Posts Tagged ‘social media’

The only thing that sets one bail bondsman apart from the next in the consumer’s eye is marketing. Courts and state law dictate the procedure. Even the price you charge is controlled by the state. In addition, laws differ among states and jurisdictions regarding what bail bondsmen can and cannot do, which makes matters more complex. To be successful in the competitive bail bonds business, you often need to be creative.

Name and Mascot
If you look around, you might see some crime-related monikers on the market, such as Goodfellas Bonds, or some practical but boring names such as Anytime Bonds. When you’re choosing a name for your bail bondsman business, be more creative. For example, you could choose the name “Freebird” Bonds and use a cartoon bird as your mascot. Or you could follow the example of Bad Boys Bail Bonds and use a “mama” mascot, similar to the Martin Lawrence character “Big Momma.”
Create a Website
Taking out a Yellow Pages advertisement is no longer good enough in many cases to market your bail bondsman service. People are often not home when they receive a call that a loved one has been arrested. They want immediate access to information on whom to call and will use their cellphones if they can to search for bail bondsmen. If you do not have an online presence, you would miss out on this market. Your website can explain how the bail bond procedure works and how to contact you.
Shoot a Video
Catch people’s attention with a video on your website. Many people are confused and frightened when dealing with a loved one in jail. Post a video that shows your personality on your website. Do this by shooting a video of a standard interview of you explaining the process in a reassuring way or by creating a “webisode” that could feature a person in the position of learning a loved one has been incarcerated, all the way to bailing him out.
Guerilla Marketing
Guerilla marketing, from the term guerilla warfare, involves using irregular or innovative, low-cost ideas to surprise people and catch their attention. People who use it think outside the box to come up with unconventional ways to create buzz. Jay Conrad Levinson, author of several guerilla-marketing books, says that you need to be committed to your guerilla-marketing efforts to be successful. You also need to be consistent to give people time to trust you and confident enough to earn the public’s confidence. Bad Boys Bail Bonds uses guerilla marketing by having a group sit behind players’ benches at the San Jose Sharks hockey games. The group wears neon T-shirts that advertise the bail bond company.
Know the Law
Make sure you know the laws in your jurisdiction or you could be arrested, necessitating your own bail bondsman. A Santa Ana, California, bond agent was arrested in 2010 for soliciting attorney referrals and mass mailing fliers to an Orange County jail. Both actions are illegal in California.

LEE COUNTY, Fla. – When tracking down a person who has missed a court date, Melody Celec says it helps to know as much about where they live and work, and who they know.

Celec, the owner of A Way Out Bail Bonds, says that’s why Facebook is a useful tool for the bounty hunting trade.

“We noticed that it was just such a social media, and so many people know so many people,” said Celec.

Her business has had a Facebook profile since 2010, posting mugshots and information on people who have jumped bail and seeing if anyone responds.

“People would actually call us and say, ‘Hey, is there a reward for this guy? I’ve seen him over in the Cape,’” Celec says.

She and others in the business say Facebook is not just a good place to get tips.

As more people use it to log in anywhere they go, agencies can use it to track someone’s whereabouts.

At Sophia’s bail bonds, using social media is not a common practice, but agent Johanna Tortosa says late last year, the company used it to locate a defendant.

The man updated his profile as he moved around and revealed it each time he posted.

“We realized that we get results, so we hope to use this more in the future,” says Tortosa.

When all else fails though, Celec says the internet can help reach out to the suspect.

“We had one gentleman last year who said, ‘I see that I’m up on your Facebook, I’m ready to turn myself in. I’m tired of running,’” says Celec.