Many law firms chase the latest marketing trends. It makes sense. You have to be willing to try new things if you want to grow your leads.
But a few proven insights always fly under the radar.
Here are 4 often-overlooked marketing tips I wish I had known when I started working with lawyers. These tips will empower you to outpace your competition with tactics most people overlook in favor of shiny new things.
1. Local Links Are More Impactful Than They Get Credit For
Links are an important ranking factor if you want your law firm to appear in Google searches.
Look at any competitive search result. You'll be hard-pressed to find ones where the top pages don't have links.
But too many marketers for lawyers obsess over building links from pages with high Page Authority or Domain Authority scores.
The real power lies in local relevance.
A handful of links from trusted local sources is far more impactful than hundreds from unrelated sites.
Start by looking at the top-ranking sites for your primary keywords.
Most of these will be your competitors, and they won't link to you. But you can figure out who links to them.
Run a competitor backlink analysis on them to figure out which local sources would be willing to link to you.
Look for the most important and relevant sites in your region, too. Links from local news sites and organizations will send signals to Google about who you are and what you do.
2. Use Social Media for Brand Building, Not Direct Response
Too many lawyers focus on using organic social media for direct response marketing. They spend all their time asking people to hire them and wonder why they only get a few new clients.
But social media isn't all about immediate conversions—it's about building your brand.
You can see this in the growth and popularity of attorneys on TikTok.
Legal influencers, like Law By Mike or Attorney Tom, blend legal advice that's relevant to their practices with entertainment. They have huge followings as a result.
Only a fraction of their followers will convert from social media, but that's not the goal.
Instead, Mike and Tom have made their brands visible and memorable. When one of their followers needs a lawyer, the first person they think of is the person they see on TikTok.
The secret lies in finding intersections between your content and your audience's interests.
Repeating generic legal advice won't cultivate a loyal following. They've heard it all before.
But you stand out when you know what's interesting to your audience and give them that. Show your audience your unique perspective and how you've helped people.
Limit the urge to ask them directly to hire you. They know what you do. They'll come to you when they're ready based on the relationship you form with them through your content.
3. Traditional Media Is Still Relevant (And Affordable) for Lawyers
It's easy to overlook traditional media in a digital world. But TV, radio, and billboards are still great for brand recognition.
An offline presence is crucial for firms that want to capture a larger market share. And established firms benefit from reminding potential clients that they're ready and willing to serve.
A simple lawyer billboard or radio ad won't lead to calls.
But they do bolster your brand when you combine them with other marketing activities.
Here's the other thing: traditional advertising gets cheaper for you as other lawyers abandon it for digital tactics.
You can get great rates on radio and TV spots that other lawyers don't want. And it pairs with your digital marketing, reinforcing both efforts.
Understanding your local community is vital to making effective traditional ads. Engage with local events or sports teams and consider sponsorships to tie yourself to something other than being on another generic lawyer billboard.
4. Your Budget Determines Your Marketing Tactics, Not the Other Way Around
What works for one law firm will not always work for your law firm. And what one law firm can afford will be out of reach for another.
Your budget dictates your marketing tactics, not the other way around.
Allocate between 6-12% of total fees to marketing efforts. Some firms even invest up to 20-30% based on the competitive landscape.
What you spend that on depends on your firm's goals and the hard money amount at hand.
Be tactical and realistic if you're on a tight budget. Bidding on high-intent keywords in Google Ads won't get you far with a limited budget.
But that won't stop you from looking for creative ways to get your message out there.
Creating content for social media, setting up community sponsorships, and even running a handwritten letter campaign are options if you don't have a huge budget. And they still move the needle for your firm.
Maybe you can't afford to run ads today, but the cheaper tactics will fuel your firm. They'll help you grow so you can afford the more expensive options.
Get Out There and Start Growing
Looking for the tactics that other people ignore is a way to gain a massive advantage in your market.
There's no end to the number of tactics you can use for law firm marketing. These are just some of the most impactful insights people tend to overlook.
Local link building or traditional ads may not be the shiny new tech others chase. But they are helpful when you use them right and spot the opportunity to use tactics that everyone else passes by.