One of the questions we get asked often is “How can I get more criminal defense cases and clients through online marketing”?
Before we dive in let’s make sure we’re talking about the same thing. Some firms want leads today. Other firms want leads today and everyday moving forward. In this article we’re going to focus more on the latter.
Here are a few of the ways we tell our clients they can start to generate leads.
- Build a strong brand
- Design and develop a beautiful website that addresses your clients pain points
- Spend time crafting your message
- Have clear calls to action
- Engage with potential clients on social media
- Google & Bing Ads
- Local Services Ads
- Local services ads and online lead generation (pay per lead)
- Search engine optimization (local SEO and organic SEO)
- Social Media
- Top of mind awareness
But at the end of the day many attorneys are already doing these things so it’s important to differentiate yourself and truly stand out from the other law firms.
In this article we will discuss the methods that used to work along with methods that will work to grow your criminal defense firm.
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, networking events, and in person meetings.
Of course, other methods existed, like working close by 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
In the digital age, having an online presence that extends beyond a basic website is a non-negotiable aspect of your law firm’s marketing strategy. One often overlooked yet incredibly vital component of this online presence is an active, regularly updated blog.
Why is blogging so important for criminal defense attorneys?
A blog isn’t just an add-on to your firm’s website—it’s a powerful communication platform. Unlike your firm’s newsletter, which primarily updates existing clients and professional connections, your blog reaches a broader audience. It plays a multifaceted role in both drawing potential clients and retaining current ones.
Here’s how an active blog aids a criminal defense attorney:
- Educate and Inform: Laws and legal precedents are dynamic, constantly evolving entities, especially in the realm of criminal defense. An active blog lets you inform your clients and prospects about the latest developments in relevant state and local laws that could directly impact their cases. In doing so, you demonstrate your grasp on the shifting legal landscape and foster a more informed client base.
- Engage and Answer: A blog is an interactive platform where readers can ask questions and gain clarifications. It’s an opportunity for you, as a criminal defense attorney, to provide accessible, understandable answers to common legal queries. This dialogue not only offers clients value but also builds a strong rapport with potential clients who appreciate your expertise and responsiveness.
- Demonstrate Professionalism and Expertise: A well-written, regularly updated blog sends a clear message: your firm is professional, current, and capable of handling challenging cases. The consistent output of quality content showcases your firm’s commitment to stay ahead of the legal curve, and reassures clients and prospects that their defense is in capable hands.
An active blog synergizes with your overall digital strategy, bolstering your website’s visibility and engagement. It’s not just a marketing tool; it’s a means of providing value, showcasing expertise, and building trust with your audience. So if your criminal defense firm doesn’t have an active blog yet, it’s time to start – the benefits are clear, and the potential for growth, immense.
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 or TikTok– 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 a 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.
Don’t Fall Behind. Contact Us Today
Are you a criminal defense attorney, weary of seeing your competitors’ blogs drawing in potential clients while yours remains underutilized? Are you struggling to keep up with the rapidly changing digital marketing landscape? Is your busy schedule leaving you with no time to update your blog regularly or engage with your online audience?
The solution is here, and the time to act is now!
At Juris Digital, we specialize in helping law firms just like yours navigate the digital world with ease. We can help manage your blog, ensuring regular updates with high-quality content that aligns with your firm’s ethos and appeals to your target audience.
Don’t let your firm fall behind in the digital race. Contact Juris Digital today and discover the transformative power of a well-managed, active blog. Remember, each day that passes is another day that potential clients are looking for expert legal advice – don’t let them find your competitors first!
This month, we are offering a free blog content strategy session to the first ten law firms who contact us. Don’t miss this opportunity to transform your digital marketing strategy and give your firm the online presence it deserves. Your firm’s growth can’t wait – reach out to us at Juris Digital today.