Attorney Marketing: 101

Attorney marketing includes creating and executing a plan for promoting your legal services to potential clients. This often involves reaching a target audience, advertising your law practice and generating leads to grow your business.

The most widely used attorney marketing tactics include digital marketing, such as social media and email marketing and traditional advertising avenues, like print ads.

How do lawyers market their business?

Lawyers can use an extensive range of digital marketing tools and strategies to promote their practice, such as pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, email marketing, search engine optimization (SEO) and social media. Overall, online marketing tactics allow a lawyer to reach a large number of potential new clients quickly and efficiently.

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Print ads are a traditional legal marketing method. A Legal Technology Resource Center survey shows that 21% of law firms still use print ads as part of their marketing efforts. Print ads reach demographics that aren’t internet-savvy and may feature client testimonials and a law firm’s contact information.

Attorneys may also attend local industry events and join niche professional organizations, such as the National Association of Women Lawyers or the Hispanic National Bar Association. With these networking opportunities, lawyers across all practice areas can meet fellow legal professionals and prospective clients to build a referral network.

5 most popular marketing strategies for lawyers

While there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution for attorney marketing, several tried-and-true marketing approaches have proven effective for many law firms. After establishing your legal practice’s target audience, budget and goals, consider incorporating these lawyer marketing strategies into your marketing plan.

1. Take advantage of social media marketing

Generate high-quality leads and build relationships with potential new clients on social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook and TikTok. LinkedIn is among the top social media sites for individual lawyers and law firms, while Facebook is the second-leading networking platform.

Use social media to share legal articles, blog posts, case studies and other valuable content showcasing your expertise and keeping your brand top-of-mind.

2. Develop a local SEO strategy

Local SEO is the process of getting your website to rank on a search engine results page (SERP) for a particular geographic area. By targeting keywords and phrases specific to a local area, optimized websites may appear more prominently in local search results. This leads to more qualified traffic to your website landing pages and converts visitors into clients.

For example, if you are a real estate attorney based in the San Francisco Bay Area, consider including relevant keywords on your website content to improve your law firm SEO. This way, your law practice appears in organic searches when potential clients look up terms like “estate planning lawyers near me” or “closing attorney in San Francisco.”

Consider consulting a marketing company that provides local SEO services if there’s room in your marketing budget.

3. Launch targeted marketing campaigns

A pay-per-click advertising campaign allows an existing or new business to advertise its products or services on search engines, websites and social media platforms. An attorney can create ads targeting specific keywords or groups of keywords related to their practice area.

When someone searches for one of those keywords, the ad will appear in the search results. As the name suggests, PPC ads cost money only when someone clicks on them. Additionally, popular PPC advertising platforms such as Google Ads let businesses track their campaign results to continually optimize their advertising efforts.

4. Build a strong online presence with client reviews

As an attorney, one of the best ways to market your practice is to establish a robust online presence. Accomplish this by implementing a user-friendly web design for your law firm’s website. Collect client reviews and testimonials, then post them on your website, social media pages and lawyer review sites, such as Avvo and Lawyers.com.

When it comes to asking for client reviews, timing is crucial. Send a review request email or SMS text message shortly after resolving a client’s case. Include an easy-to-use link and specific instructions on how and where the client can leave the review.

Online reviews are critical for lawyers because they potentially boost your legal practice’s web presence, improve your SEO and attract new clientele.

5. Produce engaging educational content

Create informative content, such as blog posts, webinars and white papers, to educate your audience about your areas of practice and establish yourself as a local expert in your practice area.

You can build credibility and connect with your prospective clients by publishing content that your target audience finds helpful. Share your educational content through social media, email marketing campaigns or monthly newsletters.

Your online content marketing materials should be written in a way that is easy to read and provides value to the reader. For example, if you are a criminal defense attorney, consider writing a blog post about the top myths in criminal defense cases. Or, if you are a family law attorney, compose an article about the top 10 things every divorcing couple should consider.

