If you own a law firm, you may be unsure how much money you should reasonably allocate to your marketing budget. Marketing services can vary significantly in price. Additionally, many marketing companies charge al a carte, and you may be unsure which services are necessary for your firm.

Examining the average marketing budget for different types of law firms can help you understand how much to spend on marketing. Read on to learn about the typical law firm marketing budget and how law firms typically allocate their marketing resources.

How Much Does the Average Law Firm Spend On Their Marketing Budget?

Different types of law firms have different marketing needs. As a result, law firms offering different practice areas may vary their marketing spend significantly.

While your firm’s marketing budget should depend on your gross revenue, competition, size, and age, these averages can help you understand how much your competitors may spend on marketing. You can use this information to estimate how much to spend on your own law firm.

Here is more information about law firm marketing budgets for different types of legal practices.

Personal Injury

Personal injury law firms often dedicate more of their budgets to marketing than other firms. This is generally because of the wide range of practice areas a personal injury lawyer offers.

Personal injury firms often have ten to 20 practice areas, including car accidents, slip and fall accidents, product liability cases, and more. As a result, they sometimes need to spend more money to reach all of the potential clients across these practice areas.

For instance, a personal injury law firm typically spends $40 per click on PPC ads, compared to an estate planning lawyer who spends less than $5 per click.

Law firms spend anywhere from 2% to 20% on marketing, but personal injury firms typically fall at the top of this range. If you own a personal injury firm, you may want to consider allocating 15% to 20% of your budget to marketing efforts.

Criminal Defense

gavel with stand and handcuffs on wooden background

Criminal defense attorneys tend to have lower marketing budgets compared to other lawyers. Marketing companies typically recommend that these firms spend 3% of their gross revenue on marketing and business development.

Criminal defense law firms have more narrow practice areas compared to broader firms, such as family law firms. Additionally, many criminal defense lawyers obtain new clients through referrals from former clients or the court system, reducing the need for paid advertising.

Family Law

Typically, family law firms spend anywhere from 15% to 20% of their revenue on their marketing budget. These firms must reach potential clients who may not have previously considered working with an attorney. As a result, they must use marketing efforts to educate potential clients on the necessity for legal services.

Family law firm clients often work with their attorneys for many years, limiting the need for retention marketing.

Asset Protection

Estate planning and asset protection law firms typically spend 10% or less of their gross revenue on marketing.

These law firms must dedicate a portion of their marketing budgets to educating prospective clients about their services. Many people are unfamiliar with the roles of asset protection attorneys and would never otherwise consider working with one.

Business Law

business lawyer meeting with businessman client

Business law firms budget anywhere from 2% to 10% of revenue for marketing. These firms sometimes receive a higher return on investment for marketing campaigns compared to other firms. Their business clients are willing to pay more for their high-value services.

Employment

An employment law firm’s budget for marketing typically ranges between 2% and 10% of the firm’s gross revenue.

Like estate planning firms, employment firms must dedicate a significant portion of their marketing budget to educating their target audience. Prospective clients may not know how an employment lawyer can help them before viewing these marketing efforts.

Civil Litigation

Law firms specializing in civil litigation often spend over 10% of their firm’s revenue on marketing efforts. Because the average person never goes through civil litigation, referrals are uncommon in this field.

Many law firms offering civil litigation services dedicate the majority of their budgets to acquisition marketing, which includes lead generation and both digital and traditional marketing strategies.

Goal Of Your Marketing

lawyer shaking hands with his new client

Investing in marketing can provide a significant ROI for your law firm. When you implement a successful marketing strategy within your law firm, you can achieve the following goals:

Reach New Clients

Whether you own a business law firm, a family law firm, or something in between, you probably don’t get many repeat clients. Acquisition marketing can help you continually reach new clients to keep your client load full.

Your marketing strategy can help you reach new clients in a few different ways. For example, PPC ads can inform your target market about your services when they may not even be looking for a lawyer. Meanwhile, content marketing can educate clients who are already on your website or social media pages.

Without marketing, your firm will probably struggle to obtain new clients. You will not be able to stay competitive with the other firms in your area without implementing effective marketing campaigns.

But with the right marketing strategies, you can keep a full client load to continue increasing profits from month to month.

Keep Your Current Clients

Your firm can also benefit from implementing retention marketing strategies. These strategies help you keep current clients and encourage them to return for future services.

