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Divorce Attorney and Family Law Marketing: How To Get More Clients

Around 2.7 million people obtained a legal divorce in Canada in 2022. Theoretically, this means an unending stream of family law clients. In reality, law firms need to market themselves to thrive, especially when competitors are already doing it. 

Another reality law firms must acknowledge is that marketing is a whole discipline by itself. Hiring an expert is often the wiser option unless lawyers have the time and interest to learn it themselves. Grey Smoke Media is a full-scale marketing service provider that helps family law firms reach their goals through focused, results-oriented marketing. 

How Divorce Attorneys Can Get More Clients
Image by August de Richelieu  on Unsplash

Key takeaways

  • Family law is a unique practice area involving highly personal matters, which should form the basis for the law firm marketer’s approach.
  • Marketing for a family law firm should be geared toward acquiring new clients since family law services are usually one-off transactions. 
  • Family law marketing is significantly done digitally in today’s high-tech world.   

The Unique Aspects of Family Law Marketing

Marketing can help practitioners of any branch of law, but family lawyers may have a little more fine-tuning to do. After all, they deal with highly personal and often sensitive issues or events in people’s lives.  

Thus, marketing family lawyers should begin with understanding their practice’s salient features, allowing them to resonate more deeply with potential clients. Here are three:

Clients with highly charged emotions

When people come to family lawyers, it’s usually because of personal experiences. They may be going through a divorce, contesting alimony, battling an ex-spouse for child custody or child support, making end-of-life decisions for a parent, etc.

Furthermore, a person who needs a family law attorney may not only be going through tough times. They may also feel highly adversarial toward the other party, making a resolution more challenging. 

In any case, family law marketers should consider the high emotional states of the target audience when devising their approach. Content should be more empathic and relatable instead of formal and academic. 

Consider a battered wife looking for information about suing her husband. She may prefer tips for finding a lawyer she can genuinely connect with over an enumeration of domestic violence laws. Even if she were interested in those laws, she’d probably want them presented as real-life scenarios rather than textbook discussions.

One-and-done deals

Family lawyers often deal with clients who only need their services for a limited time. The cases are generally straightforward as well. Except in complex instances, getting a divorce follows the same routine process, as do adoption, setting up powers of attorney, etc.  

From time to time, family lawyers may get repeat customers, but usually with several months or even years in between. Hence, family lawyer marketing should focus on new client acquisitions to ensure a steady workflow. Examples of techniques to gain new clients include content marketing, joining forums, email marketing, building a social media forum, and running highly targeted ads.  

High level of competition 

Family planning or child custody ranked first on the list of consumers’ legal needs in Canada for 2021. Needless to say, both fall under the expertise of family lawyers. 

Whether general practitioners or specialists, all these lawyers compete for the same pool of prospective clients. This fact indicates their marketing should be competitive. 

Competitive family law marketing begins with studying other family lawyers in the area and identifying their strong and weak points. By analyzing the strengths of law firm B, law firm A can determine its own weaknesses and improve on them. By examining law firm B’s weaknesses, law firm A can turn those into its own strengths. 

Competitive marketing goes beyond gaining new clients. It focuses on acquiring new clients who are otherwise poised to choose a competitor.

Essentials of Family Law Marketing

Essentials of Family Law Marketing
Image by Pavel Danilyuk on Pexels

Many tried-and-true marketing formulas can work for a family law firm. As long as the campaign is nuanced to the unique features of the family law practice, it can reach the same level of success as the others have. Here are the basics of law-firm marketing in 2023:  

Set S.M.A.R.T. goals

Lawyer marketing requires considerable time, money, and effort, so the possibility of failure must be scrunched to a minimum. The best way to do that is to begin with goals. What exactly does the lawyer want to achieve from marketing? 

Growing the practice may be the general objective, but details are a must when it comes to marketing. Examples of specific goals are 40 new leads and 15 conversions monthly, the addition of 50 new newsletter subscribers, and a 50% revenue increase within a year.  

However, specificity is only one requirement according to the S.M.A.R.T method. Goals must also be measurable or quantifiable with a valid metric. For example, new client additions are measurable through the conversion rate. Measurability is necessary to prove that a strategy or technique has worked and know what areas need improvement.  

