How to Market a Small Law Firm

how to market a small law firmSmall law firm owners know the importance of balancing quality legal services with successful marketing and business strategies.

You want to bring in new clients, serve existing ones better, and increase your profits and revenue—all at the same time.

But it can be difficult for smaller firms to coordinate all their resources effectively to even start marketing, let alone be consistent with it. The good news is that if you approach it strategically, there are many ways for small law firms to stay competitive.

We’ll provide tips on how your firm can best utilize digital marketing strategies—from search engine optimization (SEO) to social media campaigns—to gain an edge over competitors.

Why marketing your small law firm is essential in 2023

Investing in digital marketing for your small law firm is essential in 2023 and beyond. Not only will it help you reach more clients, but it’ll also give you an edge over your competitors.

Without a sound marketing strategy, lawyers without an online presence risk being left behind as their competitors attract all of the leads from Google and other only channels.

Digital marketing allows law firms to reach a different pool of clients than word-of-mouth and referral marketing. Plus, once you have a substantial online following, you have access to valuable data telling you what is and isn’t working, so you can invest in the right channels to increase ROI.

Can small law firms market themselves as well as large firms?

Small law firms struggle to compete with larger ones, as they’re generally more limited in resources. However, with the right strategy and some creative tactics, small firms can level the playing field and make a name for themselves.

Many small law firms are using digital marketing with an increased focus on customer service to help them stay competitive. Social media, for example, is one effective tool that can be used by any size firm, offering unique opportunities for creative communication with potential clients at a low cost.

We recommend smaller law firms focus on owned marketing channels, like beefing up their law firm’s website and social media profiles. For example, a strong content creation campaign can get you ranking for high-converting local keywords for a low cost.

Small law firms can also turn a negative into a positive by focusing on positive, personalized client interactions that build trust and loyalty. With a small team, you’re able to build stronger relationships with clients, something many larger law firms lose track of.

All of that to say, yes, a small law firm can position itself favorably and compete with the larger law firms out there with the right tactics.

Small law firm marketing: Allocating your marketing budget

Allocating your small law firm’s marketing budget can be a challenge.

Most law firms don’t know how much they’re spending on marketing, the return on investment, their cost per lead, or other important metrics because they’re not tracking them.

benefits law firm marketing budget

But that data can help inform you of what marketing tactics are working and what campaigns are worth prioritizing.

That data, plus factors like your law firm’s size, demographic, practice area, and location, affect what marketing channels bring you the best ROI.

The takeaway? With limited resources, you should be strategic about where and how you spend your money.

Actionable advice to help you create your law firm’s budget

To maximize your firm’s budget, focus on one or two marketing channels that are cost-effective and well-suited to your client persona. This could include organic search engine optimization (SEO), content marketing, email campaigns, or social. (We get into these tips below.)

As mentioned, be sure to track your performance so you can make data-driven decisions. This allows you to focus on the campaigns and channels that yield the highest ROI.

Finally, remember to provide a client-centered experience with every interaction. Doing this will help you build trust with current and potential clients as well as create a lasting impression with them.

Small law firms can make their budgets work for them. With the right strategies, you can effectively market your small law firm and stay ahead of the competition.

12 marketing ideas for small law firms

To help you get the ball rolling, we’ve put together a list of marketing ideas you can use to start marketing your small law firm.

1. Create a small law firm marketing plan

Creating a marketing plan for your law firm is essential to growing your business. A thorough marketing plan can be the difference between a successful digital marketing campaign with high ROI and throwing money at the wall, getting no returns.

It helps you set clear objectives and increases your chances of success while keeping costs in check.

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A well-crafted marketing plan should also include a detailed analysis of different strategies, research into your client persona and competitors, as well as an explanation of how you will measure outcomes. Plus, you’ll want to include details about your law firm’s marketing budget.

Your marketing budget could be anywhere between 2-20% of revenue.

Many factors go into the actual number, including:

  • Your practice area
  • Where you’re located
  • Competition

2. Build a well-thought-out law firm website

Your law firm needs an online presence that reflects your core values, expertise, and commitment to excellent service.

A well-designed website reflects your law firm’s brand and credibility while acting as a powerful marketing tool. It’s the hub of all of your marketing activities, so it’s worth investing in.

Your website should include information about your practice areas, attorneys/lawyers at the firm, contact details, trust builders (think testimonials and law firm awards), and obvious calls to action.

A few quick tips:

  • Use professional, high-quality photos of your offices and staff
  • Develop a consistent brand identity, starting with your law firm’s logo
  • Highlight your accolades
  • Show off successful cases and client reviews

3. Make sure your website is search engine optimized (SEO)

It gets harder as time goes by to successfully gain visibility online. That’s due to the increasing number of competitors, coupled with the further adoption of digital marketing strategies.

There isn’t much point in having a website for your law firm if it’s not getting any traffic. That’s why SEO should be one of your priorities.

To start, you’ll want to make sure you’re following all of the SEO best practices. That includes ensuring your website is well-designed with a clear, concise structure and the inclusion of keywords.

Keyword research for lawyers is a key component of marketing. Keywords send signals to Google about what your web pages are about, so it has a better idea of where to place them.

Lawyer Keywords Head Body Long-Tail

We recommend focusing on long-tail keywords like “personal injury lawyer Philadelphia,” rather than head terms like “lawyer.” Long-tail keywords are less competitive and covert at a higher rate.

We go into much more detail in our guide to SEO for Lawyers.

