Percentage of Law Firm Income Invested In Marketing and SEO
How Much Am I Worth?
Like any business, lawyers need visibility to attract clients, and that comes at a price. Moreover, the sheer volume of legal options these days makes distinguishing your own practice particularly essential to success. But how much should be spent in this endeavor? What amount will make the investment worthwhile? According to most experts, who estimate marketing expenses in terms of a company’s gross revenues, lawyers should allocate about eight to ten percent (8% – 10%) of their gross income for law firm SEO.
“Generally speaking, spend less than 8% of gross revenue on landing new clients and you’ll probably struggle to meet revenue goals,” says business writer Jeff Haden. “Spend more (than 12%) and you’re probably not marketing wisely.” (Read more:http://www.inc.com/jeff-haden/how-to-evaluate-law-firm-financials-wed.html)
“The Small Business Administration (SBA) recommends that small businesses (under $5 million annual revenue) should allocate 7-8 percent of its budget to marketing,” says Munger. “Thus, the lowest annual marketing budget for a $5 million business is $350,000 per year. That’s nearly $30,000 per month. . . . If you are a $5 million law firm, your competitors may be spending $46,000 per month on marketing.”(Read more: http://www.bizjournals.com/phoenix/blog/business/2012/09/the-marketing-coach-how-much-you.html?page=all)
Business and marketing specialist Kevin Johnston cites an authority who agrees with this figure. “Drew McLellan, a 25-year marketing expert with clients such as Kraft and John Deere, says a small business should budget 7 percent to 8 percent of its gross revenues for marketing,”explains Johnston. He also notes the advantages McLellan sees in such an approach: “This will enable a small business to compete more effectively against larger companies,”says McLellan. “Since marketing expenses are tax deductible, the increased marketing expense for a small business can pay for itself in tax savings.” (Read more: http://smallbusiness.chron.com/recommended-budget-marketing-based-gross-revenue-26332.html)
A clear advantage of following such investment advice is that you will raise your profile; you will also emphasize your belief in and commitment to the value of your services by spending a small percentage to showcase them. That kind of faith in yourself translates into client appeal. When people find themselves in need of legal assistance, they are more likely to turn to those who have taken the time to inform the public about their background and expertise than to randomly seek out some unknown source. Furthermore, since most potential clients never know when they will need such services, keeping yourself constantly visible is vital. As marketing consultant Meredith Munger astutely notes, “People will not simply see your logo and pick up the phone; they need to see your brand 6-7 times before they realize they have a problem or need and understand that you can help them.” (Read more: http://www.bizjournals.com/phoenix/blog/business/2012/09/the-marketing-coach-how-much-you.html?page=all)
And the truth is that people do have problems, often with no warning. They may suddenly get caught driving under the influence, be accused of theft or drug possession, be involved in a car accident, or find themselves in some other terrifying legal dilemma. In the ensuing panic and fear, their first thoughts will likely be how to get help. But whom should they call? Some stranger plucked from the phone book? Or a name they can easily find online? Likely the latter. An informed consumer is an empowered one, and the consumer who knows something about your expertise, background, and availability will have more confidence to call upon you rather than an unknown who has offered no evidence of his or her abilities.
Of course, clients in less dramatic situations also seek legal consultations for issues such as estate planning, divorce proceedings, child custody concerns, employment disputes, sexual harassment, age or race discrimination, and a raft of other matters. They, likewise, will be apt to make an informed selection based upon what they can quickly find online – usually using their cellphones!
Considering all these scenarios, an investment of ten percent or less to present yourself and your qualifications to the public is clearly a winning option. You can let clients know that your availability—day, night, weekends; you can highlight your specialties and accomplishments. The small monetary allocation to attain those goals has been affirmed by professional and government organizations as well.
Various factors will determine how you spend your marketing budget, such as location, goals and expectations, methods for targeting audiences, and other elements. But the bottom line is that if you want to attract clients, you must let them know you are there. You must show them your competency, dependability, and trustworthiness. Setting aside eight to ten percent of your annual gross income is a small price for the potential dividends you stand to gain in the long run.
Thanks for reading, and as always, call me if you want to learn how we can help you.
Tom Desmond – CEO