Starting and growing a successful law firm takes time, effort, and often a significant amount of money. Many lawyers struggle to find enough clients to keep their practice afloat in those critical first few years. Marketing a law firm effectively requires creativity, persistence, and learning new skills – like digital marketing. This is especially important when there are 420,000 law firms in the U.S. competing for new clients via marketing.
While paid advertising certainly works, the costs can quickly add up. Savvy lawyers are always looking for free marketing strategies to help get the word out about their firm and scale up with more clients. Here are four highly effective ways lawyers can advertise their services online at no cost.
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1) Leverage Legal Directories to Get Found Locally
One of the most powerful free resources available to lawyers are legal directories like Avvo, Lawyers.com, and Justia. These sites allow you to create a robust profile showcasing your law firm, practice areas, credentials, and contact information. Many local consumers use these directories to find legal help in their city, whether it be for injury or immigration help. Criminal defense marketing strategies rely on directories heavily.
Creating profiles on all the major legal directories should be one of the first steps for any new firm. Completing your profiles thoroughly and optimizing them with relevant keywords will help get your business found online. Updating them regularly with new testimonials, awards, press mentions, and content will improve your rankings and credibility over time.
Don’t forget to include schema markup on your directory pages to enhance the rich results displayed in search engines. Structured data can include your business name, address, phone number, opening hours, and more. This makes your listing stand out more boldly in the search results.
2) Build Citations to Strengthen Local SEO
Citations are essential for providing signals to search engines and customers that your law firm has an established and trustworthy local presence. Citations include any mention of your business name, address, and phone number on directory listings, review sites, and other web pages.
The more quality citations you can build, the better your local search rankings will become. Start by creating listings on widely-used sites like Yelp, BBB, Manta, Hotfrog, and Factual. Be sure all citations exactly match your business name, address, and contact details.
Then look for industry-specific opportunities, like Avvo and Lawyers.com for attorneys. You can also get citations on local business partners’ sites, directories focused on serving your city or neighborhood, and relevant association pages where you have memberships.
Pro tip: Don’t try to take shortcuts by mass-generating low-quality citations. Focus on getting listed on reputable, well-established sites relevant to your law business. Quality over quantity wins here.
3) Tap Into the Power of Social Media
Social platforms present amazing opportunities to spread the word about your services, establish yourself as an authority, and engage directly with potential clients.
Facebook and LinkedIn company pages are must-haves. Share content about your practice areas, successes, team members, and more. Engage your audience by responding to comments and messages. Run occasional promotions to spur followers to share your page with their networks.
Twitter is hugely valuable for lawyers to join relevant conversations, connect with influencers, and build brand awareness. Use relevant hashtags and interact strategically with other accounts.
Instagram and TikTok allow you to showcase your firm culture and connect with younger demographics. Post photos, videos, Stories, and Reels related to your work. Always use branded hashtags and mentions.
Pro tip: Have a social media calendar and strategy for each platform. Post valuable content consistently, not just sales pitches. Monitor notifications and respond promptly.
4) Get Reviews to Build Credibility
Just ask your clients. People like doing favors. Positive online reviews are essential for establishing credibility with prospects searching for legal help. But you can’t just ask any client for a 5-star rating. There’s an art to gathering reviews in a way that feels authentic and genuine.
First, make sure every client interaction is stellar from start to finish. Then watch for opportunities to “catch someone doing something right.” When a client compliments your responsiveness or results, ask if they’d be willing to leave an online review reflecting their experience.
You can ask for reviews on Google, Facebook, Avvo, Yelp and other sites. Reviews should cover your professionalism, communication style, knowledge, and outcome of the case. Photos of you and your team further validate reviews.
Pro tip: Never offer clients incentives in exchange for reviews, as this violates most sites’ guidelines. Respond professionally to negative reviews, and have a system for gathering positive testimonials over time.
Make the Most of Free Law Firm Marketing
Succeeding as a lawyer takes skill and determination – and getting clients requires thoughtful marketing. While paid tactics like PPC, SEO services, and mailers have their place, starting with free strategies allows you to lay a solid foundation without breaking the bank.
Optimizing your profiles on legal directories, building local citations, engaging on social media, and proactively gathering reviews enables any firm to enhance its online visibility and credibility. Consistency and persistence are key.
When used strategically as part of an integrated marketing plan, these free law firm marketing tactics can help drive new clients to your practice on an ongoing basis.
FAQs About Marketing a Law Firm Online and Legal Marketing Software
Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about digital marketing for lawyers:
Which platforms should lawyers prioritize? LinkedIn and Facebook are most critical, as they allow you to reach both professional connections and local community members. Twitter can be valuable for building influence and monitoring conversations relevant to your practice areas. Legal marketing tools like FirmPilot.com can automate this entire function.
What are some common SEO mistakes law firms make? Having a weak technical SEO foundation, failing to optimize pages for targeted keywords, creating low-value content like keyword-stuffed blog posts, and not building high-quality backlinks. Focus on great content, user experience, and authority building.
What types of content help lawyers attract clients? Educational articles, case studies, attorney bios, infographics, videos, webinars, news stories about your firm’s successes, and legal insights on trending issues. Ensure your content directly answers prospects’ questions.
How important are reviews for law firms? Incredibly important. Over 90% of consumers read online reviews before choosing a lawyer. Reviews build trust and social proof. Make gathering and managing reviews an ongoing priority.
What are some free tools lawyers should use to boost marketing? Google My Business, Google Search Console, Google Analytics, Moz Local, Semrush’s free account option, Canva, Hootsuite, Buffer, BuzzSumo, and Hemingway Editor. Take advantage of the many free resources available.
Growing your Law Firm with Better Marketing Strategies
The digital landscape provides endless opportunities for lawyers to build their brand and attract clients through free marketing activities. Avoid getting overwhelmed. Start with the strategies outlined here, and expand your efforts over time. Consistency and persistence are key.
With a thoughtful approach, creativity, and determination, any lawyer can make their firm stand out online – without breaking the bank. What free strategy will you start implementing first?
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