4. Claim all of your free profiles (think legal directories, Google Business Profile, social media)

One of the easiest (and most important) ways to market your small law firm is by claiming your free profiles. This includes profiles in legal directories, your Google Business Profile, and social media profiles.

Many people search for lawyers on legal directories like Findlaw or Avvo. Making sure you have an up-to-date (and optimized) profile on each will help build your online visibility, establish trust and credibility, and boost your SEO strategies by providing backlinks and authority.

Of note is your Google Business Profile. If you’re like other law firms, your main client is local. Your GBP is the number one tool for attracting local clients.

ronen kurzfeld business profile

We recommend you set it up as soon as possible, and upload up-to-date contact information, photos, and details about your services. After all, a complete GBP can get seven times more clicks than incomplete profiles.

5. Start generating online reviews and testimonials

Online reviews and testimonials are like social proof. They show potential clients that you’ve done a great job in the past, and they go a long way in convincing prospective clients to choose you over another law firm.

We recommend you start reaching out for reviews as soon as possible. Ask past clients to leave reviews on places like Google Business Profile and Avvo, or even contact them directly for written testimonials if you want to use them on your website.

Law Firm Automation Testimonials
(Image Source)

Bonus points go to lawyers who can get video testimonials.

Also, make sure to respond positively to any negative reviews that come up (or dispute them if they aren’t accurate). It’s a chance to show off your interpersonal and client service skills.

6. Start a content marketing campaign

Content marketing is a great way to establish yourself as an industry thought leader, increase your online visibility, and boost your SEO.

Content marketing for lawyers should focus on providing valuable content that answers legal questions or provides tips and advice. For example, you can write blog posts about relevant legal issues, create a thorough FAQ, or answer common legal questions in video format.

The key here is to ensure that your content is helpful and well-written (ideally by someone with experience in law). This will help build trust with potential clients while boosting your website’s rankings in search engines.

why do lawyers blog

Another part of content is social media. Make sure to promote your content heavily on social media channels like LinkedIn and Facebook. This will help your content reach the right people and keep them engaged with your brand.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. Check out our full guide to content marketing for lawyers for more tips.

7. Think about launching your own legal newsletter

Legal newsletters are a great way to keep in touch with your existing clients and build relationships with leads. The key here is to make sure you focus on valuable content that’s specific to your practice area. This could include news, updates, advice, legal tips, and more.

Creating a newsletter also gives you an opportunity to showcase your services and highlight your staff. It’s an excellent tool to build authority and credibility.

If you go this route, consider using email marketing software like Hubspot Mailchimp.

These allow you to create beautiful newsletters quickly and easily while providing metrics on their success (such as open rates). You can then use these metrics to zero in on what’s working (what subject lines, types of emails, etc.) to further improve your email marketing strategy.

8. Don’t forget about traditional marketing tactics

While digital marketing tactics should be at the forefront of your law firm’s marketing strategy, don’t forget about traditional methods as well.

Things like outdoor ads, radio spots, and print campaigns can still be effective depending on your practice area and where you’re located.

Lawyer Advertising Rules Traditional Advertising

The best type of marketing is omnichannel marketing. Build touchpoints with prospective clients in as many places as possible so you’re always top of mind.

The old Rule of 7 states that prospects need to interact with your brand at least seven times before they buy. While this is a bit outdated, the principle is still relevant.

Some traditional methods that we recommend include:

  • Sponsor local events
  • Build referral networks with other lawyers in your area
  • Consider radio spots if you’re in a lucrative practice area like personal injury

9. Consider ramping up your social media presence

Some practice areas can thrive on social media, while others don’t get any actionable leads.

One survey from the ABA found that 29% of lawyers report getting clients from social media.

law firm social media clients

And those that don’t still use socials to build their brand and establish themselves as thought leaders.

Our recommended social media platforms are LinkedIn and Facebook. But you might want to experiment with more trendy platforms like TikTok if you have the bandwidth.

10. Build your reputation with guest posting

Guest posting is a great way to build your reputation and reach potential clients. It allows you to tap into other people’s audiences and position yourself as an authority in your field.

Focus on authoritative sites that are relevant to your practice area. Make sure you’re writing for the right audience and providing value in each post.

Also, be sure to link back to your website from each post. This will help you drive more traffic (and leads) to your own site while boosting your domain authority with backlinks.

law firm backlinks

11. Consider using Google Ads to attract leads quickly

Finally, if you’re looking to attract leads quickly and consistently, consider using Google Ads.

Pay-per-click (PPC) marketing is useful for targeting local markets or demographics most likely to be interested in your services. Plus, it’s relatively easy to set up, and you can adjust your budget based on the results you see.

Google Ads can be a bit tricky to set up, so we recommend working with a professional.

12. Set up goal tracking and measure everything

Setting goals for your digital marketing campaigns is essential to a successful business strategy.

Law firm owners will want to pay attention to SEO metrics in particular. Fortunately, Google Analytics makes it easy to track and measure key performance indicators (KPIs) from website data — things like bounce rate, page views, clicks, and time spent per user on your site.

Having access to this data is also useful for measuring growth in organic search traffic and optimizing or adjusting your campaigns as needed.

Ultimately, crafting well-defined goals that are easily measurable is the best way to know what steps you need to take to maximize your ROI.

Marketing your small law firm doesn’t have to be hard

There are plenty of law firm marketing strategies that even a small law firm can use to succeed.

Start with your website and move from there. The key is to pick a few tactics to start with before expanding.

And if you need help, consider reaching out to a law firm marketing agency for support.

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