Things you can do now to ensure your firm not only survives but also thrives through the crisis and beyond
What happens when you poll your staff of writers, editors, and marketing mavens about helping clients win during the coronavirus pandemic? They give you gold! Remember, we’re consumers too, and we’ve been receiving messages from the businesses we buy from also, so the following advice is twice as shiny.
Priority #1 – Communicate with your clients…in a non-sales-y way
Add a banner to your website that quickly sums up what your law firm is doing to control the virus outbreak. You can link the banner to a Covid-19 FAQ page that covers all of the concerns we list below. At the very least, your clients will want to know:
- Are you accepting new clients during containment?
- Will you continue working on their cases?
- How will you and your staff communicate with them during social distancing? People want to know your plans involve connecting with them safely. Remember to consider those who do not own computers or smart mobile devices.
- How will official documents be signed?
- For those who have impending court proceedings, how are the local courts handling cases during containment?
- Will the Statutes of Limitation pause during quarantine?
- What kinds of cases may potential clients face in a post-pandemic society?
Even when you decide you are comfortable with re-opening your physical office, some clients may still have reservations.
- Reassure them with details on steps you have taken to deep-clean and sanitize the office for their safety, well-being, and peace of mind.
Our suggestion for answering these questions? Create a video or a series of short videos. The important thing here is authenticity over quality. Don’t overthink them. Instead, focus on speaking from the heart, letting your current and past clients know that you and your staff are there for them should they need you. Next, publish the video(s) to your social channels and send it to your email list. Again, the intention of each video should come across as sincere, comforting, and thoughtful.
Priority #2 – Be proactive with your marketing
It’s highly likely that many of your competitors will slow down their content efforts during these challenging times. All the more reason for you to continue pushing forward with your efforts and even create a stockpile of future content if you can swing it.
- Add Covid-19-specific service pages to your website if you expect to handle claims relating to the virus.
- Produce T.V. commercials for the types of claims that will arise as a result of Covid-19.
Priority #3 – Be (more) active on social media
Think about it, when was the last time you were part of a captive audience? We get so caught up in the day-to-day that it seems we barely stop to take a breath. Not the case now. You, along with your target audience, are contained at home with nothing better to do than scroll through Facebook, Instagram, YouTube. Take advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity by creating more video and sound than usual.
- Put that iPhone to use! Change out of your daytime jammies and start recording punchy videos that offer help, entertainment, or reassurance. People will watch, trust us. Have you seen the success of the Tiger King?
Priority #4 – Up your grassroots game by serving others
- Consider offering a set number of people in your community pro-bono legal help with bill collectors.
- Hold an essay contest involving your local high schools for scholarship money, “How Did You Help Your Neighbors During the Covid-19 Outbreak?”
- Show support for your local community or one of your law firm’s service areas by running or sponsoring a fundraiser. Ideas include raising funds or gathering much-needed supplies for local food banks, homeless shelters, and hospitals.
- Organize a job fair for individuals who are unemployed or want to take advantage of the interruption to find new employment.
Priority #5 – See the silver lining
Necessity has been the mother of invention for all us throughout this challenge. No doubt, you have devised new ways to keep clients serviced and engaged and to keep operations functioning smoothly. As you continue to conduct business in this new normal, consider whether some of your new processes, services, and mechanisms might be worth carrying over when we all go back to “business as usual.” Think of this change as being not a business interruption, but a business opportunity–to break out of the box and consider your Firm 2.0.
- Poll your clients about what is working with your new systems and what they would like to continue using when things get “back to normal.” Show them how agile and responsive you can be.
- And, of course, promote the heck out of your new and improved firm when the Covid-19 crisis has quelled and you get to flip that “Open” sign on your office door.
We want to commend the law firms that have already set the wheels in motion by doing one or more of the things we suggest above. We realize this post is not an end all be all list. Our goal is to inspire you to take a step toward overcoming the obstacles presented by this crisis. Don’t know where to start? Why not take a page from our book and put a simple question out to your staff? What would you do in these challenging times?
Yvette Valencia is the Latina founder, and CEO of We Do Web Content, a content marketing agency for law firms and one of Inc. 5000’s fastest-growing private businesses in America. She’s a 14-year content marketing veteran and Six Sigma-certified Green Belt credited with developing the proven (and repeatable) process for creating top-ranking website content at scale for attorneys.