For decades, attorneys have taken advantage of traditional advertising in the form of law firm print ads, billboards, and more. Now, thanks to modern technology, attorneys also have access to effective digital advertising in the form of pay-per-click (PPC) ad campaigns, search advertising, and social media.
You may feel overwhelmed at the thought of advertising your legal services, wondering if it’s worth your time and money. The thing is, if your potential clients don’t know you exist, you won’t be able to grow your firm the way you want to. A great way to stake your claim within the legal industry is to shout your firm’s name and services from the rooftops via lawyer ads and law firm advertising.
Does Advertising Work for Lawyers?
The short answer is yes, advertising works for lawyers. If you conduct a quick Google search for attorneys, you’ll see lawyer ads. That’s because over 80% of consumers use search to find local businesses—including law firms. If you drive through town, you may see various attorney billboards. When 71% of travelers consciously look at billboard messages, it’s easy to see why this method is successful.
To make advertising work for your firm, you must understand your clients and choose advertising methods that resonate with them specifically. In this guide, we’ll dive deep into the methods available and how you can use them to your advantage.
How to Advertise Your Law Firm
Before getting started in advertising, it’s important to understand the two different types available to you: analog and digital. Analog advertising is traditional advertising. It includes billboards, TV, print lawyer ads, radio, and more. Digital advertising includes online advertising such as social media ads or pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns on Google and other search engines.
Which type is best for you? For advertising to work, you gotta go where your people are. And you’ll find most of your clients are online. Digital paid advertising is now generally more effective than traditional advertising. After all, your potential clients now spend more time viewing digital media than traditional media.
This doesn’t mean you should ignore traditional advertising completely. We recommend trying a mix of both, finding what works best for your firm.
How Much Should Law Firms Spend on Advertising?
Ah, the million-dollar question. Just like everything in law, the answer is: it depends. How much your law firm spends on paid advertising depends on your goals, vision, and overall budget. Start by considering your gross revenue goal for next year.
How much will you need to increase your current revenue to meet your goal (your target growth)? If you’ve spent zero on law firm marketing up until now, we recommend setting aside 7-10% of your revenue as your advertising budget.
Although it sounds like a lot right now, advertising is an investment that does pay off. If you’re a new firm, consider your current budget and what you’re able to realistically set aside for advertising costs. It’s okay to start small. As you grow your firm, this number will increase.
Take Labster Sara Danilson. She and her husband Jeremy lost a huge referral source. They were scrambling to figure out what to do next. They’d counted on that source! They needed to drum up business right away and tried several avenues before settling on Google Ads. While Google Ads can depend on your market and location, they found quickly setting up ads returned an ROI of 600%, which more than made up for that lost referral source.
Understand Your Brand
Before you do anything else, it’s important that you understand your law firm’s brand. Your brand is your law firm’s personality and includes many elements such as your unique selling proposition and company values. These are the things you’ll need to communicate in your ad copy, so you must grasp what they are.
The Importance of Authenticity
Authenticity is a buzzword that gets thrown around, especially in advertising. It’s there for a reason. You must remember to be authentic in your advertising, staying true to your brand and values. The lawyer ads you place online or offline should effectively communicate who you are to attract the right clients to your firm. Like we say: If you’re a playful, funny person, let the world know! But if you’re quiet and serious, don’t try to be a comedian. Stick to what feels true.
Plus, being yourself matters to your potential clients. Around 86% of people say authenticity matters when deciding what brands they like and support. And, as an attorney, we don’t have to remind you of the legal repercussions behind false advertisements.
Outsource Your Marketing Efforts
We understand that as a solo attorney or the proud owner of a new law firm, you may not have the time it takes to successfully advertise your firm. Advertising and marketing are easy things to outsource—just be mindful of who you choose.
For assistance in choosing a reputable company, check out our SEO services and marketing agency reviews.
Law Firm Advertising Ideas
Digital advertising and traditional advertising each offer several methods to choose from for advertising your firm. While there’s no right answer for which combination you should choose, there are guidelines to help you.
Google Ads & PPC for Lawyers
Google Ads is an online advertising platform developed by Google. Using Google Ads, you have the option to pay to display advertisements, service offerings, and more within search. Each time a visitor clicks on your ad, you pay Google a small fee. This is the essence of the pay-per-click or PPC ad.
Like Labsters Sara and Jeremy figured out, Google Ads is by far the most popular PPC platform. Why? Google currently dominates with a search engine market share of 91.43%, meaning over 90% of worldwide searches are handled via Google. If you want to place ads for your law firm online, this is the place.
