Client Prospecting 101 (Criminal Law)

Successful companies do not grow quietly, and neither will yours.
It comes down to your practice’s presence. Having your name associated with your services deepens your recognition, making it easier for people to request you. If you want leads, then how you shake the pan doesn’t really matter, as long as you’re shaking it. But if you want prospects, the filter you use can change the game—whether through billboards, networking, increased website traffic, or with Law Prospects’ guidance, properly marketing yourself can increase a potential client’s opportunity to find you. For attorneys that would like ideas moving forward, Law Prospects has assembled a list of categories that can be utilized to obtain new clients.
While this list does not include all paths available, it does offer suggestions of varying scales that can function as the first (or the next!) step in getting the recognition needed to grow your practice.
  • Referrals - If you read nothing else, read this!

    We’ve put Referrals at the top, despite our love of order.
    Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook put it well: referrals are “the Holy Grail of advertising.”
    It’s a fact: people trust their friends and families more than they trust advertisements, so much so that after 4 years, referrals generate up to 60%-70% of most successful practice’s business.
    Clearly, word of mouth powerfully boosts the returns of your business by jaw-dropping percentages. Not only do they convert 30% better than their non-referred counterparts, but they also come with a 37% higher retention rate and are four times more likely to refer others.
    Referrals sustainably snowball your client base, bringing in more and more prospects that do the same at little or no cost to you. Reinvest all that saved elbow grease into your practice by tending to your budding clients and current cases, giving them the chance to sing your praises for a job well done to family and friends alike. In more trackable cases, companies integrate referral bonuses to encourage the sharing of their details for a reward, while some simply encourage online reviews and testimonials. For many clients, genuine care, a firm handshake, and a smiling face are all it takes to get them talking.
    Price Range(s): Generally little to no cost, including from personal efforts. Cost may be introduced if discounts, rewards, letters, or otherwise are used to gain referrals.

    Potential Referral Sources

    Previous Clients

    Potential prospects won’t just take your word for it—you’re good, but how can you prove it to them? Reviews from previous clients, who have nothing to lose in their brutal honesty, are plain and clear data points for the world to reference. If you have a website or a business account on social media, you can host client-given testimonials and feedback in an easy-to-access and easy-to-see format. Easy being the key: the fewer hoops someone has to jump through, the more likely they are to finish the task. If you aren’t receiving comments or referrals without prompting, simple phone, email, or mail to clients you’ve served in the past could land the bulk of your additional leads through word-of-mouth alone. Be sure to connect with them early in your relationship, while they’re happy and remember your work, to secure heartfelt evaluations.
    Some individuals won’t be comfortable with referring you to their loved ones, or they legally can’t refer you, and that’s alright too! Try a different route. Testimonials or other feedback function as powerful chips in earning trust, so don’t overlook them. A tip for you: determine which option your client would be more comfortable doing before asking them to do it. (And one more tip: if they don’t want to, it’s probably best they don’t.)
    Services: Referrals provide higher-quality leads. Testimonials increase activity within your community and grow your practice’s authority.

    Professional Referrals

    The fruit of networking blooms in the form of professional referrals. When discussing practices here, this could be within your own or another category altogether—as long as it’s another professional.
    Once you’ve built a bridge to another practice, ideally as something akin to a friendship so you aren’t sending possible clients out of the blue, you may then connect them with referrals. The idea isn’t to have a steady and equal flow from one practice to another, quid pro quo if you will, but to have an ebb-and-flow of resources advantageous to you both, when possible for you both. Yes, this could include dry spells where they don’t have anything to give… but consider sticking it out for the right time of year for your type of client.
    To get the most out of this type of relationship, the prospects you send should be quality and reflect your good intentions, the same as you would want from them. Don’t stop yourself from sending the first referral either; it’s good to get the ball rolling.
    Services: Referrals from others to increase your caseload or referrals to others to open up resources for your own practice.
  • Bathroom Wall Advertising

    Bathroom advertising bestows consumers with vibrant entertainment in an otherwise bland environment. As a format of indoor marketing, this style effectively catches the attention of high-quantity audiences in specific niche areas. Whether they're actively washing and drying their hands, or simply waiting for their turn, an individual reading your ad will associate your name with your service as they pass the time. This functions as an introduction to your specialty and is best suited for areas such as bars, restaurants, and airports within your target market. As most establishments already have bathrooms, there is no cost to construct an additional or standalone structure-overall, the bulk of bathroom advertising's cost comes down to renting the digital time slot or physical frame.
    Price Range(s): Costs are dependent on contract duration, an ad's poster size (if applicable), time of day, ad slot availability (if applicable), and ad location. Blue Line Media, for instance, states $300-$600 per display per four (4) week period is generally expected, but an individualized quote may be more.

