What is Legal Marketing? - 6 Effective Strategies for Law Firms
Tuesday, December 12, 2023

6 Legal Marketing Strategies to Increase Traffic, Attract More Clients

As a legal professional, you have your hands full when it comes to servicing clients, managing your team, monitoring your finances, and keeping up with all of the other demands of running a successful business.

Some months, business is going well, you get a huge payout, and you’re on cloud nine. Other months, you wonder where your next client is coming from, whether you can cover expenses, or whether it’s time to shake down a client on a late invoice.

The feast and famine cycle of running a service business can be stressful, which is why operationalizing your marketing and lead generation is so essential. When you don’t have to stress about your marketing, you don’t have to stress about where your next client is coming from, and you can focus your energy on doing your best work. 

In this guide, we’re talking about how to master the art of effective legal marketing. Build your foolproof marketing plan, generate leads on autopilot, and unlock more freedom in your business.

What is Legal Marketing?

Legal marketing is the practice of promoting or advertising your legal services with the purpose of attracting more clients. Legal marketing can encompass a wide range of strategies, from social media marketing to paid ads to billboards to print advertisements and beyond.

Legal marketing can also be used to retain existing clients and increase repeat business. It can help law firms or independent attorneys generate referrals, increase brand awareness, drive more website traffic, and overall establish credibility in their industry.

As a legal professional, you might be familiar with a few methods for marketing a business, such as email marketing, or Google Ads. But there are many more platforms and strategies available to help your firm attract new clients. 

Why Marketing is Important for Law Firms

The importance of legal marketing may seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many legal professionals don’t know the full range of benefits that come from implementing an effective marketing plan.

Here are a few of the many reasons why legal marketing is important:

  • Organic Traffic: Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a type of legal marketing that allows law firms to generate more organic traffic from search engines (namely, Google). It is one of the best ways to attract clients in your local market.
  • Referral Traffic: Referral marketing tactics like outreach, networking, and email can be used to generate referrals from past clients, peers, and other people in your network. These are often some of the most viable leads.
  • Credibility: Legal marketing strategies that involve earning social proof, generating client reviews, and/or publishing case studies help your law firm establish its credibility with potential clients and in your industry in general.
  • Client Retention: Email marketing and content marketing can be used to provide education and resources to clients, increasing brand loyalty and encouraging repeat business.
  • Relevance: An active marketing plan encourages you to keep up with trends, current events, and market shifts, which in turn leads to marketing campaigns that are more relevant to today’s consumers. Fresh content can get you noticed on social media, via your blog, and beyond.
  • Revenue Growth: Successful marketing efforts translate into more clients, leading to revenue growth and greater business expansion. This might allow you to grow your team, expand your service offerings, or tap into new markets.

Is Online Marketing Still Effective for Law Firms?

Yes! Despite what many legal professionals may believe – given the prevalence of legal billboards and TV ads – online marketing is still one of the leading sources of new business for law firms. With online marketing, including social media, Pay Per Click (PPC) ads, email, and video, you have more opportunities than ever to reach potential clients.

That said, you don’t have to be everywhere at once. Many law firms get burnt out trying to keep up with SEO, Facebook, Google Ads, X, Instagram, email, etc. In truth, it is best to focus your efforts on 1-3 platforms, and do them well, rather than scramble to keep up with too many channels.

The effectiveness of your online marketing depends on a variety of factors, including your geographic location, your service offerings, the interests of your target audience, the size of your practice, and the availability of resources (e.g. marketing budget). Keep this in mind when it comes to choosing the most important marketing channels for your unique business. 

Best Legal Marketing Strategies to Grow Your Practice

There’s a common misconception that marketing is all about posting content or being “consistent” online. In actuality, effective marketing is about cultivating a strong message that resonates with your ideal audience and draws them in via the platforms they use most. 

With this in mind, there is no single “best” strategy, rather a collection of strategies that make up your business’s unique marketing plan. Below, we outline the fundamentals of a targeted, audience-focused marketing plan to grow your law firm business.

1. Become memorable with a strong brand identity

Start by defining what your business represents, the types of clients you work with, and the uniqueness of the services you offer. This is the core of your brand’s identity, which will allow you to stand out from your closest competitors.

First, craft a Unique Selling Proposition (USP) that can be used to describe your law firm to someone who is not familiar with your business. A USP should be short and to the point. For example:

“We are a compassionate law firm offering personalized legal strategies for families navigating divorce or child custody disputes”

Or

“We are a results-driven DUI law firm providing legal strategies and representation for individuals combatting a DUI/DWI case”

This type of language should be at the forefront of your website copy, woven within your marketing content, and be apparent in all your service offerings.

Second, consider the type of visual identity that would best appeal to your target audience. Are they looking for calm and compassionate representation? Perhaps a neutral color scheme and friendly photos is the way to go. Or maybe they are looking for a fierce and vocal advocate. Bold colors, an eye-catching logo, and strong attorney profiles might fit the bill.

By crafting a strong brand identity, this will help ensure that your law firm is memorable and draws in the types of clients you want to work with. Plus, it will help you stand out from more generic law firms. 

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2. Maximize your organic reach with SEO

SEO is one of the leading sources of traffic and leads for law firms, given that most clients use Google to search for legal services. Implementing SEO on your website and within your local listings will help you maximize your organic reach and outrank the competition.

There are many best practices to follow when it comes to optimizing your website. For one, be sure to use optimized page titles, headings, and meta descriptions that pertain to each web page. Craft compelling and valuable content that describes your services. Use geo-specific keywords for the states/cities you wish to target.

As for technical SEO (i.e. the infrastructure of your website), you can use a WordPress cache plugin to increase site speed and ensure user friendliness. Use an SEO tool like Semrush to audit your site for issues, like broken links (404s), unused Javascript, missing image alt text, and more. There are many factors that contribute to the “rankability” and organic reach of your website.

