s on-the-go world, it’s important to make sure that your website is compatible with mobile browsers. According to Forbes, 81 percent of smartphone users have used their phone to conduct research. If a potential client comes across your website using a mobile device, but the site does not load, is slow, or is full of glitches, it’s likely they will get frustrated and move on to a competitor. Spending money on modernizing your site’s design ensures that you won’t incur these problems.
Make sure all of the information on your website is current. If you have changed any phone numbers, email addresses, or added a new office location, update the information on the website immediately. Difficult-to-find contact information is a sure way to lose a client.
Pay-Per-Click Advertising – Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising is an extremely cost-effective way to advertise. Google AdWords and Facebook Ads are two immensely popular platforms for PPC advertising. The premise of PPC is that you only pay when someone clicks on the ad or link. This means none of your money is wasted on uninterested parties. While TV and radio commercials are very effective at reaching a broad audience to strengthen your brand, PPC sites offer targeting tools and analysis that help you target more specific audiences and see a quicker return on your investment. When used correctly, individuals who are actively searching for your services will see your ad. PPC sites also allow advertisers to set a daily maximum budget, cutting your ad off after a chosen amount of clicks has been met, to ensure that you do not exceed your budget. All of these features make PPC advertising well worth your time and money.
Social Media – Social media is a great way to humanize and expand the marketing reach of a law firm with few up-front costs. Social media outlets such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+ allow you to easily create a profile for your firm and post content related to your practice areas, staff, and to highlight achievements. A well-designed social media page adds value to your firm by expanding your reach, driving traffic to your website, and raising awareness to current cases or relevant news. However, caution should be used when running a social media campaign. Poor judgment or a little mistake can sometimes bring unwanted negative attention to a law firm. It may be best to enlist the services of an experienced social media marketer.
Email – Email advertising is another way to reach out to potential clients without spending a large amount of money. An email is sent and received practically simultaneously, meaning you can get the word out in a timely fashion. Email lists can be purchased to target local firms for referral purposes. However, to save money, a firm can grow their own email lists by offering content available that can only be downloaded by viewers who enter their email addresses. A firm can also collect email addresses in its office through sign-up sheets, comment cards, business cards, and other methods. Emails can also be an effective way to stay in touch with existing clients without being overbearing. An e-newsletter may be the best way to do this. E-newsletters can be sent out weekly, monthly, or however often you want and can contain information about various practice areas and recent verdicts.
All of the above methods allow a law firm to build a marketing plan that meets their budget. Rather than using an entire budget on one method, firms can use some of one option, less of another, or an even amount of options. The important thing is that you identify what is best for your firm.
If you have any questions regarding how to budget your marketing expenditures or if you would like any help building a marketing plan, please contact PR4Lawyers at 1-866-PR4Lawyers or email firstname.lastname@example.org.