What is the best way to advertise a law firm?

There are many approaches to effectively market a law firm. One way is to define your target audience by demographics like age and location. Then craft a marketing strategy that resonates with this group through market research to help identify what potential clients want and need from a law firm.

Create a strong branding strategy for the firm to help it stand out in the crowded marketplace. Quality content, such as infographics, blog posts, webinars and videos, educates new clients about your practice and services. These content marketing materials show your expertise and drive local SEO.

Take advantage of social media to build an online community. Meanwhile, cultivate connections within your local community by volunteering, sponsoring events and networking. You can also consider offering free consultations for new clients. The relationships you build will lead to referrals.

The secret to success lies in combining various law firm marketing tactics you feel comfortable implementing and executing.

What are the pros and cons of advertising for an attorney?

Advertising can help build an attorney’s brand awareness and name recognition, leading to more clients. An attorney may leverage advertisements to communicate to a wider audience and reach potential clients who may not be aware of their practice.

Ultimately, marketing efforts allow an attorney to differentiate themselves from other individual lawyers or law firms in their practice area.

There are also a few potential drawbacks related to advertising for attorneys. It can be expensive to run ads, especially if you are launching them on multiple platforms or in many markets. Plus, ads may not always be properly targeted to your ideal clientele, which results in unqualified leads and lower conversion rates.

You can DIY (do it yourself) digital marketing, but it will take time away from your law practice as you master the tricks to spend your marketing dollars most effectively. Consider a partner like Broadly that provides software solutions to help you streamline your marketing efforts.

What is the difference between marketing and advertising?

Marketing and advertising are two terms often used interchangeably, but there is a definite difference between the two. Marketing is a broader term encompassing all promotional, including advertising, public relations, branding and customer service.

Conversely, advertising is only one part of the marketing mix — it encompasses paid communications using various media to reach potential customers and persuade them to purchase a product or service.

While both marketing and advertising are important for any business in the legal industry, they serve distinct purposes. Marketing is generally about creating relationships with new clients and building brand awareness, while advertising is mainly about driving sales. Businesses may need to do both in order to be successful in achieving their goals.

Is it ethical for an attorney to advertise their legal services?

Many states have specific rules regarding how attorneys can advertise their services online.

For example, New York lawyers are responsible for posting and promoting accurate content on their social media profiles. They also have to remove any misleading endorsements of their expertise and skills. Similarly, it is unlawful for lawyers in Connecticut to use a variety of fonts or sizes for client responsibility disclosures concerning expenses.

For more information about region-specific marketing guidelines, check your state’s rules for legal advertising. Ultimately, attorneys are regulated by state bar associations and subject to disciplinary action if they engage in unethical practices.

How much does it cost to advertise a law firm?

The cost of advertising a law firm varies depending on the size and location of the firm, as well as the type of marketing services and media used for advertising. For example, a small law firm in a rural area may spend less on advertising than a large firm in a major city.

Some legal marketing experts recommend dedicating between 2% and 18% of a law firm’s gross revenue toward attorney marketing expenses. If a personal injury legal practice brings in $1 million per year, it should budget $20,000 to $180,000 annually on marketing and advertising.

Of course, these are general guidelines — actual costs can fluctuate depending on the specific business needs of each law firm. The best way to determine the cost of an effective advertising campaign is to consult an experienced marketing agency or professional.

Grow your solo law firm with Broadly’s marketing solutions

Featuring industry-leading software solutions, Broadly empowers attorneys to expand their business with effective legal marketing tools. Choose from a wide range of options, from a user-friendly tool, Team, that streamlines internal collaboration and communication to reasonably priced website design services that optimize law firm websites.

Broadly’s innovative products can also help boost lead generation with custom Campaigns and simplify online reputation management with a single intuitive dashboard.

See what Broadly can do for your business in just 30 days