You’d think marketing was pretty easy, right? You broadcast your message to the world about how you help, and the ones that need the help start showing up. If only it were that simple.

Truthfully, marketing and law are pretty similar in the sense that you would likely never recommend someone handle their legal issue themselves because they don’t have the specialized knowledge it takes. The same goes for marketing—and because you don’t have the specialized knowledge it takes to market a small business, you open yourself up to some pretty big mistakes that could cost you thousands of dollars.

Here are the biggest mistakes I’ve seen firms make:

Mistake #1: Having Unrealistic Goals

This one is usually translated as “moving too fast.” It’s also one of the most common mistakes, especially for new practices. Trying to achieve results too soon can lead to frustration and discouragement. A better strategy is to:

  • Divide a goal into smaller steps with realistic deadlines. For example, if your goal is increasing new client totals by 20% for the third quarter, you can prepare a content strategy and email campaign.
  • Track the changes in Trello, ClickUp, or any other team platform.

As each one is completed, you’ll feel like you’re making progress without the need to speed.

Mistake #2: Not Understanding Your Audience

How much do you really know about your target audience? When you rely on assumptions about your ideal client, you’ll spend a lot of money without seeing results. 

Instead of putting together overly-general marketing campaigns (or speaking to your audience the same way you would to other lawyers), focus on the audience most likely to need your services, whether it’s homeowners, entrepreneurs, or divorcing couples. When you understand their needs, wants, and problems, your marketing will be more targeted and therefore more likely to succeed.

Mistake #3: Lack of Patience

Few marketing campaigns succeed overnight. If you’re in a rush to see results, you might give up when they don’t happen right away and run after the next shiny new thing, which is a mistake.

A successful marketing strategy requires patience. It isn’t always easy, but it can give you a big advantage over your more hurried competitors, so keep track of what has been done and how it has affected your KPIs (key performance indicators). As time goes on, you will see the results. 

Mistake #4: Not Promoting Your Site

A website won’t attract visitors if no one knows it exists. Without targeted traffic, your website will not convert leads or sales, so focus on increasing its visibility.

Create as many touchpoints as you can with email and social media. Focus on driving traffic to your site by sharing your latest blogs, videos, and resources.

Mistake #5: Relying on Paid Advertising

Pay-per-click advertising is a great way to generate quick sales and traffic, but it’s also expensive. You should therefore invest in other alternatives if you don’t have the budget to get long-term results. These options include email newsletters and diversifying your marketing channels to include options like guest blogging or starting a podcast.


All of these marketing mistakes are easy to make, but fortunately, they’re also easy to avoid with a bit of planning and strategy. When you set realistic marketing goals for your firm, analyze all efforts to see what works, and stick with winning formulas, you’ll soon be on the path to better results.