Small businesses often have a tight marketing budget to work with, which can make promoting a challenge. However, there are plenty of ways for you to market your firm without spending any money. If your marketing budget is slim, check out the below list of free marketing ideas for lawyers and law firms:
No matter what type of law you practice, networking is necessary. Attending events will help you network with other leaders in the industry, gain new customers and get your brand in front of a large crowd of people. Hence, be active in the community- attend conferences, civic meetings etc. In other words, use any occasion that might spread the word about your business. Tell the people you meet what your specialty is. Moreover, invite them to share your information with friends and associates who might need your services.
Utilize Social Media
Establish a business profile on all the major social sites. Host Q&A session on Facebook Live answering followers’ legal questions. Interact with other attorneys, local business people and community members and others, who follow you on Twitter. Enter into dialogue with the connections you make, share your blog posts and offers and other content on LinkedIn.
By educating your potential customers, you can build your brand and earn trust and respect in your industry. Increasing social media engagement and building a community online is a free way to grow your small business.
In addition, you can:
- Promote your blog posts, to drive traffic to your website.
- Engage with followers to express your brand voice and earn their trust.
- Run polls and request feedback.
- Create relevant content to showcase your expertise.
Tagging your loyal customers, brand ambassadors and other collaborators on social media can broaden the organic reach of your business to a new potential audience. Encourage your followers to tag you on social media handles or business locations in their posts. Incorporate trending, custom, location-based hashtags into your social media posts to reach a wider audience.
Volunteer Your Expertise and Time
Volunteering is a great way to establish a reputation, gain valuable experience and insight. Charity events are a great place for small business to increase their brand visibility. Potential customers will acknowledge your business and you’ll just have to donate your time and possibly some service.
Claim Your Profile in the Legal Directorires
Claim your practice on Justia, Avvo, Yelp and similar directories. This is a simple but effective marketing idea for small businesses operating service businesses. Yelp is a fantastic way to find new customers, as long as you keep up a strong presence. Depending on how much you want to invest, legal directories can be a paid or free marketing idea. A basic first step is to either register or claim your business, add your location and start responding to your customers’ reviews.
Create your Google My Business Account
For local businesses especially, a Google Business Profile has become one of the most effective free marketing strategies available. This free listing allows your business to show up on Google Maps, the local section of Google Search, and the right-side Knowledge Panel for branded searches. In order for your Business profile to show up higher on Google Maps or local results, you need to optimize your business profile. Accordingly, you need to have verified ownership of it, which can be done through your Google My Business Account.
Do Local SEO
Local SEO is free, but it can take some time. Here are some local SEO steps to take:
- Add location-based keywords to the titles, headings, and body content of your main website pages.
- Get listed in online directories, making sure your information is identical across platforms.
- Publish pages or blog posts specific to the neighborhoods you serve.
Develop an Email Marketing Plan
Email marketing is a great way to get new visitors engaged with your business, as well as maintain relationships with your existing customers. Email marketing is still the most reliable way to achieve a strong return on your marketing investment. Here’s how to ensure that:
- Make sure every email has an offer that encourages your readers to take the next step.
- Track your performance and run A/B tests to see what copy and offers resonate with your list.
- Get new website visitors to sign up for your newsletter by offering a coupon or a discount for subscribing.
- Start your promotional email campaigns with a free email marketing service like MailChimp.
Infographics are a powerful marketing tool and a great way to drive up referral traffic and links. You can make your own with free tools like Canva, Adobe’s free vector kits or Visme, which provide all the elements needed to make a clever, shareable infographic. If you don’t have any original, proprietary data to use in the infographic, you can find existing data. For government data, check out data.gov or The Census Bureau. Global statistics can be found through UNICEF and the World Health Organization.
Apply for Business Awards
Most industries have business awards you can win, providing you with an online badge you can place on your website. Badges like these can boost credibility, and as a result, increase sales. Be sure to check for the latest awards or rankings in your industry so you don’t miss an opportunity. If there aren’t any awards for your industry, host your own. You’ll get attention from other industry businesses who want to apply for your award. Which will ultimately result in more connections and more possible future collaborations.
