If you are a San Francisco private investigator, how can you market services better to grow your client base? San Francisco has more than 200 private investigation agencies. This means that up-and-coming PIs need to bring their A-game when marketing their expertise and services. Even if a private investigator is highly qualified, it will hardly matter if they cannot connect with their potential clients. So, how can a new gumshoe make their services noticed by clients in San Francisco or in any other location for that matter? Here are seven marketing tips for private investigators to build their client base.
1. Create an Awesome Website
Don’t expect clients to waltz into your office on a regular basis after you open up shop. Your potential clients will most likely look you up online before they call you or pay you a visit. This is why it is very important that you create a website that is professional-looking and is appropriate for someone in your line of work. Apart from information about the services that you offer, it should also have informative content that will encourage your site visitors to share it, giving you free, passive endorsements.
2. Clean Up Your Social Media Accounts
Just in case you haven’t done it yet, scrub off any videos, photos, social media posts and any other content on your social media accounts that might make lose some credibility. These may include politically volatile statements, pictures of you passed-out drunk and tasteless rants that might turn off your potential clients.
3. Employ Search Engine Optimization
Once you have reviewed, upgraded and scrubbed your online presence, consider optimizing your website to make it rank on search engines. When potential clients search for PI services online, you’ll have a better chance of catching their attention if your website appears on the early pages of the search result.
4. Consider Online Advertisements
Online ad placements should be one of your priorities when deciding how to divvy up your marketing budget. Online ad placements are relatively more affordable compared to traditional forms of advertisements. Another advantage of this kind of advertising is that your online campaign can target potential clients that belong to a particular demographic in a specific location.
5. Establish a Network with Lawyers
Find opportunities to connect with lawyers in your area. These opportunities may come in the form of events and conferences. You can also try to network with their friends, families or with employees of a local law firm such as receptionists and assistants. Keeping ties with lawyers, as well as their families and associates will increase your chances of landing a gig.
6. Do Pro Bono Work
Offer pro bono work to some potential clients or as a way to give back to your community. While this may seem impractical, the recommendations that will come from your happy clients will surely get your name and private investigation services out there. You may limit your occasional free services to investigative work that are less labor-intensive activities such as assignments that you can complete mostly in front of a computer.
7. Attend Events
Apart from beefing up your online presence, make sure to make yourself physically present in events and conferences where you can do subtle self-promotion. Alternatively, you can also sponsor or host an event for attorneys and paralegals in your area.
There are a host of other ways to promote your private investigation services like offering free consultancy, participating in community events or by starting a PI blog. Just remember that your primary objective is to stand out and be noticed by your target clientele.