What Should a Law Firm Spend on Marketing?

Ah, the age-old question: “What should my law firm spend on marketing?” 

As with anything in life, once you’ve spent your investment and any money you have, it’s gone forever, so you absolutely must take the time to make sure you’re spending it in the right places.

Well, worry not, dear reader, for you have stumbled upon the ultimate guide to demystifying the enigma that is law firm marketing budgeting. 

Let’s dive in, shall we?

It’s All About Balance

Before we dive into the nitty-gritty, it’s essential to understand that marketing budgets are not one-size-fits-all. 

Factors like firm size, location, practice area, and competition can all influence how much you should allocate to marketing. 

Of course, you may already have an idea of the kind of budget you have, but it’s essential that you have a figure in mind. It can be tempting to go all-in and just chuck money into your advertising campaigns.

The more you spend, the more results you’ll have, right?

Well, not entirely. If you pump $1,000 in targeted ads on Twitter and they don’t work, you’ve just put $1,000 down the drain, and all you’ve learned is what not to do. 

Instead, it’s better to spend $800 and break that down to $100 per platform to see run tests, seeing what works and what doesn’t. Whatever campaign gives you the best results, just run that and up another $200 into it!

It’s all about balance and making sustainable decisions, but this is obviously easier said than done. But fear not, for we have some handy guidelines to help you strike the perfect balance.

Benchmarking Your Budget

As a general rule of thumb, many law firms allocate between 2% and 5% of their gross revenue to marketing. When you’re starting out, or maybe in your first year, you’ll need to forecast what this will be.

This range provides a useful starting point, but it’s essential to consider your firm’s unique circumstances. 

Here are some factors to consider:

Firm Size and Growth Stage

True, a smaller or newer firm may need to allocate a higher percentage of revenue to marketing to establish its brand and attract new clients. 

On the other hand, a larger or more established firm may require a smaller percentage due to an already solid client base and brand recognition and can rely on repeat customers and their reputation.

It’s a tricky balance, but be prepared to invest what you need to get the results you’re after.

If we’re focusing on social media ads, for example, the average conversion rate is about 2% – 5%, with a good figure being around 10%. If you’re a single-person firm, and you’re able to take on five clients, you need to reach 100 people to get the 5% return, assuming your content works and you’re able to seal the deal.

Therefore, you don’t need to spend $3,000 on targeted advertising to reach tens of thousands of people.

It’ll be slow getting off the ground, as it is with any business, but break down what you need and start slow and build things up. 

This will help ensure your budget is sustainable over the months to come.

Practice Area and Competition

Firms in highly competitive practice areas or markets may need to invest more in marketing to stand out from the crowd. 

On the flip side, firms in niche practice areas or less competitive markets may be able to allocate a smaller budget while still achieving their marketing goals.

Always do your research to see what kind of competition you have in your area. If you’re spending hundreds of local advertising, but a larger firm dominates the rankings, you may need to consider a different angle to ensure your budget is well-spent and effective.

Allocating Your Budget Wisely

With a rough idea of your overall budget in mind, it’s time to allocate those precious marketing dollars wisely. Here are some essential areas to consider:

Website and SEO

Your website is often a potential client’s first impression of your firm, so investing in a professional, user-friendly site is crucial. It’s the first place people will go to see what you have to offer and to decide whether you’re the law firm to help them with their needs.

This means you need to allocate a portion of your budget to website design, maintenance, and search engine optimization (SEO) to ensure your firm is visible and attractive to potential clients.

Content Marketing

Once your website is up, you want it to rank on Google (Google holds 92% of the search engine market share), which means setting up a website that has value to its visitors.

One of the best ways to do this is to create content – high-quality, informative content – that can help drive organic traffic to your site and position your firm as a thought leader. 

Consider allocating some of your budget to blogging, articles, whitepapers, and even videos or podcasts.

Social Media

Social media is a powerful tool for engaging with potential clients, building your brand, and showcasing your expertise. It’s far more personal than a website and allows you to connect directly with potential leads and customers, once again giving you an opportunity to show how valuable your service is.

It’s also another great place to share your content, which means you may want to allocate a budget for content creation, social media management, and targeted advertising to maximize your reach.

Networking and Events

Don’t underestimate the power of in-person connections! 

Take time and spend some money attending industry conferences, seminars, and networking events, as well as hosting your own webinars or workshops.

Tracking and Measuring Your ROI

Of course, the key to a successful law firm marketing budget is ensuring you get the most bang for your buck. 

Track key performance indicators (KPIs) such as website traffic, lead generation, conversion rates, and client acquisition costs to assess your ROI and adjust your strategy as needed.

Don’t Forget to Factor in Time

When planning your law firm marketing budget, it’s also essential to consider the time investment required. Not all investments are financial, after all, and you’re going to be working very hard yourself to 

Whether you’re managing marketing efforts in-house or outsourcing to an agency, time is money, so allocate resources accordingly.

In-House Marketing Team

If you have an in-house marketing team, make sure to factor in their salaries, benefits, and any additional training or professional development they may require to stay up-to-date with the latest marketing trends and best practices.

Outsourcing to an Agency or Freelancers

If you’re outsourcing your marketing efforts to an agency or freelancers, ensure you clearly understand their fees, contracts, and any additional costs associated with their services.

Regularly Review and Adjust Your Budget

The marketing landscape is constantly evolving, and so should your budget. Regularly review your marketing spend, KPIs, and overall strategy to ensure you allocate resources effectively and maximize your ROI. Some key questions to ask during budget reviews include:

  • Are we meeting our marketing goals and objectives?
  • Are there any areas where we could improve efficiency or reduce costs?
  • Are there any new marketing trends or opportunities we should explore?

Embrace Flexibility and Experimentation

Finally, it’s important to maintain a flexible mindset regarding your law firm’s marketing budget. 

Don’t be afraid to experiment with new strategies, platforms, or tactics, and be prepared to adjust your budget accordingly. Sometimes, the most innovative and successful marketing campaigns arise from taking risks and thinking outside the box.


Determining the ideal marketing budget for your law firm may seem daunting, but with the right approach, you can find the sweet spot that maximizes your ROI and helps your firm thrive. 

Start with benchmarking your budget, consider your unique circumstances, allocate resources wisely, and track your results. 

And remember, the most successful law firm marketing strategies embrace flexibility, experimentation, and a healthy dose of wit and charm. 

Happy budgeting!

Unsure about your law firm’s marketing budget? 

Let our team of experts here at Lawsome Digital guide you in making informed decisions to maximize your marketing ROI. 

Schedule a free consultation, and let us help you determine the optimal budget for your firm’s growth.