Another quality of a valid marketing goal is attainability. A marketer can’t just throw numbers around without examining the probabilities and possibilities of achieving them. Let’s take, for example, a lawyer practicing in a small city. Increasing its website traffic by 3% may sound more plausible than targeting 10% within the same period.  

Of course, a lawyer’s marketing goal must also be relevant. A new law firm in a big city may seek a 10% boost in website traffic to establish itself in a crowd of competitors.  

Lastly, a goal must be time-bound. A 20% jump in website traffic is not a goal. A 20% jump in website traffic in six months is. Attaching a time element to a goal helps keep the team on its toes, knowing they must achieve something by a specific time. 

Create a budget

Because all marketing requires funding, a campaign plan can only come to fruition with an intelligent budget. The first task is reviewing the preset goals and estimating the amount it will take to reach them. The team can then determine how many cases are necessary to meet the target budget. This number can vary depending on certain factors, such as practice area and location. 

It’s also important to consider the lawyer’s experience. Did they recently start their practice, or have they established themselves in their community? The level of competition among practitioners in the area is also crucial. Are they trying to set up a practice in a competitive city like Los Angeles? Are they one of a few lawyers in a particular town? 

Since modern marketing techniques usually require technologies, a legal marketing budget should also include these costs. Such technologies can take various forms, such as SEO monitoring apps, social media post schedulers, etc.  

Once their marketing budget is final, a lawyer must stick to it at any stage of the marketing process. No additional clients can offset the risks of not watching the bottom line.  

Maintain a blog

A blog is an excellent place for family lawyers to connect with people regularly. More than an aspect of marketing, blogging is a way for family lawyers to communicate and establish their online presence and rapport with their readers.  

The comment section is usually where the interaction happens. The better the rapport, the better the outcome for both the lawyer and the client or would-be client. Here are three other significant benefits of blogging for a family law firm: 

  • It establishes authority and trust – Picture a childless couple considering adoption. After reading some blog posts on the topic from the same law firm, they will begin to see it and trust it as an authority. The more they trust the firm, the likelier they will keep it in mind when they finally decide to adopt a child.  
  • It increases the firm’s organic search visibility –  Paid advertising is good, but organic visibility is often considered more credible. When content ranks highly organically, people know it’s there because of its quality, not because someone paid to get that position. Blogging is an excellent digital marketing strategy for increasing a family law firm’s organic visibility.
  • It increases organic website traffic – Besides improving a law firm’s organic search engine results pages, or SERPs, visibility and blogging also help boost its website traffic. Individuals searching for a family lawyer who find a firm’s blog posts helpful will naturally gravitate to that firm’s website to learn more about the practitioners behind it. Again, this means more opportunities for the firm to gain new clients.  

Run paid ads

There are generally three routes to SERP visibility: local targeting, organic business listings, and paid Google ads. As mentioned, organic listings tend to be more credible than paid ads, but that doesn’t mean the latter aren’t valuable. In fact, it’s one of the quickest ways to get to that top spot. 

On top of that, Google’s SERPs have shown relatively more paid ads than organic results. If anything, even with high organic search visibility, paid ads allow advertisers to adjust their marketing plan accordingly. Below are two types of ads for law firms to consider:

  • Local Services ads (LSAs) – LSAs are paid ads positioned on top of search results with a “Google Screened” designation. LSAs allow advertisers to target counties, cities, states, and even specific zip codes. Another advantage of LSAs is they are automatically incorporated into Google Reviews. Also, advertisers only have to pay for ads that actually bring them leads via phone, email, text, etc. 
  • Pay-Per-Click ads (PPC) – PPC ads appear just above search results but below any LSAs. However, since LSAs do not show up for all search terms, conventional PPC ads may appear at the top of the SERPs. Besides creating ad text and landing pages and optimizing the marketing campaign, PPCs also require using keywords.  

When users search for those keywords, Google will decide which ads it will show. Hence, it’s crucial to be very specific when choosing keywords. For example, instead of “family lawyer,” it would be wise to use “family lawyer custody Toronto” or “family lawyer divorce Toronto,” depending on the cases the law firm handles. 