When Should You Use Google Ads & PPC?
As an attorney, you probably serve clients within a specific niche such as family law or personal injury. You may even wish to attract clients in a certain age group or with a certain legal concern. Google Ads allows you to target your ads to very specific audiences, making it a perfect option for attorneys.
Here’s some technical stuff: PPC campaigns are also a great choice for the budget-conscious. Inside a PPC campaign, you’ll bid on keywords a user might search for in Google. When you win the bid, that keyword will trigger your ad. Each time a user clicks on your ad, there’s a fee. Using Google PPC, you can set daily limits for both bids and clicks to protect your budget.
For example, if you’re a family law attorney who deals primarily with low-conflict divorce, you’ll want to use keywords your clients will know. Do they know the term “low-conflict”? Probably not. But they might search for “friendly divorce” or “no drama divorce.” Think in layman’s terms here.
If that wasn’t enough, Google Ads also helps you receive almost immediate traffic to your website. It’s a great choice for law firms who need some traction as soon as possible.
How to Get Started
To get started with Google Ads, first create a free account for your law firm. One of the best things about Google Ads is it’s fairly easy to create campaigns once you understand the basics.
- Consider your marketing goals. Before you go any further, take some time to consider your goals. For example, maybe you’re creating ads to increase website traffic and attract more leads. This is an important part of setting up your first campaign.
- Decide which services you want to market. Which legal services do you want to market right now? Beyond your services, choose which clients you wish to target with your ads. Who needs these services the most?
- Set a budget. We recommend starting with a small daily budget as you test which ads work best. Your daily budget will depend on the overall marketing budget you set. You’ll find it’s a no-brainer to spend $15 to $20 a day on PPC ads when they start working for you.
- Choose your keywords. Choose the keywords you want to use in your ads. For example, if you’re targeting clients looking for family law attorneys, you might choose “divorce attorney in Texas” or “child custody lawyer near me.”
- Write your ad. Include your keywords in your ad and keep it short and sweet. Focus on how your target client will benefit from working with you. Also, end your ad with a call to action that inspires searchers to click.
- Choose your measurements. Google allows you to implement conversion tracking from your ads. You have many options, including calls from ads (phone calls from the number on your ads) and calls from your website (phone calls from the number on your website).
Congratulations on your first Google PPC campaign! The success of Google Ads for lawyers varies greatly on market, location and practice area. Make sure you take this into consideration and make your ads specific.
Facebook Lawyers Ads
Similar to Google Ads, Facebook Ads is a PPC advertising platform for one of the largest social media websites out there. Everyone’s on Facebook, your clients included. Around 2.45 billion people use Facebook each month, making it a prime spot for advertising your law firm.
When Should You Use Facebook Ads for Lawyers?
If you want a quick, cost-effective way to get in front of your audience, Facebook Ads is a great choice. The platform allows you to hyper-target your specific audience to ensure you gather qualified leads. In fact, Facebook offers more targeting options than Google currently does.
For beginners, Facebook Ads is simple to set-up and use, plus it’s budget-friendly. Most daily minimum budgets range from $1 to $5.
How to Get Started
- Choose your objective. What are your goals for your Facebook ad? Facebook allows you to choose from brand awareness, reach, traffic, engagement, app installs, video views, lead generation, messages, conversions, catalog sales, and store visits.
- Select an audience. Choose who you want to reach, including their demographics, location, and interests. Remember to focus on your target customer and niche.
- Choose where to run your ad. Select from running your ad on Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, Audience Network, or all of them. Choose the place your audience hangs out the most.
- Set a budget. You must choose a daily and lifetime budget, plus a time period for your lawyer ads. Choose a budget that fits the advertising budget you set for your firm. We recommend starting small while you test which ads work best.
- Choose a format and publish. Facebook allows you to choose from six different ad formats such as a single image, video or slideshow. Once you select your format, you’ll publish and send your ad to auction, where it’s then activated.
Inside Ads Manager, you’ll be able to track the performance of your ad, plus make any adjustments you need to improve your reach.
Law Firm Print Ads
Walk into any grocery store and you’ll see that print is far from dead. In fact, the response rate for direct mail in the form of print is 37% higher than email. Plus, 82% of consumers trust print ads when making purchase decisions.
When Should You Use Law Firm Print Ads?
If you serve a niche audience (which most attorneys do), a print ad might work for you. But, it’s important to note that print ads can get expensive over time. According to Entrepreneur, the average cost of a print ad ranges from $500 to $20,000, depending on the publication, size of your ad, and whether you print in color.
