Marketing is probably the single biggest challenge to growing a law practice, and lawyers are notoriously bad at it. Most firms either a) do zero marketing and rely solely on referrals to acquire new business, or b) hire an outside marketing firm and end up overspending on campaigns that yield subpar results. Fortunately there is a third option, if you know what you’re doing, and that is to create an effective marketing plan that won’t break the bank. To help you get started, here are our 10 low budget law firm marketing tips.
1. Publish content
Producing quality content is an excellent way to get your name out there and establish credibility within your field. Plus, it costs almost nothing, aside from your time.
We recommend that you start a law firm blog and publish regularly. Just keep an ongoing list of the most common questions you get from clients and set aside time each week to write 500-1000 words about one of these questions.
Over time, you will build up a wealth of useful information and your SEO will improve drastically. Your blog will draw in targeted visitors who are likely to have the same types of legal issues that you focus on in your practice.
2. Create instructional videos
YouTube is the 3rd highest ranked website globally, and the second largest search engine behind Google. Facebook and Twitter have both taken major steps in the past few years to offer better support for videos as well.
What this illustrates is that, as technology continues to improve, the internet is becoming increasingly video-oriented. So you should find a way to make videos a part of your law firm marketing plan.
Instructional videos are great way to create awareness for your firm and connect with your audience. You don’t need high end cameras or video editing equipment. An iPhone, a mic, and a simple video editing app will do the trick.
Pick a common area of interest within your practice area, like how to draft a will or how to form an LLC. Then make a short instructional video about it to post on your website and share on social media.
3. Get active on social media
We discussed the incredible power of social media previously in our post about how to grow a law firm. Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are free to use, and they have massive existing user bases. They also have powerful targeting and analytics tools to help you share and connect with your target audience.
You should be sharing content and posting updates to all the major social networks at least once or twice daily. Use a tool like Buffer to help you schedule posts in advance and save time.
You should share a mix of interesting content related to your firm and your field, such as:
- All the content you produce
- Related content from other blogs
- Recent event articles from news sites
- General updates about your firm, photos from inside your office, etc. – have a personal touch
Social media is about making personal connections with your audience, so make sure you actually engage with people from time to time and avoid being too robotic or distant.
4. Build a referral network
Referrals are always a major component of law firm business development. So one of the best low budget law firm marketing tactics is to spend some time networking and building up your referral network.
In a previous post, we laid out specific tips for how to get more client referrals. The key is to establish strong relationships with your clients, as well as other attorneys, and even people outside the legal industry that are related to your field (doctors, realtors, business executives, other professionals, etc.).
Referrals come from those who trust you, so keeping track of your referral sources and taking time to nurture those relationships is always worth your while. Follow up to thank them, take them out to lunch every now and then, send a card or gift on the holidays, and do whatever you can keep in touch.
Here are some more networking tips that may be helpful.
5. Go to local meetups
Getting active in your local community is an excellent way to make yourself known, build your brand, and increase referrals. Meetup.com is a great resource where you can browse different events and join local groups organized around specific topics.
Reach out to even organizers and see how you can get involved. Maybe you can speak on a panel, host a meetup event, or even start a new meetup group yourself. Do what you can to get your name out there, and meet as many people as possible.
Focus on your local community and on establishing yourself amongst your target audience. This is the key to building a strong brand for your law firm.
6. Host Q&A sessions
Whether online or offline, providing free educational opportunities can be a really powerful marketing tactic. You could host a “lunch and learn” and do it in person, or do it online using a program like join.me or even Twitter.
These Q&A events work really well because they give people the chance to learn more about their legal issues in an open, risk-free (and cost free) environment. They feel reassured because they can talk to an actual attorney without worrying about being billed for the time.
Your law firm benefits from the chance to connect with prospective clients, create awareness, and establish its credibility by helping people better understand their legal issues.
7. Start an email newsletter
We have discussed the benefits of email marketing in other posts, such as our complete online marketing guide. The reason we emphasize it so much is that email is still one of the best ways to engage with clients and prospects and stay relevant in their minds.
You can use the basic version of email marketing software like Mailchimp for free. You should embed an email collection form on your blog, or alongside any other content you produce. You should also get people to sign up for your email list at events you organize, webinars you host, etc.
One great way to engage people with email is to allow them to submit legal questions via your website and offer to answer them for free in a weekly email. This gives them a greater incentive to sign up, and makes them more likely to read the emails and interact with you.
8. Give away free resources
Giving away free resources can be an excellent, low budget marketing tactic. It draws people in, encourages interactions with your firm, and it helps you get email sign ups for your newsletter.
Here are the 3 basic steps to make free downloads effective:
- Offer free legal forms, whitepapers, guides, e-books, or other resources with free legal information for download on your blog and/or website
- Collect email addresses in exchange for the downloads
- Use automated email marketing to follow up with each person
You should have a specific email campaign with additional tips based on the type of content they downloaded. Also, make sure the emails encourage people to contact you if they have additional questions.
That wraps up our 8 low budget law firm marketing tactics. Marketing doesn’t have to be overly complicated or expensive. The key is to find creative ways of getting the word out that are inexpensive, and to provide people with something of value without expecting anything in return.
We hope you found these tips useful, and that you are able to incorporate them into an effective marketing plan for your firm. Have any other marketing tips that have worked for your firm? Add them in the comments below!