For example, family law firms often have repeat clients. These clients may initially need assistance with a divorce. Then, down the line, they may need help enforcing child support or altering child custody arrangements.

In some cases, your marketing efforts may also encourage current clients to continue working with your firm to the completion of their cases. You can use marketing strategies to advertise the value of your marketing services, reminding clients of why they should continue working with you.

Promote Your Services

One of the main goals of law firm marketing is to promote your services.

The average person doesn’t have much legal knowledge or experience. They don’t know offhand how a lawyer can assist them or why they would require an attorney’s services.

When you implement successful marketing campaigns, you can educate and inform your target audience about your services. These promotional strategies can help you convert leads into prospects, bringing your audience one step closer to hiring you.

How Much Do Law Firms Spend on Marketing on Average?

lawyers secretary working on the cost of law firms marketing

According to a report from “American Lawyer,” the law firms on the AM Law 200 list spend an average of 2% of their gross revenue on marketing-related costs. Law firm management consultants typically recommend spending between 2% and 5% on marketing efforts.

Many factors can impact a law firm’s marketing budget. For example, a new law firm may spend more during its first few months to develop a client base. More established firms may spend less due to the referrals they receive from former clients.

Smaller law firms tend to spend less on marketing because they can reach their target client acquisition faster. Meanwhile, bigger law firms typically have more revenue to dedicate to their marketing budget and can handle larger client loads.

Where Do Law Firms Typically Allocate Their Marketing Budget?

marketing manager holds meeting presentation of marketing budget allocation

Most law firms allocate their marketing budgets to several types of marketing services. Here are a few critical marketing services you may want to consider including in your legal marketing budget:

Digital Marketing

Digital marketing is the best way for lawyers to market themselves in 2022. In contrast to traditional marketing methods, digital marketing strategies promote your services online.

Digital marketing can include many different services. Here are the main services online marketing agencies offer:

Website Creation & Maintenance

According to a study from the American Bar Association, 87% of law firms have websites. If your firm does not yet have a website, you may be lagging behind similar firms in your area.

Your website plays a vital role in your law firm’s reputation. It also provides an easy tool for your target audience to learn about your services and contact you, moving them through the marketing funnel.

Simply having a website isn’t enough to stay competitive. You need to have a high-quality, updated, clean, and user-friendly website. Your digital marketing budget should leave room for website creation and maintenance.

Google Ads

marketing assistant using google ads in smartphone and laptop

Google Ads are a form of pay-per-click (PPC) advertising that appears in Google search results. Your firm will pay a base rate for every person who clicks on one of these ads.

Google Ads are an effective paid advertising strategy. These advertisements can reach clients who may not know they need a lawyer. For example, if you own a family law firm, you can place a Google Ad in the search results for “how to get a divorce.

SEO

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a marketing strategy that seeks to improve your rankings in search engines for related keywords. This strategy can lead your target audience to find your law firm first when searching for your type of services, giving you a leg up over the competition.

Marketing agencies use several strategies for search engine optimization. Your company may alter your website URL, tailor your written content based on your target keywords, create new pages for your website, and more.

Search engine optimization is one of the most valuable digital marketing methods you can implement within your law firm. When your search engine rankings increase, you can expect to reach more clients and have a larger promotional reach, benefiting two of the main marketing goals.

Social Media Promotions

social media apps icons on smartphone

Social media marketing is another important component of digital marketing strategies. You can use social media marketing to reach your target audience organically, inform people about your services, shape your branding, and strengthen relationships with existing clients.

Many law firms use social media promotions to improve brand awareness. You can also purchase paid advertisements on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn to expand your marketing reach.

Email Marketing

Email marketing lets your firm make direct, purposeful contact with prospective and current clients.

Your marketing company can implement a lead generation strategy that enables clients to receive a free consultation when they enter their email addresses on your website. Then, they can send targeted emails to these users to promote your services further.

Content Marketing

Content marketing is the process of creating written and visual content to market your law firm. This content may include blog posts, service pages, infographics, videos, social media posts, emails, and more.

Your content marketing budget can be absorbed into email, social media, and website marketing, as each of these services requires content creation.

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is the process of advertising your law firm through social media influencers. With this strategy, you would pay an influential person to promote your firm on their own marketing channels, such as social media.

While most law firms do not use affiliate marketing, implementing this strategy can set your firm apart from your competitors and expand your marketing reach.