Do not spend your entire advertising budget on a single print ad. Instead, use a print ad if your budget allows after taking advantage of simpler digital advertising methods.
How to Get Started
First things first, you’ll need to locate the best-fit publications for your firm and your audience. Get incredibly picky here. This will take some research since you’ll want to find local publications in your area. Make a list of publications and visit their website or give them a call to determine their print requirements and cost.
Once you’ve chosen a publication, create your ad. Here are a few tips:
- Keep it simple. Remember, less is more here. Not only will simpler print ads cost less, but they won’t overwhelm the reader with too much information.
- Catch your audience’s attention with a headline. Create a headline that stands out from the rest of your ad to grab your reader’s attention.
- Add a call to action with contact information. Believe it or not, your audience wants to be told what to do. Add a call to action that includes your contact information such as address and phone number.
- Include law firm information. Who do you serve? What do you do? Consider the main messages about your firm you want to convey. Add in your law firm’s logo as a final touch.
It might be best for you to reach out to a graphic design professional to help you create your print ads. Or, if you believe in your own design-savvy, use online tools such as Canva to help you design an ad on your own.
Law Firm Billboards
It’s no secret that successful advertisements are memorable. That’s why some Super Bowl commercials remain topics of discussion for years after the game.
Billboards are much the same. They work due to their ability to solidify a message inside a consumer’s brain. In fact, around 82% of consumers can recall advertising on digital billboards.
When Should You Use Law Firm Billboards?
For attorneys, billboards are a great choice since they allow you to advertise in specific locations. Plus, billboards work in both rural and metropolitan areas, grabbing the attention of a captive audience: travelers.
The cost of billboard advertising can range from hundreds to thousands, depending on location, ad type, whether it’s a poster billboard or digital billboard, among many other factors. We recommend waiting to use billboard advertising until you have a decent advertising budget for your firm.
How to Get Started
First, you’ll need to identify strategic billboard locations for your firm. Conduct a quick online search to find billboard advertising companies in your area. Reach out to them to find ad space for rent. In some cases, you can choose between traditional billboards or digital, depending on how you want your advertisement to look.
You’ll then need to create a billboard design for your firm. This may be as simple as an image with your business name and phone number or it can be more complex. We highly recommend you reach out to a design professional for help.
Think of billboards as your classic brand marketing. People in cars will see you from the road, but they’re not going to call right then. But they’ll remember your gimmick. For example, there’s a real estate professional in Minneapolis who has billboards everywhere. He’s known for one thing: In those billboards, his arms are spread wide, like he’s going in for a hug. Everyone knows the spread-out-arm guy. He’s successfully given himself a brand that can be identified in a quick glance.
Radio & TV Ads for Lawyers
Two of the most common types of traditional advertising are radio ads and TV ads. Radio and TV both reach approximately 90% of US adults, solidifying its popularity for business advertising.
When Should You Use Radio & TV Ads?
Radio and TV ads are effective in advertising to all demographics. They’re also best suited for more robust advertising budgets. Both radio and TV ads take time and specialized production equipment to create, driving the cost higher. For example, to create a commercial from start to finish and then broadcast it locally, you can expect to pay several thousand dollars—at a minimum.
Radio ads are often cheaper but can still range from a couple hundred to a few thousand dollars each week they’re aired. We recommend trying your hand at radio and TV ads once you’ve built up your advertising budget.
A caveat: There’s a stereotype out there about attorney TV and radio ads. I’m sure you know what it is before I even have to tell you: schmoozy, sleazy, opportunistic. They don’t have to be this way, but keep this in mind before creating your first ad. How can you break through that stereotype and show your firm’s values?
How to Get Started
Although you can do the initial legwork such as setting your advertising goals, we recommend reaching out to a professional for help with TV and radio ads. We also recommend familiarizing yourself with the American Bar Association’s advertising requirements as well as the requirements set forth by your local ABA.
To find professional radio and TV ad help, a quick online search can help you locate local advertising agencies.
Law Firm Advertising: The Effort Is Worth It
We know it can feel overwhelming to sift through all this information, especially when all you want to do is grow your firm. We get it; we’ve been there. We also know that the effort you put into advertising your firm is more than worth it.
Remember, you don’t have to take on every advertising method today. Start small and move forward. Each click, impression, and glance bring you one step closer to law firm success.
Start Building Your Firm the Right Way Today
Whether you’re just getting started in law or need help digging your firm out of a slump, we can help. We offer a 10-week online course and group coaching program that features Lawyerist’s philosophies and resources. Interested? Click here to set up a time to learn more.