Use email marketing  

Email marketing is digital marketing that relies on emails to build relationships with an audience. This method allows a family law firm to reach out to their existing clients or those who might need a little more convincing to become one. 

There are many reasons to engage in email marketing for a lawyer or law firm. For one, it’s very cost-effective. It doesn’t require any substantial financial investment necessary upfront. Creating and sending emails becomes almost effortless with the right email marketing platform. 

Statista predicts the number of email users to reach 4.6 billion in 2025, showing that email marketing is a not-to-be-missed opportunity. On top of that, the ROI from this method is a whopping $25 for each dollar spent as of 2022.  

Of course, email marketing is also an opportunity for a lawyer to show off their expertise and build credibility. Through email newsletters, for example, practitioners can explain common legal issues that people usually find confusing. When combined with free consultation offers, email marketing becomes highly competitive. 

Leverage social media 

In 1997, Andrew Weinreich launched Six Degrees, the world’s first social media platform, so people could connect with people they didn’t know. Over 20 years later, lawyers use it to grow their practice. 

However, as protectors of the law, lawyers are expected to use social media with extreme caution. After all, even their social activities are subject to the bar’s highest ethical and professional standards. When creating a social media strategy for a family law firm, here are some tips to keep in mind: 

  • Set specific guidelines to avoid ethical and legal issues – The first thing lawyers should remember when marketing on social media is that their accounts will be public. That means anything on their page will reflect on the firm itself. 

Aside from enumerating the rules, lawyers can also use this policy document directly for marketing. It can set the firm’s preferred brand tone and type of content and ensure consistency.  

  • Set goals and create a strategy for achieving them – According to the SMART rule of marketing, family law marketing must anchor on goals that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely. Some worthwhile goals for family law firm marketers include improved brand awareness, more website traffic, and keeping existing customers. 

Of course, metrics play a critical role in indicating whether the law firm’s marketing efforts are paying off. For example, the number of likes or follows on the firm’s pages can show whether or not brand awareness has increased. Once the goals are set, the firm can create a content strategy around them, starting with audience identification, competitor analysis, and content scheduling.    

  • Keep posts engaging and interactive – One of the things that can make any social media account engaging is spontaneity. It’s good to have a calendar of posts, but when relevant trending topics come up occasionally, it’s nice to hop on in.

When pressing issues arise, be creative instead of just sticking to traditional posting.

For example, create a poll. Family lawyers can also use the comments section to interact

with their followers, especially when people are seeking legal advice about family matters.

Website and SEO for Divorce Attorneys
Image by Oleksandr Pidvalnyi on Pexels

End to End Solutions for
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Grey Smoke Media is North America’s only full-service legal marketing firm, offering:

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Digital Marketing

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Content Production

Reputation Management

Management Consulting

We elevate law firms to the highest echelon through a multi-pronged, unified approach.
Jordan Power

Have a website

Believe it or not, some lawyers still don’t have websites, which can be a huge mistake. Around 98% of people looking for legal services start with search engines and 91.9% search on Google. That’s a lot to lose for a lawyer without a website! 

That said, just having a website is not enough for a practitioner to attract potential clients. The website must have a user-friendly design beyond a pleasing aesthetic. The information must follow a logical flow so visitors can easily find what they need. The pages must also load quickly to prevent click-aways. 

Of course, the content must be of high quality. One of the most important things a website can do for a lawyer is to help them build credibility. If the content is poorly researched or riddled with grammatical errors or misspellings, it will not reflect well on the practitioner. Aside from user-friendliness, a lawyer’s website must be searchable through search engine optimization (SEO), which we will discuss in detail next.  

Engage in SEO

It’s clear that a lawyer needs a website, but do all lawyer websites even get found when potential clients go looking? The answer is no because not all websites are equally search optimized. Search engine optimization increases a website’s search results ranking. The higher that ranking goes, the more online visibility the lawyer gets. 

