Stop Wasting Money on Bad Marketing: Tips for Immediately Lowering Your Law Firm’s Marketing Budget

by Debra Andrews | March 30, 2014

So why in the world is a marketing consultant offering helpful tips on how to lower a client’s or prospective client’s marketing budget?  On the surface, it would seem to be not in my best interest.  Well, first things first – what’s best for my clients is always in my best interest.  But there’s another compelling reason behind why “less is sometimes better.”  The lower the marketing spend, the greater the potential for a measurable and higher return on marketing investment.  It’s to the marketer’s benefit to spend wisely on both short- and long-term value-added initiatives, and cut out the activities that are the equivalent of chucking dollars in a trash can.

Lower Your Law Marketing Waste by Stopping These Activities Now!

Ego Ads

If you are bestowed the honor of being a Super Lawyer, Best Lawyer or anything of the like, do not take out overpriced, one-time advertisements that only serve the purpose of making you and your colleagues feel proud.  You deserve to celebrate your accomplishment but don’t use your firm’s marketing budget!  Your ad will be mixed in with a sea of other similar braggadocio and there will be no return on investment. Here are steps for a much more cost effective promotion strategy:

  1. Write a news release for your website and distribute it on your social networks.
  2. Include the honor as a firm news item in your next email blast to clients and targeted prospects.
  3. Update your professional bios (on the website, print and LinkedIn), which is often overlooked.

Online Directories

Online legal directories promise to help you “get found” for your particular area of specialty, which may have been valuable 5-10 years ago.  Here’s the thing:  People trust Google’s algorithm over online directories.  If you Google “intellectual property attorney Philadelphia” as a long tail search phrase – and it returns an attorney’s picture and a relevant article he/she posted on Google+ on a popular intellectual property law topic, and the FindLaw directory – which are you more likely to click on?  Google’s secret formula keeps getting better and now has the capability to return “conversational search” through its fairly recent update called Hummingbird.  Hummingbird should better focus on the meaning behind the words. Check out FAQ: All About The New Google “Hummingbird” Algorithm for more details on this exciting update.  Here’s a recommended cost-effective strategy:

  • Put time and effort into building a quality Google+ profile and ensure you have it linked to  your author’s bio on your firm’s blog.  This is known as Google Authorship and has become vitally important to the way Google ranks content.
  • Distribute both original and curated, relevant content on your Google+ profile on a regular  basis.

Off-Page SEO

Do you purchase off-page or “link-building” SEO from a provider and really have no idea what you’re buying or what to expect, but feel you need to do it to keep up with the competition?  Here’s the thing – there is very little way to “game the system” and if you dare to try, you may be slapped with a Google penalty that will ensure your website will never rank. Read A New Direction for SEO in 2014 – The Secure Search Manifesto for more information. Instead, here’s a recommended cost-effective strategy:

  • Write two blog posts per month on topics that your ideal client and buyer will find relevant and authentically helpful.
  • Distribute those posts by social media and email.
  • If you find a topic that is particularly well-received, pitch it to a trade publication to see if they have an interest in you writing an article for their digital version. An inbound link from a quality and highly relevant source will be far more effective than hundreds of links from disconnected sources.

Printed Brochures

When’s the last time that you read a big, printed brochure and it actually influenced your purchase decision?  Compare that to the last time you did a Google search and visited a website for information.  Traditional attorneys sometimes still feel the need to deliver something in paper when visiting with a prospect.  Unless you are visiting with a very traditional buyer and are convinced they will expect a paper brochure, it often isn’t necessary.  Most prospects will have already visited your website and LinkedIn page prior to your visit, and will be ready to have an engaging conversation – no paper necessary!  Here’s a recommended, cost-effective strategy:

  • Update your bio on your firm’s website and LinkedIn. Pay attention to how many times you see the word “I.” If you see it a lot, keep in mind that your prospective clients care about themselves and their needs, and not you.
  • Update your profiles to be more client-centric. Share how you help your clients and be sure  to touch on items that are really important to them, like sector expertise and great client service.

Growing Beyond Wasteful Law Firm Marketing

Just because you’ve done things one way in the past, or feel that you should mimic the competition, doesn’t mean you have to continue. This list of non-value added marketing activities could be so much longer. If you found this advice helpful, consider subscribing to our blog for more!