Every law firm needs clients, and especially when you are first starting out. And there isn’t a lot of repeat business for criminal attorneys.
So you will need some form of advertising and marketing to reach out to potential clients.
1. Your Web Site & Search Traffic
Pro: Often best long term solution if done right. A key tool in creating your firm brand. An investment that can pay dividends for years. Flexible, customizable, and update-able.
Con: Not easy to do well. Up front costs can be significant to someone starting out. Can take quite a while to return your investment. Often not done right, requires some expertise to have a well designed and well-written site that gets traffic.
Beware: Whomever you hire, make sure you own your domain name and your web content if you change web providers. You need to ultimately maintain control of your site.
Bottom Line: You need a web site. It’s practically a requirement for credibility and a long term business.
2. Pay Per Click Advertising
Pro: Relatively quick to get started. ROI is measurable in the short term. Fairly low risk if you are careful budgeting. If you are successful, you can ramp it up with more dollars and keywords.
Con: Requires a web site already. Requires someone with knowledge of PPC. Some markets are very competitive, and it is easy to spend a lot of money without any return.
Beware: You are bidding against people who may not be spending wisely. The market is not always rational, at least in the short term. For high value keywords, there is also click fraud to worry about.
Bottom Line: A good short to medium term solution. You have some control over your spending, and can monitor your ROI.
3. Buying Leads Directly
Pro: Can be economical, efficient, and simple. Quick to ramp up, no up front effort on your part. You should know fairly quickly if it is working for you.
Con: May not be the best ROI in the long term. Finding a reliable lead vendor with a significant supply in your market is not always easy.
Beware: Know what you are buying, whether leads are exclusive, and what contractual obligations you are under.
Bottom line: A good adjunct to other marketing efforts if you are monitoring the ROI.
Overall, diversification in your online marketing efforts makes sense. All methods will change substantially over time, and markets change, so you may need several strategies to keep a need a stream of leads and clients coming in.