For individuals facing criminal charges for the first time, the initial reactions are usually panic followed by uncertainty – he or she may not have a clue as to how to proceed. Once the person realizes they need to get legal support as swiftly as possible, a Google search for a criminal defense attorney is usually the next step. While finding a local defense lawyer may be fairly simple, directing potential clients to your firm is where many law offices stumble. Fortunately, there are numerous criminal law marketing tools to help drive clients to your law office’s website and make that initial connection. Read on for useful tips and learn how effective digital marketing strategies can get your firm more criminal defense clients.
Building Relationships: Why Your Law Firm’s Website Must Inspire Trust
Although it may seem like an obvious marketing objective, creating a robust online presence is crucial to the success of your law office. For example, your firm may offer experienced legal counsel and a top-notch staff of attorneys that specialize in criminal convictions or white collar crime. However, if potential clients can’t find you online, chances are they will go with another law office. But how can criminal defense lawyers build an ad campaign that is both engaging and informative? Below, some key law firm marketing strategies to keep in mind when crafting digital content:
Keep it relevant: When choosing content for your firm’s website, think about what information prospective clients are looking for – and use examples whenever possible. After all, what better way to showcase your office’s capabilities than through actual cases from your firm’s archives? What’s more, a targeted digital marketing approach – including keyword implementation and SEO best practices – can help your site turn up in relevant Google search engines when clients are looking for you.
In addition to convincing potential clientele that your law office is the best fit for the job, valuable, well-thought-out content can also help to establish trust with new and existing clients, further improving your reputation online and within your community. Consider the services of a professional internet marketing agency to optimize your website or social media platforms, especially if you’re looking to increase online visibility, page rank, and ultimately, your client base.
Make sure it’s engaging: Before establishing an attorney-client relationship, criminal defense clients will shop around for a criminal defense law firm that best fits their needs. While this may be highly subjective, you can increase your odds with a website that features engaging content. Keeping this in mind, be sure to feature valuable content that will entice and maintain your audience.
Since criminal defense clients are usually seeking out specific information online, experts suggest including a variety of digital content, including links to external resources and informative videos. By using these marketing strategies, your firm will not only enhance user experience, but help gain traffic and traction on Google.
Target your audience: In addition to appealing to would-be clientele, be sure to keep your demographic in mind. For example, are you targeting a specific age group, gender, locality, or niche market? By using appropriate search terms and keywords in your web content, it will help users find you during an internet search. There are certain online strategies – such as pay-per-click (PPC) internet marketing – that can boost your online presence and help reach your target audience quickly and effectively.
Successful criminal defense PPC campaigns typically require the experience of a trained professional to land on page one of search engines like Yahoo, Google and Bing. Therefore, law firms may want to consider the expertise of a Google-certified PPC campaign manager to help them with their internet marketing efforts.
Use digital tools to boost results: In order to bring in more criminal defense clients to your practice, it takes more than quality online content or catchy legal slogans. A well-executed digital ad campaign requires a combination of law firm marketing tools, including but not limited to search engine optimization (SEO), Google Maps, social media marketing, YouTube marketing, LinkedIn ads, Google ads, and Facebook business platforms. By utilizing these essential marketing tools, your law firm can maximize its marketing potential. A focused marketing initiative has not only the potential to expand your online presence and improve your organic search ranking, but enables your firm to cast a wider net – and in turn, entice future clients.
Be mindful of reviews & page rank: Believe it or not, most research has shown that your law firm’s rank on Google Maps matters. The reason being: your clients are searching for legal counsel right away – and they’re probably hoping they won’t have to dig too deep to find the right attorney. This is why Google Maps listings are so important: because it’s locally-based, it enables criminal defense clients in your region to find you fairly quickly – as long as your other marketing strategies are already in place. In fact, your firm’s Google Maps listing will even outrank your organic ranking, so be sure to be mindful of customer reviews, too. By garnering as many positive customer reviews as possible, it can potentially drive up your listing rank – increasing both online visibility and your firm’s reputation.