    Prospective Bathroom Wall Advertisers

    Blue Line Media

    Blue Line Media specializes in a robust range of indoor marketing, with over 300 markets stretching the alphabet from Alabama to Wyoming. They have run successful digital and physical campaigns for national-level companies such as Yelp and Uber, as well as more locally-focused businesses, proving they have the ability to scale. While deployed on a contract basis, Blue Line Media offers free quotes so you can get an idea of costs before committing-be sure to inquire about any discounts, as they mention they may reduce prices in some cases.
    Services: Digital formats such as videos and static images, and Physical printed formats.

    Social Indoor

    Starting modestly in Minneapolis, Social Indoor has grown to reach beyond Minnesota to states such as Texas, California, the Carolinas, and more-encompassing 3,000 venues and counting. Their broad-reaching advertisements come in digital and physical formats by way of HD screens and prints, offered on contract bases. If in digital form, your ad has the freedom to be shown on any one of their screens, which have been focused in highly populated cities for optimum exposure.
    Services: Digital formats consisting of videos, static screens, or both, and Physical formats such as posters.
  • Bench Advertising

    With traffic and public transit here to stay, bench advertising provides easily accessible exposure to the captive audiences of the road. Waiting for the bus, waiting at a red light, or waiting for the crosswalk signal to eventually give the go-ahead, travelers on foot or wheel alike are bound to see the bench with your business on display. Similar to bathroom advertising, benches are already placed in highly populated areas, increasing your reach without the excessive cost of creating a new structure. In some cases, your campaign could also encompass digital benches, allowing you the chance to advertise in video format across several markets within the same time frame.
    Price Range(s): Dependent on time, location, and the market itself. Possible ranges are $150- $500 due to changes in location, but the average is $250 per placement (bench) for a month. Usually, contracts are for six (6) month time frames, though in some instances companies offer discounts for longer contracts.

    Prospective Bench Advertisers

    BM Outdoor

    BM Outdoor covers massive ground with over 900 cities shown as their available markets, including powerhouse locations such as Los Angeles, New York, Miami, Dallas, and more. Not only do they offer free quotes for your desired location, they also cite bench advertising as being one of their more affordable options, all without compromising your ad's targetability. This company has advertised and benefited both local and national-level businesses with proven results and has grown beyond the United States to Canada and Latin America, demonstrating its ability for scalable success.
    Services: Physical outdoor advertising, static bench displays.

    Indoor Media

    With specialized local campaigns and a national program for larger entities, Indoor Media caters to your individual needs. They have outgrown their origin of Houston, TX, and expanded to an international company through their profitable campaigns, using their affiliations with larger businesses to give "implied endorsement" for their growing counterparts. Their quotes are also free, allowing you to scope out business-friendly locations while local marketing consultants work with you along the way.
    Services: Physical outdoor advertising, static bench displays.
  • Billboards

    A brilliant eye-catching billboard has the potential to grab the attention of thousands of passers-by on their daily commute or road trips alike. In fact, the U.S. Department of Transportation reports that in 2015 alone, Americans spent 84 billion hours driving, meaning you can market yourself to massive amounts of individuals in no time. Despite the increase of technology in our vehicles, most travelers keep their eyes up and out—scouring the road ahead or beside them for vehicles, exits, restaurants, and rest-stops. By keeping your ad boldly in the sky, you can declare your practice to anyone and everyone around, either through printed vinyl (traditional) billboards or dancing digital displays.
    Price Range(s): Increases with location, billboard size and type, production level, and contract duration. Traditional, full-size billboards can range from $750-$15,000 or more for a month at a time, though contracts can last several months to a year. Digital billboards range from $1,200-$16,000 a month.

