The uncertainty brought on by COVID-19 has creeped into every aspect of our lives. Like a dense fog it has filled in the space around us clouding our vision making it difficult to make any decisions; business or personal. This guide was written to help you give you clarity on your marketing expenses, tactics and content. It includes:
- Content Calendar Template
- Blog Planning Template
- Action Item Checklist
- Blog Ideas for lawyers by Practice Area
We are all wondering what is going to happen next and what the impact will be on our businesses. If you have been in business longer than 5 minutes then you have been through a rough patch and overcome an obstacle or two. The founders of Lawful Marketing have all been through challenging times. That experience has given us clarity on action items that you need to take right now to protect your business and what you can do to prepare your business for growth when COVID-19 dissipates.
Given the difficult position we face with the Coronavirus Pandemic and the fear that comes with the unknown it is important to recognize that on the other side of fear lies opportunity. The businesses that will thrive post COVID will be those that have an eye to the future, an ability to adapt to new technologies and systems, and the courage to wisely advance when competitors retreat.
Before we get started we wanted to start with how important it is to connect with your clients. We are all the uncertainty surrounding us your clients will appreciate some clarity from you their lawyer. Let them know that you are on top of all matters pertaining to their interests. Inform them of your availability and work schedule, how they can contact you and your office and tell them what is going on with respect to their specific case and what they can expect in the near future.
Tip # 1: Trim the Fat...With A Scalpel
A wise move for any business is to cut all non-essential business expenses. It sounds easy in concept, but determining which expenses are absolutely necessary will take a great amount of effort on your part. The difficult piece is trimming expenses without sacrificing efficiency or office morale, but these decisions must be made.
Every law firm operates differently, but here are a few thoughts, based on our experience.
Hosting: Some website hosting companies are offering flexible payment options, and may be amenable to setting up a net 30/60/90 agreement with you (or they may offer significant discounting on a longer-term commitment). Call your web host and find out if they can defer billing or offer a reduced fee over the next 90 days.
Utilities, Internet, Cable and Phone: Many of the service providers we rely on to conduct our business have policies in place to help their customers get through this difficult time. Call your providers to find out what options you have to reduce your costs. This is a good time for you to evaluate your experience with your current providers. Now may be a good time to switch to another vendor to save on costs and to take advantage of service offerings or features you might be missing with another vendor.
Recurring Subscriptions: If you subscribe to things like Adobe Creative Suite or Microsoft Office 365, Answering Services, Lead Referral programs or other Software as a Service programs like Practice Management Software tools (Clio), Email Service Providers (MailChimp) it would behoove you to call these companies – as they may have an option for you to suspend or downgrade your subscription.
Tip # 2: Insource Your Marketing.
With many courts closed across the country, you are likely catching up on work. This is also a great time to work your own marketing. When we talk to our clients we often advise them on producing content that is:
- Relevant to the needs of your target audience
- Addresses a singular topic or theme
What do we mean by authentic? We mean content that is written in your voice and provides real value to the reader. Your customers want to hear from you. They want to hear what you think about an issue that is important to them. This will help establish you and your firm as a thought leader in the eyes of your next client.
Now is a great time to think about your own content marketing. Every attorney that we have met has a list of blog ideas somewhere. Take this time to dig up that list and put together a cohesive content plan. Think about your content plan as a series and not just an article. Another thing to consider is that a content strategy is not just for your blog. You should be thinking about a content plan in the broader scope of how your customers will find and engage with your content. We have put together some tools to help you plan out your own content marketing. We also have some ideas to help you break through any writers block.
Video content continues to outperform text and static photos in terms of reach, higher rates of retention and brand recall and higher conversion rates. That is why it is so important to include video as part of your content plan.
Develop video content that is part of your overall content plan. Think about putting out content that is educational. Most attorneys we speak with spend a great amount of time educating clients during the intake process. Video content is a great format to educate your clients with frequently asked questions and information relevant to what clients need to know before they retain your services.
Photos. Update your own photos on your website, directory listings and social media profiles. Maybe you can’t hire a photographer right now, that’s fine. Anyonebody who has a cell phone that’s less than two years old can take incredible photos. With the technology available, you almost have to try to take a bad photo. Go outside and take some photos on the courthouse steps, walking down the street, in front of your building, and at your desk.
- Legal Consumers want to SEE their legal advocate. A good image of their attorney makes them feel safe and secure.
- Choose images of you as you want to be seen. Professional. Hardworking. Friendly. Strong. Compassionate. Aggressive. Steadfast. However you want your practice to be thought of can be shown with images, and now is a good time to try out different ways to show your practice.
Website. If you were planning on redoing your website, this is a great time.
- Start by researching what you like and don’t like.
- What do you want people to do while they are onthat visit your site
- Who is your target audience? Consider this for the tone of your content.
- What do you want them to know? Make it easy for them to contact you.
- If you need help building a new website we can help you with that at a great rate.
Content Ideas by Practice Area
Bankruptcy: Give consumers information on what they should be doing right now if they are facing debt and delinquent payments.
Inform consumers of any changes/updates to the law that they need to know about.
Create a list of the Pros and Cons of Bankruptcy. (Lists are a great way to target keywords with high search volume as well as build internal linking strategies on your site to draw visitors deeper into your site)
Personal Injury Attorneys