Free resources for marketing a law practice abound. From blogs to sites for uploading articles to e-newsletters (which are free by using a product like MailChimp and video (if you do it yourself) to more personal methods like cold calling, lawyers can generate clients and referrals without spending a dime.

But is it enough? Are there times when it makes sense to fork over some cash to invest in good old-fashioned advertising? Somewhat surprisingly but sensibly, John Jansch of Duct Tape Marketing says yes, though not entirely for the reasons you’d think. 

Jansch offers a couple of reasons for his argument, but the one that I find most persuasive is this: traditional advertising amplifies all of your other activities by directing audiences who might not have otherwise known about you to your blog or e-book or other website.

After all, much as we laud the power of the Internet, some folks, particularly in more rural communities or small towns, still don’t rely on it exclusively to find lawyers. In fact, even folks who use the Internet or social media regularly may not yet think to use it to find professionals like doctors and lawyers. So paying for an ad in a small local phone book or neighborhood newsletter or sponsoring a Little League team or even buying branded pens and handing them out everywhere you go might broaden your exposure in populations where the Internet hasn’t yet fully penetrated.

So as you start to set your marketing budget for the coming year, set aside some cash for a little paid advertising. We may live in a 21st Century world, old truths like “it takes money to make money” aren’t obsolete just yet.