Marketing Your Law Firm During the Coronavirus: 7 Strategies to Position Your Firm For Long-Term Success

Marketing-Law-Firm-CoronavirusIt’s no secret that the legal industry has been negatively impacted by the proliferation of the Coronavirus.

This means solo practitioners, associates and support staff are left searching for opportunities to generate new business.

Despite the seriousness of the outbreak, experts agree that with appropriate social distancing and measures to mitigate the virus’s spread, the pandemic will run its course. That’s the good news.

The bad news is that it may be several weeks, if not months, until we return to normalcy.

How your law firm will be positioned when the outbreak passes largely hinges on the actions you take today. I want you to be ready.

In my most recent article, I share 7 strategies you and your team can employ to make the best use of your downtime and to give you a leg up when the market turns around.


1. Write blog posts to build future SEO rankings

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Haven’t started blogging yet? Now is the time…

The American Bar Association’s 2017 Legal Technology Report found that: 43 percent of law firms had a client retain their services directly due to blogging.

Writing articles demonstrates know-how and informs potential clients that you’re up-to-date with the topics they’re interested in knowing more about. 

It is also great for SEO and makes your law firm more visible in searches for the type of terms you write about.

If you provide answers to important questions, you can start to dominate search results.

Check out how the question “What happens if I’m arrested for DUI in Chicago” catapults one law firm in Chicago to the top of the Google SERPs in this Featured Snippet.

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All the answers to your clients’ most important questions are in your head. Use the downtime during COVID-19 to start shaping all that valuable legal IP into informative articles.

What do you write about?

Focus on the following:

  • The specific questions your customers ask – one question per post
  • News and current events that affect your target clients
  • Advice and opinion on key topics

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I’ve written extensively on How to Write Legal Content Google Will Love and Practice Area Power Pages (my name for high-quality legal service pages).

PRO TIP: Even if you get the taste for blogging when life returns to normal you may be too busy to write articles. You can also use this time to find a legal copywriter who can help you add content regularly and look after future blogging requirements.


2. Create a Downloadable eBook

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Another great way to reach out to your target audience and demonstrate expertise is by providing gated content.

A downloadable eBook, Whitepaper, Resource Guide or Tip Sheet can be a valuable resource for your potential clients. Many will be prepared to leave their contact details in exchange for getting some free information.

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Use the downtime during COVID-19 to create a series of short eBooks: three or four pages is enough – they don’t have to be 20-pages long.

What do you write about?

Focus on the following:

  • The big questions that are top-of-mind for clients
  • Step-by-step guides that are easy to digest
  • Actionable tips that help people get results

Here are a few examples…

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And, another from technology law firm Scott and Scott.

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3. Create an automation sequence on MailChimp

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Once you’ve attracted potential clients to your website and gathered their contact details, you start to build a larger database of contacts.

The next step is to prepare to nurture them and educate them. When they are ready to hire a lawyer (which may not be immediate), you want them to come to you.

If this sounds like hard work, it’s not.

You have the automation tools at your fingertips to send relevant information to everyone you need to reach.

Mailchimp, for example, can send a series of emails to educate and nurture clients. It’s the same system I use for marketing our “How to 4X Your Law Firm’s Profits” ebook.

Use the downtime during COVID-19 either to write a series of five or six emails or jot down a few bullet points or hire an email marketing copywriter to flesh them out.

What do you write about?

Focus on the following:

  • Educating recipients about the topics they need to know about
  • Providing actionable tips and advice
  • Limiting the “marketing” to a suggested next step at the end of the email

MailChimp has a great article on marketing automation I would recommend.

If this is a topic you would like me to cover in greater detail, send me a message through our contact form.


4. Solicit reviews from your happy customers

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You have a lot of happy customers. But do your potential new customers know that?

They would definitely be interested in what others say about you. In fact, it’s one of the key factors that will make them pick up the phone or email you at the point when they need to hire a lawyer.

So, don’t hide your reviews and testimonials away – make them front and center. This personal injury law firm includes them on the home page just below the value proposition:

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It can be a little time-consuming to ask for reviews from past clients. 