Google considers at least seven confirmed ranking factors when arranging search results. These include a site’s backlinks, relevance, mobile friendliness, page speed, intrusive interstitials (elements blocking a page’s main content), and overall web design. Of course, content is king as always, but Google’s John Mueller reveals the search giant views content as the sum of everything that impacts the user experience. 

Hence, quality content for Google refers to a website’s text and everything else on it, including the ranking factors mentioned above.   

Target local

Local marketing can be particularly crucial for family lawyers. When people seek help with family issues, they usually want someone nearby for convenience. 

Hiring a local attorney also makes much more financial sense than driving for hours to get domestic legal help. Family law marketing, therefore, must prioritize the local scene through the following:  

  • Google My Business (now Business Profile) profile optimizationBP profile optimization is as simple as setting up the law firm’s name, address, and phone number (NAP) and adding its website address. Additionally, BP will ask for a category of services, appointment information, COVID-19 readiness measures, and pictures and videos for the listing.  
  • Local directory signups – There are many online lawyer directories and other business directories for local users. The setup process is usually the same as with BP. Note that NAP and other details on these directories and on BP must be consistent for good SEO. However, profile descriptions on the two sites must be unique to avoid content duplication, which is disadvantageous for local SEO.  
  • Client online reviews – Another helpful step is soliciting Google Reviews and reviews on Bing Places, Yelp, and similar sites. If people read reviews for random products, how much more for critical legal services? 
  • Website testimonials – Website testimonials are reviews published on the law firm’s website instead of from a third-party source. Instead of targeting potential clients, testimonials reinforce a former or current client’s trust as they see other people speaking well of the firm.   

Be accessible everywhere

Accessibility is one of the most elementary requirements of marketing. Whenever a potential client thinks of getting in touch with a family lawyer, it must be easy to do so. Otherwise, they might end up talking to a competitor instead. 

It also means all the law firm’s contact information on the Internet must be correct or up-to-date. When people try to connect but can’t, they will likely turn to a competitor law firm as usual.   

Many law firms use a chatbot or live chat feature on their websites. This way, clients will feel heard the first time they try to reach out. It initially assures them that the law firm is always available, encouraging them to communicate further.  

Another great idea is to add a contact form to each page of the website, so people don’t have to look for it whenever they feel like reaching out. A call to action (CTA) should be on every page. The CTA is usually found on a button or in some prominent place on the website. It can say something like “Reach Out to Us,” and the button or text should take the site visitor to the contact form when clicked.  

Lastly, offer free consultations to site visitors to attract their attention. Everyone loves a free service, especially if it concerns something vital to them, such as family legal issues.  

Be visible in person

Twenty-first-century marketing has undoubtedly become synonymous with digital marketing. However, some good, old-fashioned techniques are still as potent as ever, especially for practitioners of law, one of the oldest professions in the world. Here are three classic and effective ways to market a law firm or practice:

  • In-person networkingOnline marketing usually works best when backed with in-person networking, which can include joining local, state, and national organizations for lawyers. However, it may not be sufficient to join. Actively participating in these organizations’ activities is what truly expands a law firm’s network.  
  • Public teaching – Another way to forget in-person connections as a lawyer is by teaching a legal course at a community college or a seminar. It can reinforce a lawyer’s knowledge while helping others study law, and, of course, it’s great for marketing the firm too. 
  • Community volunteerism – Volunteering for community initiatives is another excellent way to market a law firm. Aside from serving the people, lawyers can also find new work opportunities. They can even offer pro bono services as their contribution to the community. Considering the high divorce rate in the country, volunteerism can help a neophyte divorce lawyer become better known in the community.  

Measure and analyze results

No amount of lawyer marketing can be successful or sustainable without tracking its results. Marketing can truly work only by watching key performance indicators (KPIs), such as conversion rates and ROIs, and making necessary adjustments. 

The good thing about results tracking is the wide availability of technologies, thanks to Google and other tech giants. In fact, most of these technologies are free and easy to install and manage. But while a law firm can monitor their campaign results in-house, analysis will require in-depth knowledge and experience in marketing dynamics.  

