While pay per click advertising can be a powerful tool for people promoting their legal practices online, it is not the only avenue available for promotion. You can get a better bang for your marketing buck by also investing heavily on earned traffic, as well. This can be a great tool since, for many, free promotion are more likely to be seen as authentic by people seeking legal services. In most cases, theses efforts are not 100% free, as you will have to dedicate time to the promotion or hire people to create high quality content for you. But, they can often provide a better and more sustainable return than PPC alone.

A few of the top ways to get free promotion and exposure:

1. Connect with journalists.

Journalists regularly need statements and quotes from legal experts. Send emails to local papers letting them know that you are available when they need legal expertise to round out a story. You can also register on sites like Help a Reporter Out to put your practice in front of a larger group of reporters who may be looking for a quote.

2. Create a SlideShare presentation.

It is free to create a presentation on the presentation site SlideShare. With a large and well-educated audience, SlideShare gives you a chance to demonstrate your understanding of legal issues to people who are seeking more information. Commission high quality graphics and well-written content to increase your number of views, likes and shares, as well as your chances of being featured in the site’s Editors’ Picks list.

3. Host an AMA.

Reddit, one of the largest social networks, has informal recurring features known as AMAs: Ask Me Anything. People can offer to answer questions either on the large /r/IamA subreddit or on a number of topical and local subreddits. When a new law relevant to your practice comes into effect, start a thread asking people if you can help with their questions regarding any confusion about new laws.

Question and Answer4. Answer questions on Quora.

Quora is a question and answer social network read by at least nine million people every month. When you register on the site, you can include your name, the name of your practice and your URL in your profile. Add keywords that correspond to your areas of expertise so you will be alerted when questions in your area are asked. Quora threads often index high on Google, so you will get access not only to the people who ask questions on Quora but also to people who search on Google, as well.

5. Ask for recommendations.

When you have clients who are happy with your resolution of their issues, do not hesitate to ask them to recommend you to someone who can use your legal advice. When people come to you through the recommendations they get from family and friends, you get the advantage of the social proof that comes from the trust they have in the people who they know. Recommendations can be requested during face to face meetings or in a quick email sent after a legal issue is resolved.

6. Create highly sharable content.

Whether it is content for your legal blog, a set of legal infographics or helpful legal videos, people are more likely to engage with and share your content if it is different and compelling. Is there room for humor in what you offer? Can you take on a legal topic that others have avoided? Do you hold an opinion that differs from the usual advice you see online? All of these can make people intrigued and interested enough that they will view and share what they see.

By regularly maintaining your connections to both your local and online community, you can get far more traction than you would by relying on paid promotion alone. Dedicate a portion of your outside marketing budget or a chunk of time in a staff member’s week to sowing the seeds that can create a long-lasting and positive reputation for your legal brand.