Legal Marketing: How to Optimize your Law Firm’s Advertising during a recession

Don’t cut your advertising budget during a recession, instead increase it to gain market share and propel your law firm ahead of the rest.

Normally in a recession the first thing to go is the advertising budget, but that isn’t smart. Advertising is what draws new clients to your law firm.  Cutting costs and sticking close to your budget is what your firm wants to do and I bet you feel as though you can’t do that with advertising in the mix, right? Well wrong!

Even though people think consumers don’t spend money during recessions, they’re wrong. People just choose what to buy differently and that is why it is important to invest in your advertising so you can stay top of mind awareness to clients against your competition.

Deborah C. Scaringi, former president for Legal Marketing Association’s New England Chapter,  shares some tips for marketing in a recession in a recent Legal Marketing Reader article.

With some of my own thoughts, here are 10 cost-effective advertising strategies for your law firm to survive in this economy:

  1. Keep Existing Clients Loyal. Keeping past clients is less expensive than putting all of your energy into gaining new clients. It’s important to continue getting new clients, but make sure you don’t lose your old ones.  Loyalty to clients is also something that will bring in new clients.
  2. Understand your Audience. Understand your clients’ needs in this economy. Advertise based on what they need.
  3. Partnering. Host a trade show or speak at a conference. Work with other people to advertise. This type of work will cut your advertising down tremendously. Make sure though that these endeavors match with your principals and business practices.
  4. Continue Advertising. Since a lot of law firms are cutting their advertising budget, you now have more places to advertise.  You have more options and more people will be aware of your law firm if it’s the only one advertising. Stay top of mind!
  5. Outsource. Contract some of your employees. You don’t have to have everyone working full-time. It may be cheaper to outsource a few people for a period of time.
  6. Keep Market Share. Make sure your firm is keeping a positive presence in this economy. Do some small public relations campaigns to keep clients informed. This, along with advertising, will give you the competitive edge.
  7. Word of Mouth. Build relationships! Keep a positive presence in the market and people will spread the word of your firm’s work and reputation. This is probably the cheapest and most effective way to stay at the top of your clients’ minds.
  8. Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Make sure people can find your website easily. People do research before they pick a firm they want to work with, so make sure you have optimized your website. This will allow your site to show up at the top of search results in search engines such as Google and Bing.
  9. Web Analytics. Track what people are clicking on when they are on your site. This will allow you to better serve your clients needs.
  10. Utilize E-newsletters. Create a weekly newsletter. This is a good public relations tool as well. For example, in your newsletter, discuss pressing legal issues. Be a thought leader, focus on a practice area and stand out, and this will increase your accreditation.

Use these tools and clients will come, even in hard economic times.

Click here to read more about of Deborah C. Scaringi’s article, Recessionary Thinking: 12 Smart Marketing Tips for Tough Times

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