law firm marketing budget

Lawyers today face big challenges that limit their ability to deal with marketing issues. Unfortunately, the world has changed dramatically, and simple word-of-mouth advertising no longer suffices when any consumer can research lawyers on their mobile phones.

If you don’t have a digital marketing plan in place, your law firm becomes invisible to thousands of potential clients. Word-of-mouth and traditional advertising–like yellow pages–no longer provide a steady stream of clients as they did in the past. Even people who search for local businesses now use their phones to find businesses in the neighborhood.

Most lawyers are highly skilled in their legal specialties, but when it comes to attorney marketing, they just don’t have the time to research all the elements of online marketing. Some of the major challenges of law firm marketing include:

  • Limited time to create persuasive content
  • Poor understanding of the costs of digital marketing
  • Difficulty measuring the results of digital campaigns
  • Dealing with the challenges of establishing a strong digital presence
  • Finding the right vendors or agencies for outsourcing their marketing

Five Critical Steps to Establish Your Marketing Budget

No two budgets are exactly the same. Your budgeting needs will vary depending on your practice areas, client demographics, location, competition, and other factors. These five steps are a good start for developing an effective marketing budget:

1. Determine a Realistic Marketing Budget

The first step in establishing a budget is assessing your goals–such as increasing business by 15 percent. Once you know your marketing objectives, it’s easier to set a budget. Some best practices include:

  • Setting a budget between 5 percent and 15 percent of your law firm’s revenue
  • Allocating between 50 percent and 60 percent of the budget to digital marketing
  • Choosing competitive keywords to target your preferred client demographics
  • Producing content that resonates with your client demographic and using it consistently across advertising platforms

2. Decide Where to Allocate Your Marketing Budget

It’s important to plan your work and work your plan. Some research is important to determine where your marketing budget should allocate funds.

Paid advertising–PPC, or pay-per-click, campaigns–can jumpstart your results by attracting highly motivated clients looking for immediate representation. You can set limits on your PPC budget. You will only be charged for people who click on the link. In the meantime, you can concentrate on organic SEO to supply a steady stream of client visitors.

There are also many directories that offer free listings, and you should take advantage of those whenever possible.

3. Audit Your Law Firm Website Design

Websites are more important today than ever–they no longer serve as static business cards but as the virtual legal staff representing your business. Your website is your #1 money machine to bring new clients and therefore a critical area where you want to allocate a significant part of your budget.

Your legal practice needs to distinguish itself from others to get the best results while conveying trustworthiness, credibility, and intelligence. If you are just getting started as a solo attorney, your website might need some design and maintenance work.

Also, it is important that your site employs responsive design, which optimizes displays for different computing devices such as laptops, mobile phones, and computers.

4. Content is King

Your website and the digital content you publish there are the tools that you use to build an image of your law firm and your legal services.

That means it’s important to allocate money to content creation that establishes your core values, reliability and trustworthiness. Use a professional and helpful approach that delivers value to people who are looking for answers to legal questions.

Consider establishing a blog that engages site visitors and answers many of their legal questions. It is critical to post fresh content regularly, so you should allocate funds for that purpose. Both Google and clients appreciate regular content updates, and that will raise your SEO ranking.

Also, try to be innovative and implement other kinds of content. Nowadays, there are more and more lawyers creating video content that allow people to engage with their potential attorneys even more closely.

Social media marketing for law firms is also an increasingly important part of lawyers overall marketing strategy. Research shows that 53 percent of lawyers have a presence on LinkedIn and slightly less than 40 percent have a Facebook page. About 19 percent use Twitter regularly.

5. Focus Your Marketing Budget on Key Practice Areas

It is important to concentrate on your key practice areas or niches than on general legal aspects that you handle more as a service than as an income-generator.

However, it’s easy to get tied up in all the little details. Planning effectively limits your budget to the most important marketing areas. Most attorneys spend between 40 percent and 50 percent of their budgets on their legal specialties.

Turnkey Marketing Services for Professionals

 We know that you have concerns about creating and spending your marketing budget. Most lawyers still worry that their practices could be perceived negatively if they advertise too blatantly.

At MarqetLaw we can help you establish a realistic budget and build your practice in the most professional way.

Contact us today to start a conversation about your marketing budget needs. We’ll listen actively and work as a genuine partner in your efforts. Together, we can establish a strong and professional digital presence.

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Author: Phil Fisk
Founder – MarqetLaw.com