Marketing For Attorneys: A Guide To Best Practices
Marketing is a job all on its own, but marketing for attorneys comes with its own brand of problems. As a legal professional, ethical advertising practices are held to a higher standard.
So now, not only are you handling the burden of procuring clients to fund your legal practice, but you also have to market yourself and follow all the (often confusing) legal responsibilities of an attorney.
Where do you even start?
Marketing For Attorneys: The Do’s and Don'ts
Back in the day, advertising your law firm had a pretty clear-cut route: billboards, television, and park bench ads needed to be approved by your state bar.
Today with social media marketing, the line between what needs to be approved and what doesn’t becomes a little blurry.
The most important thing you need to remember when it comes to digital marketing for attorneys is this: read the social media policies set by the federal and your state American Bar Association. Depending on where you live, you may face tougher restrictions on marketing your firm. Florida, for example, has some of the strictest rules regarding social media do’s and dont’s.
To help get you started, here are some of the most important rules to follow if you’re creating marketing material for a law firm.
DO: Cite Your Sources
A great way to market your firm is to write blogs answering questions potential clients may have about the type of law you practice.
For example, if you’re a divorce attorney, writing a blog titled “How Much Does a Divorce Attorney Cost” is an excellent use of digital marketing. The keyword phrase “how much does a divorce attorney cost” gets 480 monthly searches according to Ubersuggest, which can bring in a decent amount of qualified leads every month.
Not only do these blogs generate passive leads, but the blog itself can be repurposed for social media copy, emails, and as a general guide to inquiring about local leads.
Here’s the catch: you need to do your homework when writing these blogs.
According to the ABA (American Bar Association), only 37% of all firms utilize this type of advertising. That means less competition.
However, you need to cite your sources to prove your authority on the subject matter in question. Fortunately, this is a relatively simple process. If you claim that a divorce attorney costs $225-$310 an hour in your blog, you need to include a link that indicates which study or resource backs up that claim.
In this example, you could link this study from Lawyers.com as a way to cite your source.
You can see we do this many times throughout our own blog. We do this to improve our Google ranking (SEO) and to prove our reliability and expertise.
DON’T: Give Legal Advice
Whether posting on a blog, social media, or emails, you mustn’t give any direct legal advice to a person or community.
This is especially prevalent on public channels that have the potential to reach a national or international audience.
You want to refrain from giving detailed advice because legalities differ from state to state and country to country.
Instead, you can give your opinion on certain cases if it falls under legal information instead of legal advice. You can brush up not the difference here. In all cases where you share legal information or opinions on legal matters, you must provide a disclaimer. Here is a disclaimer template from the ABA that you can copy and paste on your social media and website.
And, as always, cite your sources (yes, even on your Tik Tok account).
DO: Brand Yourself
One handy little trick in marketing for attorneys is to use yourself as the focal point in your marketing— not your firm.
Personal branding is becoming the standard for traditional advertising, whether you’re an influencer or a lawyer creating content on LinkedIn. The reason is that 92% of online consumers trust recommendations from individuals (even if they don’t know them) over companies.
Suffice to say that branding yourself and your content as a lawyer first (and business second) can earn you more qualified leads and brand awareness compared to marketing alone.
“Lawyers who communicate about legal topics in public commentary must comply with the Model Rules of Professional Conduct, including the Rules regarding confidentiality of information relating to the representation of a client.”
DON’T: Forget To Submit Ads To Your State Bar
For most states, any time you decide to boost a social media post, run a Facebook ad, or create an OTT video campaign, you need to submit it for approval from your state bar association.
You must adhere to certain obligations if you want your ad approved. For example, Florida’s Bar states, “ Every advertisement must contain the name of the advertising lawyer or law firm, and the city, town, or county of a bona fide office location of the lawyer or law firm.”
Read the ABA’S section on Websites and Marketing for more information.
Is your digital content breaking any rules? High Tide Creative does marketing for attorneys easily and in compliance with ABA rules. Fill out this form for a FREE social media evaluation by our team of experts!
Tom Lewis, Partner | Creative Director
With over 20 plus years of award-winning advertising and design experience, Tom has spent much of his career working with a variety of companies throughout the southeast. His client list has included: UNC Health Lenoir, Hutchens Law Firm, Equifax, Georgia Pacific, Citi Group, Weyerhaeuser, The Atlanta Hawks, Randstad Staffing, Craven County Tourism, America Knits, Guardian Repellent, and The Shizzle Jerk Marinade.