Guerrilla marketing has been around for quite some time and was really brought to light in the 80’s when Jay Conrad Levinson defined the term in his book ‘Guerrilla Advertising.’ While the definition of guerrilla marketing can vary for many, one thing that all agree on is that guerrilla marketing was born from creative entrepreneurs with limited marketing budgets. For what entrepreneurs lacked in budget they made up for with creativity. Some of the best and most effective marketing campaigns have not required much money to implement. So what makes guerrilla marketing different from traditional marketing?
For starters, most, but certainly not all, guerilla marketing campaigns require very little to no budget for them to be effective. Also, unlike a sustained high budget traditional campaign, guerrilla marketing campaigns aim to have a very immediate impact. The campaign goal is to create “buzz” or word of mouth distribution, because of the audiences surprise at the creativity used by the marketer. Another goal is to take the product or service directly to where your intended audience is both on and offline.
While many great guerrilla marketing campaigns have been shared online, most of them are for products – not necessarily for services like those provided by law firms. But remember, this type of marketing is all about creativity. I’ve put together a list of ideas for you to use or to inspire your own. As many of the following ideas will demonstrate, law firm marketing does not need to be expensive. Before deciding to pursue one of these ideas or coming up with your own law firm marketing campaign be sure that your campaign idea complies with your state bar’s attorney advertising requirements. Here is your list of low cost and high impact guerrilla marketing tactics for law firms:
- Distributing Business Cards: You know to take these with you at networking functions, but what about using them for marketing outside of business events? Consider stopping by a local library and finding the section that relates to your practice areas (e.g., business, relationship problems, etc) and inserting them into the book someplace for the reader to come across when they get to that chapter. This is highly targeted offline impression advertising.
- Public Speaking: Chances are there is an audience out there that wants to hear what you have to say. Speaking on subjects that you are familiar with demonstrates your expertise, and allows you an opportunity to reach and impress your intended audience. Find opportunities for speaking engagements. For example: estate planners will typically find senior citizen centers; business attorneys will visit coworking spaces or accelerators and entrepreneurial education centers.
- Blogging: You’ve heard me say this one before, on the internet content is king. Generating unique and engaging content is the single best thing you can do to improve your SEO rankings. Create a blog on your site and start generating content. If you want to know more about developing a content marketing strategy read my post on the subject.
- Guest blogging: Find a popular blog that caters to your ideal audience and reach out to the editor. As lawyer, the information you can provide is very valuable. Most editors will also appreciate you creating content for their site. When generating content, be sure to link back to your own website whenever possible. The backlink has some Search Engine Optimization (SEO) value, but more importantly it will help people find you.
- Social media: Build an audience on social media. The more followers and likes your business pages have, the more chances you have to distribute information about your law firm and the services you provide. That said, don’t outright sell on social media (unless you’re using paid ads). Instead be a resource, let people engage with you online.
- Direct mail: Criminal law attorneys have been sending out direct mail for ages, and they wouldn’t continue doing it if it wasn’t effective. Business attorneys can send direct mail out to local businesses letting them know that they should be a considered a resource should a need arise. Any attorney may want to consider direct mail to help build up their network of referral sources (e.g., meeting with accounts, real estate agents, etc).
- Traveling?: If you travel a lot for business, you can capitalize that as well on those that have to wait on checked luggage. You can get a white box and fill it with minimal items (the items aren’t important). Brand the outside of the box with your law firm name, website and phone number. You can add a tagline to target your relevant audience. For example, “Business deal is falling apart? We may be able to help.” When the box comes out onto the conveyor, let it do laps several times before picking it up and walking away.
This is no means a comprehensive guide, nor am I suggesting a particular idea for you. Instead, I am hoping this list will simply inspire your own ideas on how to create a law firm marketing plan when you’re working on a limited budget. As always if you have questions or comments please post them below or reach out to us directly.