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How to spend your law firm’s marketing budget

Sep 26, 2016

Most attorneys are not marketing experts, and this is why every law firm has a budget specifically set aside for marketing. There once was a time when a radio advertisement and a well-designed and placed sign was about the best any company could do in the marketing department, but constant advances in technology have caused marketing to evolve. While some law firms focus on good old fashioned newspaper and television ads, there are a few other things that they should include in their marketing budget.

Spending Money on Good Clients

This may not seem like a marketing tactic in everyone’s mind, but in reality, it’s one of the most effective marketing maneuvers that can be utilized. Spending money on good clients is never a waste. This little bit of “going the extra mile” ensures that a client feels appreciated. This means that, if they ever need legal advice again, there will be a phone ringing at the law firm.

Securing return business isn’t the only benefit of this expense, though. Making this a permanent part of the marketing budget could lead to satisfied clients keeping a lawyer at the firm on retainer. Additionally, if their friends or family ever need legal advice, they’ll almost always point them in the direction of the attorney who went the extra mile to make them comfortable.

Online Marketing

Failing to consider online marketing as part of a budget is literally one of the biggest mistakes that a law firm could make. A recent study found that 76 percent of those who hired attorneys utilized online methods of finding their legal help. This means it’s imperative to have a company handling the firm’s online marketing. Without this, a law firm is likely to never get seen.

It should be noted, though, that a great website isn’t the only necessity of marketing on the Internet. It’s important, of course, but a great website means nothing if people can’t find it. Reports show that at least 75 percent of online searchers never go past the first page of Google results they find. This means a law firm needs an online marketing company skilled in search engine optimization (SEO) as well if they want to get found. This expense will always end up paying for itself.

Directory Listings

This marketing tactic, though very traditional, is still an important part of garnering business for a law firm. There are still those who use good old directories when they’re trying to find legal help. While this doesn’t have to be a huge portion of a law firm’s marketing budget, it should at least be a part of it. Some people just prefer the way things used to be, and searching through a directory is undoubtedly that.

Charitable Contributions

Making charitable donations is a great way to snub those people who say that lawyers are all evil vermin, and it obviously also feels good to do something for one’s community. In reality, though, it can also serve as a marketing tactic. Most charitable programs make it known who their donors are, and having a nice little spot in a charitable program never hurts business.

Of course, there is a way to take this even a step further. There may be a dozen or so law firms who contribute to the same charity, and they’ll all end up with the same small-sized ads that are in the program. That’s no way to stand out. Instead of making numerous small donations, go all in and make a large contribution to get recognized by the charity as a star donor.

Marketing Research

While it’s a bit different from the other techniques listed here, marketing research is still a great method to increase revenue. Like all other businesses, a law firm needs to understand the current needs of a community and whether or not their marketing is appealing to people who have these needs.

While it’s possible to hire firms to provide this type of research, it doesn’t really have to be that extensive. Simply providing client surveys is a great way to find out if everything is copacetic at the law firm. Additionally, the aforementioned companies that handle online marketing also usually provide analytics on which marketing methods are the most efficient. In the end, this extra expense can ensure that the marketing methods a law firm is utilizing are achieving their goals.

There’s no doubt that there is an extensive list of marketing necessities beyond just the aforementioned, and all of these potential money making techniques should be considered by a law firm. When it comes to the most effective and economically sound methods, however, these five are an absolute necessity. A law firm is just like any other business: it needs to be seen to be patronized. With the right marketing strategy, law firms can see new clients coming in droves.