While the internet has certainly opened up new markets for local businesses, it has also opened the door to new competitors. With the dawn of the modern era, digital marketing has emerged as one of the most important components of marketing.
As easy as it may seem to post content online, digital marketing, much like traditional marketing, comes with a unique set of challenges. Add to that the complexities associated with criminal defense marketing, and setting up your law firm for success may start to feel like an impossible feat. However, you don’t need to navigate it on your own.
Read on to find out about the importance of criminal defense marketing and how to successfully market your practice to get more clients.
How Do I Become A Successful Criminal Defense Lawyer?
The best criminal defense lawyers have a broad understanding of the law. That’s because criminal cases are often multi-faceted. For example, your client may be accused of criminal fraud in a case that encompasses elements of tax law.
While some lawyers are prepared to handle anything from domestic violence to driving under the influence (DUI), you don’t need to know every nook and cranny of the law off the top of your head. It’s perfectly fine to narrow down the areas of practice that you prefer, especially if you are uncomfortable dealing with more sensitive subject matters.
Either way, like any successful lawyer, a good criminal defense lawyer will dedicate the majority of their time to engaging with, researching, and critically analyzing each individual case. Diligence, critical thinking, and reasoning skills are hallmarks of a good criminal defense lawyer.
How Do Criminal Defenses Get Clients?
Word-of-mouth is one of the oldest and most reliable criminal defense marketing tools out there. A satisfied client won’t hesitate to recommend your services to friends, family, and colleagues seeking similar services.
Of course, some, if not most, criminal defendants will shy away from disclosing any details relating to their case for obvious reasons — putting your practice at a disadvantage.
However, there are other means to secure clients. When it comes to referrals from your colleagues — other lawyers or criminal justice professionals — can help direct clients your way.
How To Get More Clients?
Wondering how to get criminal defense clients? Well, there are a few ways to attract more clients to your practice. Here are 3 ways to go about criminal defense marketing for your firm.
- Offer a Referral Fee
Establishing a reputation good enough for your practice to comfortably rely on merit-based recommendations from your past clients and referrals takes years, if not decades.
That said, a good way to increase the number of clients sent your way through referrals is to incentivize the referring colleague by offering a referral fee. A referral fee is a commission paid to the lawyer that directed the client to your practice.
For example, an inexperienced lawyer could pass on a client to you if they lack the capacity to take the matter on themselves. Alternatively, a well-known lawyer could refer some of its clients to you if they are inundated with cases.
While building your professional network and offering a referral fee may help you receive more referrals, providing quality service will help you maintain good relationships with your colleagues and clients.
- Take on High-profile Cases
It’s no secret that law firms benefit from their involvement in high-profile cases. A good criminal defense marketing team should help you translate the media interest surrounding your case into positive publicity for your practice.
That said, don’t mistake high-profile cases for those involving high-profile individuals. Political scandals and celebrity misdeeds aren’t the only cases that make the headlines. In fact, the more clout surrounding the defendant, the more likely they are to approach larger, more established firms.
If you’re still trying to make a name for yourself, then you could gain some traction by taking on cases in which your local community is invested. For example, defending the charges leveled against the manager of a popular bakery may be seemingly inconsequential, but may ultimately draw some attention to your services within the community.
- Market Your Practice Online
Law is one of the most traditional — and most regulated — professions out there. As a result of this inherent sense of tradition, many firms are reluctant to adopt modern marketing practices.
However, developing a strong online presence for your practice is one of the best investments you can make to position yourself for success. Without a notable online presence, potential clients searching for your services online may turn to competitors with prominent criminal law websites.
Just as you would invest in a well-designed office space and traditional marketing materials, a well-designed website and quality content will denote professionalism and trustworthiness.
Does Digital Marketing For Criminal Defense Actually Work?
Digital marketing is just another way of approaching and interacting with potential customers. While it certainly shouldn’t replace traditional marketing, it should form a significant part of any well-rounded criminal defense marketing strategy.
Between 2013 and 2017 alone, “near me” searches — online searches for highly localized results, for example, “criminal defense lawyers near me” — have increased by 900%.. In addition, according to google’s keyword planner, there are nearly 70,000 monthly searches that include the keywords “criminal defense lawyer” — a fair share of which are probably within your jurisdiction.