The simpler, the better: Let’s face it – we all spend an inordinate time staring at our phones throughout the day. So it should come as no surprise that the majority of the population has a fairly limited attention span – most consumers will only linger on an ad for a few seconds, if that. And chances are if they click through to your website via Facebook or another platform, it better be easy to navigate, engaging, and aesthetically appealing. In addition, your site should be equally user-friendly on a cellphone or mobile device as it is on a PC. Content should also be laid out in a way that’s straightforward, clean and uncluttered – in this case, less truly is more. In the event that your law firm is short on creativity, expertise, or simply the time to build an optimized website, consider hiring a professional marketing agency. With an internet marketing campaign tailored to your specifications, they can create an online presence worthy of your law office.
Marketing Tips For Lawyers: How To Find Criminal Defense Clients
While digital marketing strategies may be one of the primary ways in which law firms can get more criminal defense clients, there are other more traditional methods worth considering. Below, a few options to help bring additional clients into your office:
- Make yourself accessible: For some lawyers, the more they are in the courthouse, the better the chance of finding potential clientele. In fact, many attorneys practicing criminal defense will admit that being approached in the courthouse by a defendant is a relatively common occurrence. And while this approach is more based on circumstance than anything else – i.e., being at the right place at the right time – making yourself accessible can only improve your odds of getting new clients in an organic setting.
- Build your reputation: To quote the old adage, “If you build it, they will come”. Yet another way to boost business, building your reputation locally is a powerful way to generate referrals for your criminal defense practice. By taking on a high-publicity case, you may be able to garner the possible media and news attention that will ensue. Based on this logic, once the case creates a local (or even national) buzz, the attorney’s reputation will increase – and if all goes well, cement his station in the legal community.
- Generate referrals: Although it may be perceived as conventional by some, getting a referral from other clients or lawyers is still pretty standard practice. In fact, criminal defense clients have a high likelihood of being referred from one attorney to another. Subsequently, there are quite a few lawyers who depend solely on their referrals to sustain their practice. Whether generating referrals from colleagues at another firm or practicing other areas of law, criminal defense lawyers can find clients this way on a fairly steady basis.
- Establish your brand locally: For newbies or law firms on a tight budget, there are some cost-efficient ways to get your name out in the community. Consider promotional materials, such as customized pens, magnets, keychains, or other small items that include your law office’s contact info and phone number. Distributing in your local areas and jurisdiction – such as bars and restaurants – is a great way to reach your target audience on a long-term scale. This method has proven to be a highly effective behavioral marketing tactic, since individuals will likely hold onto such promotional merchandise in a purse or wallet – and if they find themselves in an emergency situation, well…you get the picture.
Summary: Marketing Strategies For Your Criminal Defense Practice
Although there are numerous ways to bring your clients into your law firm – including referrals, networking, ad campaigns, and other marketing techniques – establishing your internet presence should be one of the core components of your business strategy. Using a combination of digital marketing tools can be a powerful method of leveraging your website’s page rank while reaching a wider audience.
Whether you’re a criminal defense lawyer, a private attorney or a trial lawyer, developing a customized website that highlights your areas of expertise is crucial to your reputation – and ultimately, your law firm’s success. By developing your online presence, it can help facilitate the right connections with potential clients, and in turn, they can find the appropriate legal representation that they’re looking for.
1) Juilfs, David. “4 Ways to Get New Criminal Defense Clients for Your Law Firm.” Attorney At Law Magazine (attorneyatlawmagazine.com), May 26, 2020, https://attorneyatlawmagazine.com/4-ways-to-get-new-criminal-defense-clients-for-your-law-firm. Accessed January 14, 2021.
2) “The Difference Between A Defense Lawyer And A Trial Lawyer.” Lawyer Monthly (lawyer-monthly.com), March 31, 2020, https://www.lawyer-monthly.com/2020/03/the-difference-between-a-defense-lawyer-and-a-trial-lawyer/. Accessed January 14, 2021.
3) Kimball, Jared. “8 Ways Lawyers Can Get Criminal Defense and DUI Clients.” Zahavian Law Firm Marketing (zahavianlegalmarketing.com), July 31, 2019, https://www.zahavianlegalmarketing.com/how-lawyers-can-get-criminal-defense-dui-clients/. Accessed January 14, 2021.
4) Berson, Sasha. “How to Get (More) Criminal Defense Clients.” Comrade (comradeweb.com), December 21, 2020, https://comradeweb.com/blog/how-to-get-more-criminal-defense-clients/. Accessed January 14, 2021.