By and large, small law firms know the value of marketing to attract more potential clients. The Thomson Reuters U.S. State of Small Law Firms Report for 2023 found 93 percent of firms surveyed were doing some type of advertising or marketing. This is a 10 percent increase from 2021.

However, the report also found that fewer than 38 percent of these firms are using proven strategies, such as social media marketing, blogging, SEO or video marketing.

Below, PMP discusses some of the marketing challenges for smaller law firms, along with effective strategies they can use to build their brands and reach more of their potential clients.

Are you looking for ways to get more results from your marketing efforts?

PMP has helped law firms large and small get more cases for more than 15 years. If you have questions about how to attract more potential clients, contact us to discuss marketing solutions tailored to your specific needs.

How Much Are Small Law Firms Investing in Marketing?

The Thomson Reuters report on small law firms shows these firms are increasing their marketing spend. For instance, in 2021, more than 50 percent of the firms surveyed spent at least three percent of their total budget on marketing. By 2023, 60 percent of the firms surveyed spent three percent or more of their total budget on marketing.

Nearly three quarters of small law firms are spending $2,500 per year or more on marketing and advertising.

Law firms clearly recognize the power of marketing. The question is: are they getting a strong return on investment?

What Are the Marketing Challenges for Small Law Firms?

These are some of the most significant challenges of marketing smaller law firms:

  • Less Resources: Smaller budgets limit firms’ ability to conduct extensive marketing campaigns or hire large marketing teams. This makes it much harder to compete with the larger firms in your market. These firms also have smaller staffs, limiting their ability to employ specialized strategies like social media management and SEO. Given these constraints, these firms must make efficient and effective use of their available resources.
  • Brand Recognition: It can be much harder to build a strong brand in your market, especially if you are competing against larger firms that have significantly more resources.
  • Acquiring and Retaining Clients: This can be a constant challenge, especially when these firms are starting out. This is why many smaller firms need to build strong referral networks and provide exceptional customer service to retain potential clients. This can help ensure positive recommendations and online reviews of your firm.
  • Creating and Maintaining a Strong Online Presence: One of the biggest challenges with your online presence is keeping up with trends. Smaller firms must make sure they have effective websites and continually create informative content to generate organic traffic.

Given these and other challenges, it is imperative that small law firms effectively track their return on investment. This allows them to adjust their strategy as needed to continue getting the results they want.

Effective Marketing Strategies for Small Law Firms

If you want to stand out in a marketplace with larger competitors who have significantly more resources, it is often best to narrow your focus. If you cast your net too wide, it is going to be harder to get results.

With that in mind, here are some tried-and-true marketing strategies for smaller law firms:

Consider Focusing on Niche Practice Areas

This can help your firm stand out in a sea of other firms that may be going after similar types of clients. The potential clients who contact your firm are more likely to be the kind of clients you are looking for.

Build a Fast, SEO Friendly Website

Building an effective website does not need to cost an arm and a leg. It keeps getting easier to build fast and SEO-friendly websites that can deliver clients to law firms.

Firms, or the marketing companies they hire to build their websites, just need to make sure these sites hit some basic benchmarks, such as:

  • Having an SSL certificate, showing potential clients and Google it is secure
  • Responsive design so it is easy to view on smartphones and other devices
  • Fast loading speed – this usually means 80 or higher on Google Page Speed Insights
  • Optimized, informative and comprehensive content that avoids keyword stuffing
  • No duplicate content
  • Simple navigation structure that is easy for Google to crawl

Pay Attention to Local SEO

Optimize your website and content for local search terms and stay active on your Google My Business profile. These steps can help your firm move higher in local search results. You should also encourage all your clients to leave a Google Review about their experience with your law firm.

Strong Website Content (Homepage, Practice Area Pages, Blogs, Etc.)

Producing high-quality, informative content that addresses potential clients’ pain points can establish your firm as an authority. This can help to deliver organic traffic.

You might wonder what the point of organic traffic is, considering paid advertising dominates the top of search results pages. However, potential clients often view blogs before they are ready to decide which law firm to hire. These pages appear in results that often do not contain advertisements. If you can write detailed and informative content, your page could move up higher in search results.

Once on your website, potential clients could learn more about your firm. When they are ready to hire a firm, they may be more likely to think of your firm, especially if your site clearly conveys your brand and values.

If you are focusing on a niche practice area, write a lot of informative content that answers common questions about this practice area.

Social Media Marketing

While you can do paid social media marketing, you can also build a strong brand through regular social media posts. Staying actively engaged on social media helps you connect with people in your local community and get your firm brand in front of more people.

Social media posts, such as posts about things going on at your office on Instagram are a great way to humanize your law firm.

Client Reviews

Many people look at customer reviews before buying products or hiring services. They want to know about others’ experience with a company, like a law firm. Positive reviews and testimonials can significantly influence potential clients’ decision-making process.

Positive results help build trust. If other people trust something, it is only natural to feel like we can as well.

While marketing smaller law firms can be a challenge, taking a strategic approach that utilizes proven strategies can net your law firm more cases.

PMP is trusted by law firms across the U.S. We have more than 15 years’ experience helping firms attract more clients.

Call us to find out how we may be able to assist your firm.