Start a Blog
Content marketing serves to demonstrate your authority, expertise and benefit your audience. It can, therefore, be a highly effective marketing tactic. Moreover, Google prioritizes high-quality content that best answers the questions its users are asking. Hence, it makes your website more visible on Google and brings in more free traffic.
One great way to make content a regular part of your marketing efforts is to start a blog. Small businesses use blogging to drive traffic to their website, increase user engagements, improve their online visibility and strengthen their overall SEO. It’s a completely free way to promote your small business online, through useful information your potential clients are seeking out.
Form Industry Partherships
Team up with a business related to your industry for a joint project. This can be done locally and offline through some kind of special event, or online with a webinar or promotional giveaway. Furthermore, it can be for a short period or extended for as long as you want. Partnering with another business means twice as much notice and exposure to a whole new audience related to your niche. Industry partnerships are a great marketing tactic because they allow small business owners access to marketing, technology and customer bases that they could not have achieved on their own.
Post Helpful Videos
Video is a highly popular medium for consumers and you don’t have to hire a professional. DIY video marketing is easy with today’s devices and social media apps. Videos are great for demonstrating how to complete a task, but video marketing works in pretty much every industry. You could create a video that explains what your business does or reflect on a topic that relates to your business. For example, you can create:
- Instructional videos and how-to
- Behind the scenes coverage of what it’s like to work at your company
- Interviews with your staff and industry experts
Finally, don’t forget to include a strong CTA (call to action) and distribute the video on your website, social media channels, email etc.
Turn Employees into Brand Ambassadors
For many small businesses, word of mouth is an important marketing strategy to boost sales. Research shows that customers are more likely to purchase a service if they get a recommendation. By encouraging your employees to become brand ambassadors, you can utilize the potential of their networks. If your employees have a genuine interest in your business, leverage their social networks to reach out to a larger audience. Host an exclusive discount sale like a ”friends and family” promotion. Create an event on Facebook, invite employees, and ask them to share it with their contacts. Furthermore, encourage them to post the status and tag people to increase the reach of your event.
Recycle Your Old Content
Make the most out of the work you have already done any repurposing existing content for other channels. Turn a successful webinar into a video tutorial. Transform related blog posts or other content from your site into an Ebook that you can promote through site pop-ups or your email marketing program. Chances are there will be a ton of people who never saw that content and it will be a fresh information for a large segment of you audience.
Host a Class or an Event
Plan an event to host or a class that will attract new customers to your business while educating them about your industry. In addition, print out flyers and post them on community bulletin boards. For example, in libraries, coffee shops, local colleges and adult ed centers. The event or class will be its form of advertising, as well as a good reason to advertise.
Host a Social Media Contest or Giveaway
Running a social media contest or giveaway is an effective marketing strategy. You can offer a service at no charge to get potential customers to invest their time in applying. Contests are a great way to gather potential customer data, like emails. In addition, it is an opportunity to get them to spread the word about your business to more potential customers. There are plenty of social media contest types, but the main idea is to require registrants to follow, like or tag your business or tag someone else on your post, in order to introduce potential clients to your services.
Do Business Card Drawing
Place a bowl at your workplace with a sign inviting visitors to drop their business cards in for a chance to win something from you. For example, a free consultation. As a result, you will collect plenty of business cards. Use their email addresses to let the users know they are more than welcome to join your mailing list, which will notify them of future special offers.
Develop a Customer Referral Program
Word of mouth marketing for small businesses is a powerful way to market your business. According to Nielsen, 92% of consumers believe recommendations from friends or family over all forms of advertising. One way to boost your word-of-mouth marketing is by introducing a customer referral program. Offer your existing customers a free month of service, a discount or a similar reward for referring new customers.