Now you have the time to gather more reviews to add to your website and other web properties.

What should you ask clients for?

Ask customers for reviews in such a way that the right people say what you would like them to.

The most popular platforms for legal reviews include Avvo, Google Reviews and Yelp.

Make sure that your reviews:

  • Come from your target clients rather than those you would rather not attract
  • Demonstrate the results you have helped clients earn
  • Highlight different benefits of your service

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*NOTE: at the time of writing (26th March 2020), Google has disabled local reviews functionality for consumers and business owners. We are expecting an update about this soon. Stay tuned.


5. Build your Social Media Following

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Ordinarily, social media is a marketing channel that few lawyers have time for.

COVID-19 may provide you with the time you need to finally add this important channel to your marketing strategy.

The ubiquity of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, etc. needs no introduction.

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During busy times, law firms either need to hire a social media marketing specialist. It’s better to plow energies into other marketing areas that produce more immediate and tangible results (pay-per-click, SEO, blogging, etc.) But social media is especially useful for public-facing law firms, such as the estate planning firm in the above Facebook and Twitter examples.

Depending on your practice area, why not use the time to start building a following on social media? 

A few months ago, I wrote an extensive article on how Facebook Advertising for Law Firms. If you have been curious about the platform, now is a great time to learn more about it.


6. Create videos for YouTube

 

If your clients are anything like most people, they love video.

It’s how they prefer to digest information.

In fact, video is increasingly how people gather information of all types – from sports news to legal advice.

Did you know that YouTube is the world’s second-largest search engine, second only to Google?

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If it’s not yet part of your online marketing strategy, here’s your chance to adopt it. 

All you need is an iPhone to make good enough video for YouTube. However, you’re probably not comfortable enough with it yet to start shooting your own. 

You can instead use the time to research and find a video production company to start working with immediately. Or, you can read our article on Video Marketing for Lawyers to kickstart your education.

What types of video should you shoot?

 

Your video content can include:

  • Short introductions to your practice
  • Introductions to your attorneys 
  • Detailed FAQs
  • Detailed how-to information
  • General advice on legal topics
  • Interviews

7. Work on Webinars and Podcasts

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One-on-one consultations are a necessary part of any lawyer’s process but, ideally, it’s best to spend your time with clients who will retain you.

Free one-on-one consultations can be a drain on resources.

One alternative is to work on providing in-depth information for potential clients through webinars and podcasts. 

Clients who follow this content and still require a one-on-one consultation can do so but they are pre-qualified to an extent.

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During this downtime, consider recording webinars and podcasts that reach out to your target clients on the types of topics they want to know more about.

Probably one of the best podcasts you can listen to on all things legal marketing is The Lawyerist Podcast. Pat Flynn from Smart Passive Income also has a great article on podcasting for beginners that I highly recommend.


Extra tip: Build a sales process

Just before we wrap this up, a note on the sales process.

No marketing strategy is worth one dollar unless it’s backed up with an efficient sales process to turn leads into paying customers.

When someone contacts you and they’re looking to hire a lawyer, how do you respond to the call or email?

If an email sits in your inbox for days, it rapidly goes cold.

Ask yourself:

  • What’s your process to qualify leads and find out if and how you can help? 
  • What’s your process for communicating the benefits of hiring you? Or is it ad-lib?

Many law firms struggle with this aspect of sales and marketing because, well, it’s sales. Lawyers aren’t meant to be good at selling, are they?

However, the most successful law firms are adept at reducing the time between a lead being submitted and responding positively to it.

Use the following link to help define an effective sales process for your firm: Law Firm Sales Process: 10 Tips to Convert More Prospects Into Customers


Let’s Get Through This Together

I would like to end this article on a lighter note.

It is hard to be pragmatic and hopeful when the evening news is filled with the latest infection rates, court closures and uncertainly about when this will come to an end.

But, we’re in this together.

There is a light at the end of the tunnel. And, I hope these simple tips provide your firm with techniques to weather the storm and come out of it even stronger than before.

If I can be of assistance to anyone, even if it is to clarify the items in this article or provide a few minutes of free advice, don’t hesitate to reach out via our contact form.

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