    Prospective Billboard Advertisers

    Lamar Advertising

    With 42 states out of 50 states covered, if you can think of a city, one of Lamar’s bulletin billboards can be seen peeking through its skyline. They generously offer tips for planning an outdoor design, provide in-house designers ready to bring to life your grand ideas, and allow easy access to a searchable inventory accompanied by market rates. If you would like to reach across a busy interstate, they can furnish their bulletins with engaging 3D extensions. There are over twenty-five pages worth of raving reviews announcing boosts to business and inspiring examples for you to verify their creative quality. From mom-and-pop shops to big-box enterprises, Lamar shows an invested commitment to client success.
    Services: Static (traditional) billboards and 3D billboards, in Bulletin, Poster, Jr. Poster, and Wallscape dimensions.

    National Outdoor Media

    Boasting itself as a “one-company resource,” National Outdoor’s expansive portfolio proves its claims true. Initially specializing in billboards, they’ve grown their outdoor advertising through hard-earned experience, serving satisfied clientele while expanding their reach across the coasts. National Outdoor’s team meticulously bolsters the visibility of rural businesses and national enterprises alike, from local posters to massive multi-bulletin campaigns. Through their achievements, they’ve mastered the art of affordable pricing and apply those concepts to the benefit of their clients, securing dazzling rates for an individual’s budget.
    Services: Static (traditional) billboards, in both bulletin and poster post sizes, Mobile billboards, and Digital billboards.
  • Direct Mail

    Where billboards and benches can’t reach a person, direct mail can. This type of advertising conquers the first obstacle to becoming a household name—it puts your practice directly into a person’s hands, getting you a foot through the literal and metaphorical door. To take full advantage of direct mail’s perks, your ads can be targeted, which would get your information not only where it needs to be, but when it’s needed. These mailing lists must be painstakingly curated; though in some cases, a list could be compiled by companies occupying a similar niche, allowing you to comb through for more relevant leads. Though building your own list, securing another’s, or combining them both may be taxing, the efforts are worth the potential for turn-out. By narrowing down the scope of your direct mail, you can launch focused, quality campaigns on a smaller scale rather than sending ads en masse and crossing your fingers for a return.
    Price Range(s): Dependent on the size and packaging of the ad, current postage rates, and the coverage of the campaign. Typically, costs come down to design creation, printing, and dispersal. USPS suggests a hypothetical campaign of 500 units can cost anywhere from $810-$1,500.

    Prospective Direct Mail Advertisers

    Every Door Direct Mail – USPS Mail Advertising

    Many direct mail services ship through USPS—why not cut down on costs and work with them? You can with their EDDM programs. They offer two options with your business needs in mind: Retail is better suited for entities wanting focused traffic, covering 200-5,000 pieces per day per ZIP code, and another, no-limit volume for multiple widespread ZIP code destinations. To hone in on more fitting leads, EDDM has an online tool connected to the U.S. Census data, with several categories for you to pick through to find perfect matches. With vast experience and vaster coverage, USPS dutifully carries your advertisement to your targeted recipient's doorsteps, rain or shine. Depending on the weight of your advertisement, you may be eligible for postage discounts and reduced rates, ensuring your initial investment packs a powerful punch. With a tagline like “Delivering for America,” you bet your mail will get directly to every door.
    Services: Direct, physical mail, with a calculator to estimate the costs of your campaign and guidelines to reference when designing your advertisement..


    MailShark knows exactly how important affordability is to growing businesses. They’ve been there! Starting out in the direct mail field to advertise pizza shops, MailShark developed from ten customers to maintaining multi-million dollar revenues in less than ten years. Not to be contained, they took on a variety of markets, such as education, retail, and professional services. They offer annual programs and a signature weekly mailing strategy, which boasts a no-money-down payment plan as parcels are shipped in waves. Instead of one bulky charge, business owners can make smaller payments over the course of their campaign. To sweeten the deal, they also offer targeted services, asserting that higher relevancy produces higher engagement—for the same perks as their regular service, design and all.
    Services: Direct mail. Design and printing services are included in the cost of your campaign.
  • Law Prospects

