Any great attorney understands the pleasure of working with clients to impact their lives in positive ways, affect change in the outcome of a case for the better, or assist individuals in ways that they could not assist themselves otherwise.
Particularly among criminal defense clients, the assistance of a criminal defense attorney can, of course, mean all the difference for a client’s future.
While most criminal defense attorneys probably love what they do regardless of the paycheck, their practice is still their business, after all; for this reason, it’s necessary to market legal defense services in effective ways.
How Defense Attorneys Have Traditionally Gained Criminal Defense Clients
Before the onset of all the technology that floods our world today, criminal defense attorneys were traditionally able to get more clients simply by living and working in their communities over a period of time.
By working hard, defense attorneys could build a strong reputation and commonly depend on a steady flow of clients through word-of-mouth recommendations alone.
Of course, other methods existed, like working closeby or within the local courthouses regularly, or even taking on high-profile cases at reduced fees to attract local attention and create a personal brand within the community.
Traditionally, these methods, along with others, were enough to provide defense attorneys with sufficient caseloads and clientele for their firms to thrive. Even in our modern world, getting clients still depends in part upon being active in your community, creating a solid reputation for yourself, and relying on word-of-mouth recommendations as much as ever before.
But, today’s defense attorneys must also take advantage of online platforms for reaching potential criminal defense clients – many of whom they would have never been able to reach before the proliferation of the world wide web.
Don’t Just Depend Upon the Courthouse: 5 Ways to Get More Criminal Defense Clients Online
As mentioned, depending upon client recommendations, community reputations, the occasional high-profile case, and even the courthouse have traditionally been the best mediums through which criminal defense attorneys could drum up business.
Now, thanks to the existence of the Internet, here are five additional ways by which criminal defense attorneys can find defense clientele online:
1. Have a Business Website
We’ve often called this one a no-brainer, but many law firms and businesses surprisingly still don’t have a business website to call their own. While it may seem simple – perhaps eerily too simple – there’s essentially no better way to stake your claim for online business than by having an online presence to begin with.
Now, of course, how well your online presence is presented is also very important, but first and foremost, criminal defense attorneys and firms should have a website of some kind. It’s simply too easy to become obsolete to your potential clientele without one.
2. Host an Active Blog
Beyond just showcasing a website, it’s also important to have a firm blog that is updated regularly.
Remember that a blog should not be treated the same as your firm newsletter – blogs are meant to help inform your current and future clients about latest developments in relevant state and local laws that could affect them and their cases; ask questions and provide helpful (and understandable) answers; and, generally enforce the point that their defense attorney is professional, up-to-date, and capable of handling their cases.
One of the easiest ways to accomplish all of these points efficiently and in tandem with your website is to include them in a blog.
3. Make Use of Video Marketing
The benefits of video marketing cannot be understated: This medium of advertising is quickly becoming the latest essential marketing tactic – similar to the blog or newsletter from years past.
Video marketing in nearly whatever form you choose to use it – whether it be a video blog (vlog), an addition to your practice area webpage, or something that you have made available on YouTube – has the amazing ability to instill a level of confidence and trust in potential clients that other marketing mediums simply do not have. When a potential criminal defense client watches an informational video, vlog post, or how-to video with questions and answers that are relevant to his or her particular defense situation, it’s much easier for that client to connect with you on a personal level after seeing your face, hearing your voice, and observing your manners.
And, as any good criminal defense attorney can attest to, it’s always better to work with clients who place their trust and confidence in their defense attorneys.
4. Take Advantage of Client Reviews and Referrals Online
Why should a criminal defense attorney be subjected to only using in-person or word-of-mouth client reviews? Start taking advantage of your defense clients’ reviews (and hopefully, referrals) online, as well!
By posting client reviews in eye-catching places on your website’s homepage, contact page, and practice area pages, you can offer additional peace of mind to potential defense clientele regarding your abilities, defense strategies, and record of results. Since potential clients most want to hear from others who’ve been in their same position, providing client reviews online can really help to boost your credibility as a dependable defense attorney.
5. Have a Social Media Presence
As with having a website, social media presence is of top priority these days – something that many attorneys still don’t necessarily realize. Because social media input and output (think clicks, shares, likes, views, etc.) account for so much of online consumers’ interest and attention, effective social media branding can help propel your firm in a direction that means new criminal defense clientele.
