$1,000,000 Divorce and Family Law Firm Advertising Budget
To determine your law firm’s advertising budget, research and careful planning are required. In the case of Cardinal Concepts Co-Founder and CEO of US Legal Groups, David Crum Esq., that’s especially true when for the first time in his 27-year legal career, his firms are forecasted to spend over one million dollars on advertising alone.
As the CMO responsible for building the budget, I want to share the process used and insight into our own spending so that any lawyer can implement this into their own budget.
How to Plan Your Law Firm’s Advertising Budget
- Research the market and identify your target audience: Before you create a marketing budget, it’s important to understand the market you’re operating in. Cardinal Concepts manages accounts nationwide and we know the budget for New York City is going to be much more expensive than Omaha for example. It can also hold true that if you have a very specific target audience, you will need to pay more to precisely target them compared to a broadly-targeted campaign.
- Determine your goals: What are your goals for your marketing efforts? Are you looking to increase brand awareness, drive more traffic to your website, or generate more leads? Different campaign objectives have different associated costs as a video view is not equal to a phone call for example so campaigns will require different budgets based on their goal. More importantly, having your law firm’s revenue and client goals is paramount as most forecasting models work backward off these numbers but I will share more on how to forecast later.
- Research your competitors: Knowing what your competitors are doing can be helpful in determining how much to allocate to marketing and where to focus your efforts. Most advertising platforms are bid or auction-based meaning that the more law firms there are competing for the same target audience, the more expensive the campaigns will be.
- Determine your marketing channels: There are many different ways to market a divorce and family law firm, including online and offline channels. Consider which channels will be most effective for reaching your target audience and align with your business goals. With this in mind, our focus is on digital mediums that we can best attribute the source of our leads and forecast performance.
- Create a budget: Once you have a clear understanding of your market, goals, target audience, competitors, and marketing channels, you can create a budget that allocates funds to the various marketing activities you will be undertaking. I have been able to do this to a 99% accuracy level with the following formula. As a whole, we know that 20% of our total leads convert into paid consultations. Of those paid consultations, 50% convert into clients. So as an example, if I need to generate 36 clients a month to keep our attorneys at a full caseload, I need to produce 72 consultations from 360 total leads. If my cost-per-lead is $90, that means I could forecast a $32,400 expense. Now, most attorneys know that not all clients come from paid media. Referrals can be a primary source of clients so simply evaluate each client source to compute your required budget.
- Monitor and adjust your budget: As with any business activity, it’s important to monitor the results of your marketing efforts and adjust your budget accordingly. This will help you ensure that you’re getting the best return on your marketing investment.
Where to Spend Your Advertising Budget
The examples I’m sharing are coming directly from our own law firms which through December 14th, 2,236 consultations have been booked and 1162 clients retained.
- Google Ads (Paid Search) = $777,250: This is our largest line item but for good reason — no other platform gives you the ability to target your desired audience, test messaging, and accurately report on performance. If your law firm is in need of clients, effective Google Ads marketing is the fastest path.
- Google Local Services Ads = $18,600: This is not a profitable channel yet we continue to invest, let me explain why. First, Google LSA’s have extremely limited targeting meaning that you will receive unqualified leads. That said, in order to dominate Google page 1 results, you need to take advantage of LSA’s first position in combination with paid, local, and organic results.
- Meta (Facebook/Instagram) = $194,400: While gone are the days of low-cost, highly-targeted clicks, social media marketing is more important than ever. Its primary role for our law firms is awareness and top-of-funnel lead generation to nurture and ultimately convert.
- Print = $16,812: This is a new test for our law firms. We’re using a hyper-local magazine for high-net-worth neighborhoods as our first foray into traditional advertising mediums. We’ll be sure to keep our followers informed of the performance and if this could be right for them.
- SEO = $0: Search engine optimization does not have an advertising cost associated but you should allocate marketing budget to this effort. Our own firms rely heavily on SEO to generate calls from local search results and web form submissions from organic search results.
As a marketing agency that runs our own law firms, we understand the importance of creating a successful marketing plan for divorce and family law attorneys. By carefully analyzing your target audience, defining your marketing goals, and prioritizing your marketing efforts, you can create a budget that will help you effectively reach your desired clients. With the right strategy in place, you can successfully grow your practice and serve more clients in need of your expertise. If marketing is not your expertise, contact Cardinal Concepts to create a budget and implement a custom marketing plan for your practice.