    You don’t have to navigate uncharted territory alone. Whether you’re an attorney decoding the mysteries of marketing by candlelight or a prospect grappling for hope in troubling times, we’re here for you. Our mission starts with our compassion for individuals charged with DWIs, introducing them to concepts necessary for understanding where they are in their process. Law Prospects provides support not by locating leads, but by cultivating prospects that know what they need and where to get it—your practice.
    You shouldn’t have to learn a completely new trade or invest massive sums you’ve worked hard for to get your name heard. You’ve got more important matters to tend to. By spending less time planning campaigns and less money executing them, you can afford to keep your focus on your practice, where it should be. You can learn more about our marketing process through our in-depth About Us, or watch our three-minute Defense Marketing overview.
    Should you have additional questions, you can visit our transparent FAQ for answers. The people need you, and we want to help. You could dramatically increase your bottom line as soon as next month by partnering your skills with our white-glove Criminal Defense Marketing system today.
    Price Range(s): Performance-weighted. Average cost is under $600.00 per retained client.
  • Directories for Local Citations

    If heaving around a cumbersome phone book and nursing papercuts was never the highlight of your day, you aren’t alone. Directories are the internet’s equivalent but easier to flip through and a lot less heavy. Individuals browsing directories often have a specialized issue with which they need assistance, and not having your company on that list would be sacrificing opportunity. Certain directory management tools, such as the ones discussed below, help you in ensuring your listing is accurate and up-to-date across dozens of directories from one central website. Most results from these directories cater to location and classification—getting your business accurately listed can lead to easy, fairly hands-off (and more importantly, quick) advertising within your ideal market. A proper directory facilitates a trusted bond between itself and its visitors, meaning your name inherits additional confidence in the eyes of your market, no matter how new.
    Price Range(s): Ranges from $30-$500 a listing, as determined by the directory’s traffic, demand, and other registered features. Charges may be for one month at a time, or a one-time annual (12-month) price, depending on the contract.

    Prospective Local Citation Advertisers

    Moz Local

    Born in 2004 as a community blog for search engine optimization experts, Moz has matured in tandem with its internet-savvy applications, culminating into the powerhouse it's known as today. Moz Local acts as a single point of management across several directories, including Google’s Business listings, Bing’s, Facebook’s, Yahoo!’s, and more—giving you extra time to focus on your business’ progress. Through their site, you can run a free test that gives your listing a score, which points out your online presence (or a lack of one) and its accuracy.
    Services:Large-scale listing management, such as automatic syncing, updates, review alerts and organization, and regular reports to assist in visualizing your listing’s accomplishments.


    BrightLocal cites its humble beginnings with a founding two-person team who passionately worked to skyrocket their business onto a multi-national level. They report over 80,000 marketers have benefited from their assistance, and they intend to keep bolstering those numbers through extensive specialized research. For your reference, at the low cost of free, they post helpful insights to their blog, offer a video course for beginners, and provide live human-run demos for your business. Similarly, they provide a 14-day trial and allow for customization of their tools.
    Services: Listing management, including a keyword scan, audit reports, and citation reports, as well as review management and social media integration.
  • In Closing

    Half the successes of a practice are determined by diligence and dedication to your clients, but to fulfill that requirement you need to have a healthy funnel of clients. That’s where the other half comes into play: productive marketing. Starting out, one format of advertising may serve you well, but over time and as you grow in size, investing in additional marketing further develops your client base. Different forms of advertising may prove more beneficial to your practice than others depending on different times of the year, such as holidays. An increased budget allows for higher-quality or further-reaching ads, upping your chance of securing clients willing to pay a higher premium for your higher-quality labor.
    But getting your feet on the ground can absolutely be a daunting task, and for more reasons than one—upfront costs tend to be the biggest hurdle to overcome. Especially when you don’t immediately profit off a new campaign! If you’d like to pursue multiple avenues of advertising without breaking the bank, you can accomplish this through (you guessed it) several avenues. Our President, Nicole Barber, has a few suggestions:
    The tried-and-true credit card. For a Business Card, you could look into Chase Ink or American Express. She has used them both for years. Both cards require a personal credit score of around 680, but offer the benefits of generous limits and rewards.
    Did you know your business likely has its own credit score too? You can check it with NAV.
    However, if you’re just starting out, a personal credit card may be the better option. Chase Sapphire has served her very well over the years, with plentiful limits and relatively low fees.
    Law Prospects, with its relatively low cost, can also funnel clients for you. Instead of setting up marketing campaigns, requiring time, effort, and funds to get a bucketful of unfiltered leads that you still need to work through further, you can leave it to us to sieve through the batches, giving you access to self-identified prospects. That way, you can better invest your time into your practice and your clients.
    Best of luck!
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