I’ve learned that one of the biggest pain points criminal defense lawyers have is getting rid of tire-kickers. In other words getting rid of people who are just looking for free information and not ever looking to hire you.

Since these trash phone calls are a complete time-waster for your firm, I’m going to give you 3 of the most effective tips to attract the opposite of these tire-kickers – which are potential clients that have serious charges and/or are actually able to afford your retainers. 

The truth is this, before I dive in, there is no way to completely eliminate the tire-kicker phone calls, however, there is a way to position your firm so that you attract higher-quality cases on a consistent basis.

So, let’s dive in…

#1: Prioritize online reviews for your criminal law firm

No matter what marketing you do, this is going to be something EVERY high-retainer client reads online. The higher the retainer, the more consideration someone is going to put into hiring you. Also – for more severe charges, your client is going to do more research than a simple DUI.

Chances are, most quality clients are going to see your reviews at some point.

So, I know this is simple, but if you haven’t prioritized online reviews, you need to start today.

The best way to do this is to create a system for generating reviews on auto-pilot. Now, there are softwares for this – where you can send a client an email or text asking them if they would recommend you to a friend. If they select yes, they are sent to your Google MyBusiness. If they select no, they are sent to a separate page where they can express their negative feedback, without posting it as a negative review.

This is quite easy to set up on auto-pilot, so that you only get quality reviews. Also – some of these softwares integrate with AVVO, SuperLawyers, etc… We have some recommendations, so if you’re interested, reach out or comment on the video.

#2: Build meaningful relationships with your criminal defense clients.

Intentionally building meaningful relationships with clients to secure quality referrals is an extremely vital component to your law firm’s reputation and brand awareness.

There are 3 phases of a client relationship:

1) Sign Up

2) Service

3) Follow Up

For Phase 1 & 2 – you obviously want to provide great help to clients and stay in close communication with them throughout all steps in the process.

But, Phase 3 is what we’ve found most important. Phase 3 is how you keep in touch with them after the case is done.

The best method to do this is to simply call your clients to check-in every quarter or have someone on your team do this. NO lawyers do this and it really can skyrocket referrals. Another strategy for phase 3 is to create a simple 1-2 short emails per week, that are sent to all past clients, so that you can stay on top of mind. Bottom line: There is a LOT of money in follow up. So, build more meaningful relationships with your clients to get higher-retainer cases through referrals.

Ok – so once these 2 essentials are done, you then want to focus on optimizing your online marketing:

#3: Get super targeted with your Google Ads campaigns.

Google Adwords is the best way to manually target high-retainer cases because you can exclude when people type in things like “pro bono” “free” “legal aid” “cheap”, etc…

So, that you can spend more of your money on high-value searches. You can’t do this type of targeting via SEO. 

So, my #1 piece of advice here is to use a negative keyword list including all of the “cheapo” terms that people who don’t have money are typing in. 

Another way you can target high-retainer cases is to create completely separate campaigns for JUST your highest value case types. 

We always say to be at 100% impression share for the home-run cases: which are usually the felony keywords and more serious misdemeanor keywords.

Now, you can also combine this with demographic targeting to only show your ads to people within the top income brackets, which works really well.

But, this is not a volume approach, this is a quality approach so if you’re in a major metro area & want volume, you may need to turn on some “Criminal Lawyer” keywords, but I would bid less on them and create separate campaigns so you can allocate more of your budget towards the higher value keywords, otherwise, Google is going to spend all of your money on “Criminal Lawyer” keywords.

I could probably make a completely separate video on Google AdWords for Criminal Lawyers, because there’s so many nuances to it. If you’re interested, let me know in the comments and I’ll make it!

So, I hope that was helpful. The reason I didn’t speak on SEO, is because you can’t JUST target high-retainer clients via SEO. If your website starts ranking for felony keywords, it’s likely you’ll also start ranking for some general Criminal Lawyer keywords – and you can’t exclude Pro bono searches via SEO.

So, those are your 3 foolproof tips for targeting higher-retainer criminal defense clients for your law firm.