Managing Your Reviews

colleagues managing the reviews on law firm website

Reviews go a long way in the legal industry. When you receive mostly positive reviews from clients, your firm will develop a positive reputation. However, receiving even one bad review can harm your law firm’s image.

Managing your reviews is an important aspect of marketing your law firm well. Accordingly, your firm should allocate some of your marketing investment specifically for review management strategies.

For example, your firm can implement a client automation program that sends emails and texts to clients asking them to leave reviews. You can also set up notifications for when you receive new reviews on Google, Facebook, and other popular platforms.

Review management doesn’t need to take up too much of your marketing spend, but you should give it some consideration when considering your law firm marketing budget.

Creating Guides

Have you ever seen lawyers release e-books or guides about their services? Creating guides is a marketing strategy that can inform your audience about your services and get your name out there. After all, our legal marketing budget guide brought you to our website.

You don’t have to be a good writer or a legal expert to write a successful guide. You just need to know how to use effective marketing channels to get your guide into the right hands.

Once you create a guide, you can attach your law firm’s name to it and use it as a marketing tool. You can offer it as an ebook and a physical book to capitalize on traditional marketing techniques. Any time a person reads the guide, they will learn about your firm and understand your expertise within your practice areas.

The amount of marketing dollars you should allocate to create a guide depends on the quality of your guide. If you plan to create a quick guide yourself, you shouldn’t need to spend much. But if you want your guide to be professional and high-quality, you may want to hire a writing and editing team to assist you.

Seminars

business lawyer giving a talk at seminar on conference hall

Leading seminars is another effective strategy in the legal marketing landscape. These programs accomplish many of the same goals as creating guides. They showcase your expertise in your practice areas and bring more people to your website.

You can market seminars as free educational resources for your target audience. For example, if you own a business litigation firm, you can create a seminar on navigating common legal issues in the business world.

Seminars enable you to market your services without adopting a promotional tone. This organic marketing strategy establishes a relationship with the potential client before subtly informing them about how you can assist them.

Depending on how you structure your seminars, they probably won’t take too much of your marketing budget. If you run the seminars yourself, your only loss will be from the time you take away from other tasks.

However, these marketing strategies can potentially produce significant benefits for your law firm’s marketing journey.

How To Find The Best Marketing Service To Promote Your Firm

lawyer using laptop searching marketing service to promote his law firm

Choosing the right marketing service for your law firm is important for getting the most return on your investment. Your firm needs a qualified, skilled marketing agency with experience working with small and large law firms.

Identifying the right marketing agency for your needs may seem overwhelming. Here are the steps you can follow to find the best marketing service for your law firm:

  1. Identify your goals: Before you can understand what to look for in a marketing agency, you need to know your goals for your law firm marketing strategy. Do you want to hit a target revenue? Bring on a certain number of clients? Small law firms typically have different goals than large law firms, leading them to look for different legal marketing companies.
  2. Determine your marketing services: Next, you should consider the marketing services you’d like to pay for. If your firm currently does not spend any money on marketing, you may need a full package from a marketing agency.
  3. Pin down your marketing budget: With your marketing goals and services in mind, you can pinpoint your law firm marketing budget. You can always adjust this number down the line based on changes to your revenue.
  4. Start your search: Finally, you can use these parameters to begin searching for the perfect marketing agency. You can visit the websites of several agencies and read reviews from past customers to narrow your choices.
  5. Schedule a consultation: Many marketing companies offer free or affordable consultations where they examine your existing marketing efforts and describe how they can assist you. You can use these consultations to make your final choice.

Final Thoughts

Overall, your law firm needs to dedicate at least some of its revenue to marketing. The exact amount you should spend depends on your revenue, the legal marketing services you need, your law firm’s practice area and size, and your existing marketing efforts.

If you’re unsure how much you should reasonably spend on marketing, you can consider requesting a free quote from a few marketing companies. Doing so can give you a ballpark estimate you can use to finalize your budget.

At Connective, we offer professional digital marketing services for small and large-sized law firms. Contact us today to learn more.

Rodney Warner

Founder & CEO

Rodney’s two primary responsibilities are business development and marketing strategy. He produces highly effective marketing campaigns for our clients and works tirelessly to bring new opportunities to Connective and our connections. In his off time, he produces music, plays video games, enjoys his family, and eats way too much ice cream!

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