With so many people walking around with a GPS-enabled smartphone, your target customer is likely to look up legal services online before contacting a practitioner. However, the best criminal defense lawyer websites will rank at the top of the results, impacting your ability to generate leads.
There is arguably no better way for clients to find you than through the internet. For new firms, in particular, an online presence could very well mean the difference between success and failure. However, not any website will do. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) will help your site surpass its competitors and generate more traffic.
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How To Figure Out The Criminal Defense Law Firm Marketing Budget?
Like most industries, the legal profession is under an increasing amount of pressure to adopt modern marketing techniques geared toward an online audience. This means that the standard marketing budget — typically 2% to 5% of gross revenues — may fall short.
Of course, every firm is different. The size, location, and goals of your firm are just some of the factors that you need to take into account when you are formulating your marketing budget.
Although you may be tempted to cut costs, underfunding your marketing department will only compromise your firm’s goals. A healthy budget is a dynamic one — it should evolve along with the firm and its needs.
How Do You Market A Criminal Defense Practice?
When it comes to criminal defense marketing, there are a variety of avenues to explore. Although your firm’s marketing strategy will be informed by its goals, there are a few tools and techniques that any firm can benefit from using.
Conducting webinars, recording podcasts, and publishing blog posts are also excellent ways to increase brand recognition for your firm. Producing regular, shareable content that helps your potential clients solve a problem or answer a question they may have helps your firm establish credibility, demonstrate its expertise, and generate quality leads.
Using your content and marketing platforms to redirect traffic to your firm’s site will help you land more clients. The best criminal defense lawyer websites allow potential clients to make inquiries and schedule consultations. Optimizing your website for the utmost convenience and confidentiality will encourage potential clients to get in touch.
How Do You Advertise Criminal Law?
Listing in an online directory will help get your firm’s name out there and increase the traffic to your site. Depending on your budget, you could opt for a paid listing to draw more attention to your firm and get an edge on your competition.
One of the most popular methods that law firms use in criminal defense marketing is to give out free branded merchandise. Branded pens, notebooks, and t-shirts are regularly distributed to the public to raise awareness.
However, the move to digital has necessitated a change of strategy. Nowadays most law firms focus their attention on running Google Ads and social media marketing — advertising their services on the most popular platforms like Facebook and Twitter — both of which have incredible reach.
How Do You Brand A Criminal Defense Law Firm?
Because the public tends to regard criminal lawyers with disdain, successful criminal defense marketing calls for a certain level of tact. Therefore, placing emphasis on the role criminal defense lawyers play in ensuring that the due process rights of the accused are upheld is important.
While blue may be the color of choice for corporate firms, criminal defense law firms should opt for bolder colors that evoke a sense of confidence and strength. Highlighting the firm’s core values within the slogan and other marketing materials will help your potential clients feel like they are in good hands.
Consulting a professional marketing firm on the best direction for your brand will help you ensure that you are sending the right message to your market. Everything from your logo to typography contributes toward your firm’s esteem.
How Can You Grow Your Criminal Defense Law Firm?
Effectively marketing your criminal defense firm and delivering quality service is the best way to guarantee the growth of your criminal defense law firm — even the best marketing team can’t make up for bad service.
Hiring lawyers with complementary skills, for example, lawyers that specialize in different practice areas will not only help you improve the quality of service that you offer but also attract a wider range of clients — increasing your revenue.
Of course, it will be largely up to your marketing team to spotlight your firm’s strengths. For example, if your firm prides itself in expertise in a certain area of criminal law and unmatched customer service, then your marketing materials should place emphasis on those aspects.
Marketing Strategies For Criminal Defense Attorney
Criminal defense marketing strategies for attorneys should focus on their expertise. All marketing platforms ranging from the attorney’s website to their social media posts should either make reference to or demonstrate expertise.
In the same breath, publicizing relevant academic achievements, awards, and participation in high-profile cases demonstrates competence. Media outreach initiatives, which may involve offering an expert opinion for a news story or providing analyses of legal developments, will help make your name more recognizable.
Establishing a clear brand identity will also help criminal defense attorneys differentiate themselves from other practitioners. For example, establishing a tough, “no-nonsense” persona or a calm, comforting one will help potential clients make the best choice for their circumstances.
Trying to get new clients? Contact Deo-Dar today and start focusing on growing your firm.