Nonetheless, even while working with a marketing company, the in-house team plays a huge part in generating positive outcomes. Just asking people how they heard about the firm and recording their answers can help marketers create the right direction for a campaign. Increasing the budget for the channel that generates the most leads also gives the strategy more legroom to improve on prior successes.

Advertising Techniques for Personal Injury Law Firms

Learning which advertising techniques will work for your firm is vital when creating a law firm marketing strategy. Marketers use various methods to draw attention and improve brand awareness. Here are some advertising techniques you should consider when making your ads campaign.

Emotional appeal

It is a marketing technique targeting viewers’ emotions to encourage action. It uses storytelling to affect the audience’s emotions, such as love, fear, anger, or sympathy. 

Law firms often evoke feelings of sadness to create public awareness of specific issues. Using this negative emotion, you can offer your audience an answer to their problem. This may lead to the audience wanting to know more about your law firm and legal services.


Many marketers and advertisers use storytelling to help customers relate to a product or brand. It allows them to communicate their purpose and establish a community around their brand, making clients a part of it.

You can tell a story by sharing your previous client experience, recalling their case, or gathering inspiration from what they went through. This advertising strategy often uses elements from other techniques, such as point of view and appeal to emotion.

Bandwagon effect

The bandwagon effect is a method advertisers use to encourage consumers to use a product everyone uses. This refers to the behavior of people to buy or use a particular product due to its popularity. Also, this is a prevalent technique in digital marketing.

To use the bandwagon effect, aim for your law firm to appear popular and the top choice of other people. Leverage social media platforms and feature previous clients’ testimonials to showcase satisfied clients and excellent services. This will build credibility and make your law firm trusted and reliable.

Color psychology

This advertising method uses colors to trigger specific emotions. Advertisers use colors and enticing images to communicate with customers, convey messages, and drive conversions.

Colors perceive and affect someone’s emotions, moods, and behaviors. Different colors can stimulate different feelings and are used to influence people’s attitudes and actions.

When creating visual marketing for your law firm, consider colors in the background, fonts, and branding. Ensure your choice of color entices your target market and triggers the right emotion.

Typographic composition

Also known as fonts, the typographic composition includes the appearance and style of a text. Marketers and advertisers have been using this technique to set the mood or theme of promotional content.

Fonts can attract readers and convey different messages. It is combined with the use of colors, images, and shapes.

You have to remember that your font choice must suit your brand image. Keep it consistent and straightforward. This will make it easier for the audience to read your message and distinguish your brand.

Did you know?

A Google-commissioned survey reports 41% of adults use voice search more than once a day. The trend is expected to keep growing. In content marketing for family law firms and other businesses, this could also mean more emphasis on long-tail search phrases and complete sentences.  

Choose an Experienced Family Law Firm Marketing Company   

In today’s highly competitive legal industry, family law firms must not take chances and step up. Many have tried to rely on paralegals and other staff to do the marketing. While this saves resources in the short term, it can be counterproductive in the future.  

Marketing is a vast area of expertise that requires in-depth knowledge and experience to run effectively. From generating family law marketing ideas to devising keyword strategies to experimenting with conversion rates, there is so much to learn. By hiring an experienced law firm marketing company like Grey Smoke Media, law firms can be sure about getting the results they want. 

Entrust your legal marketing agency needs to real experts with a solid track record of success. Get in touch with us today, and let’s get started discussing your needs and plans.  

FAQs on Family Law Marketing 

No, legal marketing or advertising in Canada is not unethical or illegal. However, there are concrete guidelines that law firms must abide by to avoid sanctions from the bar or the government. The rules can vary from city to city. As long as marketers uphold these standards, lawyer advertising is well-accepted in Canada’s legal circles.

Both organic and paid traffic benefit law firm websites, but each works differently. If the goal is to reach the top of search results, paid ads are the surest and quickest way to do so. On the other hand, organic marketing can increase a law firm’s website’s search ranking more slowly than paid marketing. But it wins when it comes to earning people’s trust.

In general, BP listings improve in about 90 to 180 days after setting up or optimizing the law firm’s profile. However, it can take two to six months to reach Google’s 3-Pack, which is how Google displays the top three results for a local business search.

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