When in doubt, you can always reach out to a trusted SEO professional to help you make website improvements, optimize your content, and resolve technical issues.

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3. Build trust with educational, authoritative content

The best advertisement for your law firm is helpful, authoritative content. Content is the medium by which you are able to communicate what you do and how your services benefit your clients. You are also able to provide valuable information in the form of blog posts, FAQs, resource pages, and videos on your website.

For example, say you are an immigration attorney that helps people navigate the complex immigration process. You could create content on your website that talks about how to apply for a visa, how to apply for a green card, the path to citizenship, common deportation issues, or refugee/asylum matters. 

Not only does relevant content demonstrate your expertise to potential clients, but it can also work to drive organic traffic. You can optimize your content for target keywords (e.g. “how to apply for US visa”, “apply for US citizenship”, “what is a green card”, etc.) to attract people who are searching for these topics.

Social media also provides multiple avenues for publishing and sharing content. You can publish articles on your website and share them to social media, publish videos on YouTube, post Reels on Instagram, and so on. 

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4. Leverage referrals and brand partnerships

Another way to generate new leads is by leveraging brand partnerships. This might include connections with other law firms in your area, guest posting opportunities on legal blogs, advertising through industry publications, or even influencer marketing.

For example, if you are a real estate attorney, it might be worthwhile to connect with family law attorneys in your area, as their clients might at one point need help managing their rental properties, resolving landlord disputes, etc. Similarly, if you are a criminal defense attorney, partnering with a law office that exclusively handles DUI cases might be a good way to earn referrals for non DUI-related criminal cases. 

It’s also important to leverage the connections you already have through past and previous clients. If you provide stellar client service and support, clients are more likely to send referrals your way. At the very least, they will be more inclined to leave a positive review, which could encourage new business through Google or legal directories. 

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5. Operationalize (and economize) your marketing campaigns

Many law firms and attorneys feel the pressure to be everywhere at once: posting on social media, keeping up with the blog, implementing SEO, creating videos, etc. etc. This can be a lot for any law firm to manage. That’s why the key to more reach isn’t more volume, but operationalization.

Operationalization is a nutshell is your ability to accomplish more in less time and with fewer resources. One way to do this is by implementing automated software, like HubSpot or Hootsuite, for client relationship management or social media posting. Another is to create Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for your team to streamline your recurring processes. 

Project management software like Asana can also help you economize your client management, operationalize tasks, and organize your business. This will allow you to implement more marketing strategies without hiring more team members or blowing your marketing budget.

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6. Gain a competitive edge with social proof

Even the flashiest marketing campaigns won’t achieve much if you aren’t able to prove that you are worth your chops. But doing this as an attorney can be difficult, given the restrictions regarding client confidentiality.

So, what is a law firm to do?

The secret is in leveraging your social proof. Any praise that you receive from past clients – whether it’s a review, a Facebook comment, an email (if consent is provided), or a case study – can be used time and time again to demonstrate that you achieve amazing results for your clients.

Many law firms gain reviews on Google but don’t repost these anywhere. Google reviews can be embedded on your website, shared on social media, or included in your email newsletter. And if a client offers to provide a review, it’s okay to direct them toward Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, Yelp, or anywhere your business has an online presence.

Further, if a client consents to participating in a case study, this can add even more value to your website. Clearly outline the challenge your client was facing, what work was performed, and how you achieved the final resort. These can be confidential, if need be, but case studies can do a lot in terms of winning over potential clients.

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Don’t Ignore These Marketing Restrictions for Legal Professionals

It is true that legal professionals are often subject to specific regulations and restrictions regarding marketing. These are strongly enforced by bar associations and other regulatory bodies. 

When developing your marketing campaigns, make sure to keep these restrictions in mind:

  • Maintain confidentiality and client privacy: Be careful about disclosing any confidential information or client testimonials without proper consent. Always respect your clients’ confidentiality.
  • Avoid false or misleading information: Don’t make any false, deceptive, or misleading claims or promises about your services. This includes any guarantees of specific outcomes in cases or exaggerated claims about your experience.
  • Include disclaimers and disclosures: Certain jurisdictions might require specific disclaimers or disclosures in your legal advertising. For instance, if there's a contingency fee arrangement mentioned, this might require clarification or disclosure of specific information.
  • No unauthorized practice of law: All marketing materials should clearly communicate that the information provided is for informational purposes and not intended as legal advice.
  • No solicitation and targeting vulnerable individuals: You cannot employ aggressive solicitation tactics or target vulnerable populations. For instance, reaching out to accident victims in hospitals or using coercion to acquire clients is strictly prohibited.
  • Adhere to online and social media guidelines: If you’re using online platforms and social media for advertising, you must comply with all rules related to online communication, including maintaining professionalism and confidentiality in all online interactions.
  • Referencing licensing and certifications: Claims about certifications or specialties must adhere to the rules and requirements of the state bar association or relevant governing body. Misrepresenting qualifications or certifications can lead to ethical violations.

Note that these regulations may vary by region, so be sure to check with your state and local regulatory bodies for more information. 

Market Your Law Firm and Get Ready to Grow

Marketing your law firm is easier than many online “gurus” would have you believe. As long as you cultivate a strong brand, publish relevant and helpful content, and show up via at least one marketing platform (SEO, social media, etc,), you’ll be well on your way to creating a well-rounded marketing strategy.

As a law firm SEO expert, I advise law firms on how to implement strategies to gain more traffic and clients. SEO is one of the most effective channels for this, allowing you to attract clients via Google and other search engines. From there, you can expand your marketing to social, email, video, and beyond!

 

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