Advertising in the British legal profession has only been permitted for the last twenty years. With the advent of click through advertising the last vestiges of 1950' style professional decorum have left the trademark agency market. The downside of this type of advertising is that it encourages would be clients to buy solely on price. Would any advertisers care to comment on the value they get?
Of course businesses grew before professional advertising was permitted and they still do in those countries where there continue to be restrictions. The main mechanic is recommendation from clients. If a friend or business contact is prepared to give a wholehearted recommendation of someone they have worked with, it goes a long way. But do prospective clients ask around their friends and contacts any more. Judging by the number of times I have been asked if I know someone in this country or another, they probably do. To give a good recommendation for someone I need to have worked with them before.
LinkedIn allows you to publish a recommendation of a friend you want to support but such an open reference is very difficult to write.
Why not share your best story of how you have benefitted from a personal recommendation