Particularly when it comes to younger clientele, branding your practice area and law firm on social media can connect you to a whole world of potential clients who are simply not looking information up in the phone books anymore.
By strategically using stories, trending hashtags, and others’ posts online, your firm’s social media accounts can become platforms to share your case successes, latest legislation, breaking criminal headlines, and more.
In general, social media can be incredibly helpful for getting your name out there as a leading criminal defense attorney in your community.
My Firm Has an Online Presence. . . Now What?
If (or, rather, once) your firm is online, that doesn’t mean that the marketing work is finished. Many attorneys make the mistake of thinking that a website, blog, maybe a video or two, and a Facebook account will lead to an instantaneous spike in clientele.
Beyond just being online, you, your practice area, and your firm must be online strategically.
What does being online strategically mean? Well, this varies by firm, by attorney, by community, by target client base, and by practice areas, of course.
But, think about the following marketing strategies as you and your firm seek out new criminal defense clients online:
Focus Specifically on Your Practice Area
It’s great if you have worked on many different cases in diverse practice areas throughout your career. Sure, we know that every case has led to your current successes as an attorney, which means that every past case and client can work to benefit every future case and client.
But, when marketing yourself on your website, in blog posts, and on social media, focusing on your niche is better.
Potential clients tend to respond better when an attorney has expertise in just a few specific areas – or even expertise within one practice area – rather than being the Swiss Army knife of law.
If you work with corporate law, then as a divorce attorney who also dabbles in personal injury cases, it can be difficult for potential clients to choose you over the next attorney who has specialized solely in criminal defense for several years.
Build Rapport with Your Potential Clients
Have a target client demographic in mind to gear your marketing toward, and become relatable with that audience.
If your criminal defense practice is commonly associated with men aged 18 to 30, for example, then determine the best marketing approaches for that age demographic based on existing marketing research. If your client base is typically older, then adjust your usage of social media or video marketing to accommodate the characteristics that this age group appreciates and seeks in legal representation.
Don’t miss out on the opportunity to know your audience and build rapport based on what that audience wants and expects when seeking criminal defense.
Ask Questions, then Offer Answers
One of the best ways to attract new clients is by asking obvious questions (which may not be so obvious to your clients), and then providing them with easy-to-understand answers that can be helpful right away.
This method is particularly useful when creating blog and social media posts.
For example, let’s say you notice that new clients always begin by asking about the most important things to focus on in their criminal defense. From this, you can infer that many individuals – specifically those who are seeking criminal defense – are unsure of the most important aspects in criminal defense cases.
Why not create a blog post, or even an entire web page, dedicated to answering this question? Without creating an attorney-client relationship or going into too many legal specifics, you are able to ask an important (and obviously relevant) question for your clients, then offer up real answers.
By doing this strategically online, your assistance can reach future potential clients when they decide to type this question into a search engine.
Keep Your Content Relevant, Helpful, and Simple
Because it’s difficult enough to get potential criminal defense clients’ online attention in the first place, once you do, keep it!
Try to provide relevant information that is thorough yet concise, immediately useful, and easy-to-understand (or as much as is possible). In this manner, you won’t run as much risk of losing your audience before the webpage views lead to client conversions.
Update Your Case Results
Perhaps one of the easiest ways to engage with your potential clients in a way that’s most helpful and relevant for them is by keeping your case results up-to-date.
Ask clients for attorney reviews, create summary videos of successful criminal defense cases, and broadcast your momentous moments as a defense attorney for the world to see. Not only does this provide your website and blog with fresh material, but it also helps grow your appeal as an expert in criminal defense.
Interested in Learning More? Contact us Today
Have you been wondering how to get more criminal defense clients to work with your firm and utilize your legal services?
Whether you already have a flourishing online presence or not, let us help you attain more criminal defense clients online today.
At Black Fin, we specialize in creating online content for law firms that advances their brand and expands their potential client base.
We also offer expertise in search engine optimization, web design, and social media, making us your one-stop shop for effectively using online mediums to widen your criminal defense practice. If you’re ready to grow your online marketing influence in your community, contact us online today so we can begin working together.