In the midst of the global COVID-19 outbreak, self quarantines and social distancing have thrown a wrench into the day-to-day operations for many law firms across the country. Legal marketing during a crisis such as this is a delicate act. With many companies and individuals suffering from anxiety, fear and financial struggles, traditional marketing efforts that focus exclusively on recruiting new clients, fall on deaf ears, but there are still ways to effectively share your message. Here are some tips on what to say, sell and do during a crisis such as the one we’re living in.
Create a New, Nimble Marketing Plan
If you had a content marketing plan in place prior to the coronavirus outbreak, give yourself a pat on the back for following an important step, but for now put that plan aside. Hopefully, you’ll be able to return to it sooner rather than later, but in the meantime those messages will not likely be what resonants best with your audience. Use this time to publish content that will help others during this difficult time and become their resource for the latest legal news and updates.
Using our agency as an example, we’ve recently shared blogs about how to salvage presentations and conferences with online video as well as how to get employees to become brand advocates. We’ve also used our social media channels to share our favorite shows to binge during the quarantine. But generally speaking, what skills or processes can you offer to your clients that will help them not feel so alone? How can you meet them where they’re at (figuratively speaking) so they can overcome some challenges and get through this time?
Focus On Being Resourceful
If you were routinely sending eMarketing messages to your audience, you will need to re-look at your content and adjust your schedule accordingly. The last thing you’ll want is for an automated message about next week’s business mixer blasted to all your clients. For some people there might be an immense amount of downtime, so you could actually see an uptick in your readership. However, try to keep your e-blasts to once a week, highlighting any expertise you have that would aid others during this crisis. Perhaps one of your attorneys could provide a more thorough breakdown of recent regulatory policies to help organizations manage compliance. While you may not see an immediate business partnership from these efforts, they will increase your relevancy and trust in the eyes of your audience.
On social media, again be mindful of your content. Now is also a great time to ask for reviews to continue to drive engagement from your followers. Google Reviews, Yelp and LinkedIn recommendations can be useful resources for your business when they are utilized. With many people confined to their homes for most if not all of the day, ask for a moment of their time to share a review about your firm. As positive feedback increases, so too will your credibility to potential clients and business partners in the future.
Implement New Strategies for Convenience
When daily routines are in flux as they are right now, any way to maximize convenience for your clients is greatly appreciated. Take a look around and you’ll see countless businesses implementing new features to make things easier on their customers. Restaurants are offering free delivery, grocery stores are opening earlier for the elderly and movie production companies are releasing films early on digital.
Look for opportunities where you can offer this same type of convenience. If you need to participate in a meeting with team members or clients, utilize Zoom, Skype or another video conferencing app to allow others to continue their social distancing practices. Most importantly, be patient with everyone. We’re all having to adjust our schedules and a little understanding will go a long way.
Become a Thought Leader
If you’ve been wanting to improve your thought leadership but haven’t gotten around to it, now is your chance. As you put direct selling of your firm’s services on the back burner, there’s no better time than now to elevate your thought leadership. Write blogs, record vlogs, publish an op-ed or connect with a journalist for a relevant and timely story.
There are many different avenues to elevate your thought leadership and as day-to-day business slows down, you have plenty of time to make it a priority. The coronavirus outbreak is fluid, with things changing by the day or even the hour, and many people are taking things one day at a time. Share how your firm is adapting and making the best of this #StayHome situation. This will allow you to build trust with your target audience as you establish yourself as an innovator in the legal field.
Encourage Others By Giving Back
Positive, uplifting stories are needed now more than ever. One glance at the national news is enough to leave us all feeling depressed and hopeless. Anything your firm is doing to reinforce corporate social responsibility and make a positive impact should be shared.
Maybe you’ve donated your time or efforts to a local food shelter or provided assistance to the many that are working harder than ever in essential businesses. Even if you’re just serving as a substitute teacher with your children at home or doing your part by practicing social distancing, these are all examples of the stories that should be shared. However, you don’t want the message to be “look at us”, rather share ways you’re lending support and give others a reason to do the same with the message, “look how we can help.” When you provide a helping hand during this difficult time, the benefits for your firm and legal marketing efforts will pale in comparison to the feeling you get from giving back.