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Marketing For Your Small and Growing Law Firm

Do you conduct marketing campaigns for your small law firm? Do you use a marketing budget?

If you don't, you are not alone. According to the American Bar Association survey, only 46% of law firms and 14% of solo attorneys have a marketing budget.

Marketing your small law firm is crucial to success. This is how you attract and retain clients who keep revenue flowing. And having a budget to run marketing is key to a successful campaign.

But the process can be tiresome; after all, your specialty is practicing law and not marketing. So in this guide, we will discuss how much you should spend on marketing, the approach you should take to your marketing budget, and how to measure the results.

How Much Do Law Firms Spend on Marketing?

No law governs law firms of any size on how much to spend on marketing. As a result, each firm will have various legal market budgets depending on their needs.

According to a Bloomberg study, the average law firm in the United States spends 6.7% of its gross revenue on marketing. While the percentage seems small, it could amount to large sums. For example, take a case of a law firm that makes $100,000; they'll spend $6,700 on marketing.

It is also important to note that the US Small Business Administration recommends that businesses spend between 7% to 8% of their revenue on marketing. Your marketing budget should address your needs. It should not be a copy that worked somewhere else. The conditions may differ for you, and you'll face no return on investment.

Ensure that the budget allocates resources to two fundamental areas of marketing; Client Acquisition and Retention.

Your most important customers are the ones you already have. As such, you need to ensure that you keep them as clients. You'll have to send out targeted campaigns that remind you of your services, new offers, and valuable information. Invest in email and communication channels that let you reach the clients efficiently and regularly. Your marketing campaigns should also encourage clients to leave behind reviews and give referrals.

Customer acquisition is about getting new customers for your small law firm. You'll be dealing with individuals who have never heard of you and are looking for legal services. You'll need to invest in creating useful content, showcase your past wins, and provide simple ways to reach you.

You'll need to invest in a well-designed website, get testimonials from past clients, and list your firm on review sites, using social media and advertising in the online space.

Ensure that your marketing covers the sales funnel (stages a potential client takes to use your services). They include awareness, interest, decision, and action.

Approach to Your Firm's Marketing Budget

Here are things that affect how you develop a law marketing budget.

  • Lifetime Value of Clients/Leads

How much are you going to make from the clients you are targeting? Knowing how much the target customer will spend helps you know where to target your resources more. As a result, a client who spends more needs more effort than one who spends less.

If a customer spends $4,000 once and never comes back and another spends $2,000 twice a year for five years, the latter has a better lifetime value than the former. This is because the latter spends $20,000 on you while the other uses $4,000.It will make more sense to use more resources to convince the client who will spend more to use your services.

  • Company Size and Standing

The size of your law firm and your standing in the market affects the percentage of revenue you'll use on law marketing. A huge company that has high revenue has the financial capability to use large amounts of money. On the other hand, smaller firms will spend less to have money for other functions.

Additionally, a company that has been around for a long time that has a good reputation will spend less than a new company. Why? This is because the well-established company is already known and has loyal clients that refer them to colleagues. A new company needs to use more money to gain visibility in the market.

  • Location

The number of competitors within your area of service affects your budget greatly. You'll need to spend more on advertising if you operate in an area with many law firms and attorneys. While many lawyers in an area could reflect good business, it also means competing with many firms. As such, you'll vie for the same customers making your work harder. You'll need to consider how to make yourself more recognizable to get clients, unlike a law firm in an area with fewer law firms.

  • Competitors

How much are your competitors spending on law market budgets? Having an idea of what your closest competitors are doing will help you stay a move in front. However, it doesn't mean that you look at their marketing budget and add a few hundreds or thousands of dollars for yours. A well-spent small budget can outperform a poorly outspent one. Look at the avenues they are using best and figure out how much they are paying. Then, using the benchmark, you'll develop a better budget that captures your needs. Also, you'll get away with a smaller budget if your competitors don’t take advantage of marketing.

Measure Results and Follow Success

Having a law marketing budget is the first step. The second is implementing it and then measuring the results, and as such, having performance metrics is essential.

Not each strategy you use works. Therefore, you'll need to figure out how many leads you expect and at what cost. Then, you can compare the results to your estimates at the end of the marketing cycle. Additionally, you can use growth metrics such as expected revenue compared to revenue made. And at Case Status, we provide firms with the ability to track Net Promoter Score (NPS) across the life of a matter, ensuring you know how satisfied clients are with your services. Even better, you can target your most satisfied clients and automatically ask for reviews right when you know they are happy. 

If your Google ads generate more revenue than social media, you'll need to adjust your budgets to ensure both sides bring the desired results.

Remember that your law marketing budget needs to reflect your needs, company size, competition, location, and standings.

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