Unless you just settled a major class action, chances are you are not swimming in cash. Even if you are, there is no sense flushing it down the toilet with expensive marketing ideas. There are plenty of ways to market yourself without spending a ton of money.
Good news for you is we now live in a digital world. You no longer have to take out ad space in your local newspaper or pay a high-end public relations firm to get your message out. There are also innovative techniques, such as guerrilla marketing, which will help you see a larger return for your marketing dollar.
If you want to tell the world about your firm and not go broke in the process, here are three ideas that can help.
If you are unfamiliar with affiliate marketing, all you need to know is that you are basically paying someone for sending business your way. You make an arrangement to pay the referrer for business sent to you, ultimately costing you no money unless you make money.
This happens with other professions such as car sales and realty. When a prior customer refers a new one, they receive a bonus if that referral makes a purchase. Apply the same principle to your firm as a way to get more referral clients.
Different states will have different rules for you to follow so you will obviously want to check locally, but for the most part this is something that other businesses are doing all the time. So how can you do it as an attorney?
Get referrals from other attorneys. Let me give you an example how.
Let’s say you are a divorce attorney, but you don’t handle criminal law. Well, from my experience, there may often be a time when people involved in a divorce need a criminal defense attorney. Therefore, make an arrangement with another attorney to exchange referrals needing their expertise.
One of my clients put together a guide on criminal defense that he sent out to civil attorneys in his local area. Guess what? It worked. Many civil attorneys don’t do criminal defense work yet they get calls about it all day long. Give those firms a place to send those referrals!!
Guerrilla Marketing and P.R.
Not the warfare, but the action of doing something in an impromptu way. In this case, doing marketing and public relations in an impromptu way.
Guerilla marketing is a term coined by Jay Conrad Levinson in his 1984 book Guerrilla Marketing. To take it a step further, Hollywood publicist, Michael Levine, coined the phrase Guerrilla PR a few years later with his book Guerrilla P.R., using similar techniques but for public relations. Both books are excellent resources for marketing, branding and promotion. Here are a few great examples of using guerrilla techniques.
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Smoking can cause blindness. There really isn’t a better way to get that point across than having someone put their cigarette butt out on an eyeball. Image courtesy of Flickr.
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Great promotion for the game and the movie. A life-sized angry bird statue gained more attention than a billboard, radio ad, or television commercial ever would. This is the type of marketing that grabs people’s attention. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
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Genius idea of using an existing structure and turning it into a marketing platform. The above image, modified from the original, shows a bench in a park that looks like a giant sized KitKat. Some benches were even painted so it appeared the wrappers were half on.
Guerrilla techniques are hard to teach. You basically need to be creative and recognize opportunities when they present themselves. In addition to the above examples, TweakYourBiz has a great article with 100 guerrilla marketing ideas. Keep in mind that not all guerrilla marketing or P.R. techniques are going to be cheap. What they will do is give you a better return on your investment as they have an opportunity to go viral.
Social Media Advertising
I know, I know. You hate social media and don’t like to use it. Just hear me out. I promise you don’t have to be a regular user of social media in order to take advantage of the marketing opportunities they provide. Think about this. Are you a DUI attorney? I guarantee you that someone on Twitter right now is looking for an answer on DUI because they were arrested last night. Divorce attorney? Yup, social media is probably a great place to start.
So how do you take advantage of social media without being a regular user? Simple. Use the advertising platforms to present yourself to potential clients. You can post a single ad on Facebook or Twitter and budget it for $10 per day. The ad will show in the feed of those you target.
Of course, I do advise you claim and use your social media profiles (this is Branding 101), as you can’t get away with simply creating an account and starting promoting.
These are only three of the many ways available to market yourself on a budget. Each person will have different success with each and I recommend trying each to see which one(s) work the best for you.Just remember, you don’t have to go broke taking your message to the world. You just need a little creativity and knowledge of the various marketing methods that don’t cost a fortune. What low-budget marketing ideas are you using in your marketing strategy?