Having your customers tell their friends and family about your business can be incredibly valuable. Plus, a customer referral reward can help you show some appreciation to existing customers, as well. Hence, invest in the relationship you have with your existing customers. In addition, starting a customer appreciation program might encourage people to continue using your services.
Send Out a Customer Satisfaction Survey
A customer satisfaction survey is a great way to learn about your customer base. Moreover, it is a great way for customers to remember you exist. Customers will appreciate that you asked for their opinion and they will feel invested in the results of the survey, which will result in better loyalty over time. in addition, you might get some valuable insight into how to improve your overall business.
Celebrate Company Milestones
Periodically, check if any significant story comes through the data. Maybe you’ve done business with over 1,000 clients in your area, or perhaps you provide your service at a percentage higher than industry standards. Publish the results online or put a sign out in front of your law firm. People respond well to numbers because they are easily digestible data points. For example, ”The community loves us!” will be outperformed by ”Over 2,500 satisfied customers in our area!”
Engage in One-To-One Marketing
Use this customer relationship strategy to boost personalized interactions with customers. It can include sending handwritten postcards to valued customers or personalized birthday emails. Finding good customer relationship management software can also help automate the process. As a result, it can foster greater customer loyalty and better return o marketing investment.
Host a Webinar
Hosting a webinar or collaborating on one with another business can be a great way to help potential new customers get to know your business. Webinars are a free way to promote your business by providing helpful information to potentially interested customers. This can be fairly simple like going live on Facebook or Instagram and taking questions from the comments or interviewing one of your top employees. Or you can utilize Webinar platforms such as Webex and GoToMeeting. Make sure to promote your webinar on social media or through an email newsletter before the event and include reminders to registrants so that they don’t miss it.
Send Email Newsletters
Email marketing is a great way to get new visitors engaged with your business, as well as maintain relationships with your existing customers. Even the most basic email marketing plans can have a big impact. Advertise your email newsletter on your website or in your company so people can sign up. It’s a great way to establish customer loyalty or nurture subscribers to become paying customers over time. Start your email campaigns with a free email marketing platform like MailChimp or SendPulse—prices scale up as your business grows.
Take a Stand on a Controversial Industry Topic
Get your consumer’s attention by taking a stand on an issue important to them. For example, if your company is anti-smoking, stop smoking cigarettes in your company’s area and issue a press release. If you care about the environment, make your business eco-friendly, and write a post on a publishing site like Medium about the experience. In short- take a stand, act on it and then tell people all about it. You may lose some customers in the process, but you’ll strengthen your other customer relationships and gain new ones.
Sign up for HARO
If you want free press, you should be on Help a Reporter Out (HARO). HARO is a platform for reporters looking for help on articles or other pieces of content they’re working on. Reporters submit requests for responses on specific topics, and industry leaders and specialists answer. If your answer is used in the article, your name and business will appear with it. If you consider yourself a thought leader in a certain industry or topic, be sure to be on HARO responding to reporters. It’s a quick and free marketing idea for small businesses that want to be placed in the news.
Build a Presence on Online Forums
If your customers are online, then the best marketing ideas for your small business will be online, as well. Build a presence on online forums like Quora, Reddit, or any forum where your customers are posting. Answering questions in a non-promotional, helpful manner will help build visibility among your potential customers. On Reddit, you can find scores of people already interested in what your business has to offer. Check out 20 places on Reddit where legal professionals and people with legal questions gather.
Partner with Influencers
Use your social media channels to interact with your customers who are either reviewing you or commenting on your posts. Let them know you’re listening to what they have to say and that you care. Partner up with influencers on social media to elevate your social media presence. Send them a gift and they might feature you in a post or on their story. In addition, this collaboration tactic can be worth the investment if you find an influencer whose audience base overlaps with your own.
Even if you are low on budget, you can reach potential customers who will help grow your business. Try out these small business marketing ideas and find the ones that really work for your company. Once you determine which channels are worthwhile for your business, you can start investing.