Marketing Your Legal Practice During Difficult Times

Marketing Your Law Firm, Even During a Pandemic

Ramp up your marketing effort and keep pushing toward that finish line

COVID-19 has turned our whole world upside down, and although some people may never get the coronavirus, no one is immune from the impact of this unprecedented global pandemic. This includes attorneys and law firms, and many of those that we serve have experienced significant challenges that have been brought upon by this situation.

Perhaps one of the most difficult aspects of the coronavirus pandemic is the uncertainty of it all. Not knowing when, or if, things will ever return to normal or what “normal” will look like in a post-COVID-19 world. This is an open question, and with countless unintended consequences that have been created by this massive disruption, it is nearly impossible to predict where we will end up.

The best-case scenario is that COVID-19 causes a temporary disruption to our economy that would be similar to a major natural disaster, but it bounces back quickly after everything gets reopened again. On the other hand, we could be facing Great Depression-like conditions where 20% to 30% of our population remains unemployed for an extended period of time. Or we could land somewhere in-between. There are, however, a few things that we do know about the future:

  • No matter what the conditions, people will always need legal services.

Whether we are in the middle of a public health emergency, a subsequent recession or depression, or an economic boom, there are always going to be individuals and entities that need help with legal issues. Today, our society is more complex than ever, and the laws are increasingly difficult for the average layperson to understand and follow. So regardless of what the future looks like, we know that there will never be a shortage of people who need legal help.

  • Many trends that have been created because of the coronavirus pandemic are likely to continue.

There is little doubt that COVID-19 will change our society in many ways. Some of these changes are easy to see coming, while others may not be so clear. One trend that will no doubt continue to accelerate is the move toward digital interaction, and this is certainly true in the legal realm. Whether it be legal consumers searching for attorneys online, lawyers and staff doing more telecommuting from home or another remote location, or legal proceedings that are conducted virtually through teleconferencing or videoconferencing, we know that the internet and technology will play an increasingly important role in the future success of legal practices.

  • With every crisis/disruption comes opportunities to serve humanity in a greater way, and there will be ample opportunities for legal professionals in the difficult times ahead.

Throughout history, crises have always ended up improving societies in various ways, and those who find ways to advance these improvements are the ones that are rewarded. The coronavirus pandemic is sure to open new legal fronts, creating opportunities for attorneys to help lend their expertise to the situation.

For example, there will be issues with the virus itself, such as liability for retail establishments whose workers and customers contract it, price gouging during the crisis, denial of refunds for canceled events, lawsuits against cruise ship companies where the virus was spread, wrongful terminations over the coronavirus, and countless others.

When COVID-19 is over, there will be numerous legal issues to deal with in its aftermath, such as contract disputes over nonperformance (e.g., a restaurant that canceled an order from suppliers and/or did not pay their rent while they were closed), workplace safety for telecommuters, a potentially skyrocketing divorce rate due to the pandemic, and the likelihood that we could see record levels of individual and corporate bankruptcies, just to name a few.

There is absolutely no reason why attorneys can not only survive but thrive during the challenging times we will soon be facing. It is not as easy as succeeding in the boom times to be sure, and you will be facing stiffer competition. But with the right approach, your legal practice can grow and prosper no matter what the conditions.

Here are some of the factors that make the most difference in the success or failure of a law firm when times get tough:

Developing an Effective Marketing Plan

Most people are familiar with these famous words from Benjamin Franklin, “if you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” We must have a clear action plan. Otherwise, we can easily get off track and pulled into a thousand different directions. This is especially true in our modern age with seemingly nonstop texts, emails, and social media posts that can distract us. We would also add that you need a plan that is designed not only to bring in more cases, but to bring you the types of cases you want to be handling.

Refusing to Be Paralyzed by Fear

During tough times, many firms decide to scale back and cut marketing costs. But this also is part of the great opportunity that is before you if you adopt an alternative approach. When everyone else is pulling back, this is the time for you to ramp up. This is not to say you should not look at ways you can “cut the fat”. There are always inefficient processes that can be improved, and you may also have some outdated marketing methods that are no longer effective and should be eliminated. But if you want to succeed during difficult times, your primary focus should be on ways you can grow rather than contract.

Taking Massive Actions toward Your Goals

The power of momentum is a phenomenon that far too few in our society appreciate. Momentum is the force that is built by motion or a series of actions. At first, momentum is hard to build, but with consistent targeted actions over time, it becomes a seemingly unstoppable force that powers you toward your goals. The key is to take massive actions right away and consistently maintain these actions until they begin to produce results.

During a time of crisis, it is time to power forward and look for the numerous opportunities you now have to serve legal consumers. Here are just a few areas where law firms can start building momentum to accelerate past their competition:

  • Creating a more attractive and appealing website;
  • Recording videos where you discuss your areas of specialty and how you can help legal consumers who are in need;
  • Implementing a live chat on your website to increase visitor engagement and ultimately client conversions;
  • Putting special announcements on your website during times of crisis (like COVID-19) letting your clients and prospects know what you are doing to address the current circumstances;
  • Offering your clients and prospects the opportunity to receive a consultation by phone or video;
  • Starting a newsletter that you can send out to clients and prospects regularly and stay in the front of their minds;
  • Producing regular monthly content that is search-engine friendly and establishes you as a thought leader in your area of practice;
  • Engaging with clients and prospects regularly on popular social media platforms such as Facebook.

Making Adjustments when Necessary

We all know that things do not always go according to plan. You might find that some aspect of your plan is not working as well as you thought it would, or maybe an unforeseen event (like a major global pandemic, for example?) throws you off track. Do not let disruptions to your plan cause you to stop moving toward your goal.

When an airplane takes off from New York to LA, they are off course most of the time due to weather conditions, turbulence, and other factors. But the pilot doesn’t panic. Instead, he/she makes the proper course corrections in accordance with the flight plan and (in most cases) lands smoothly in LA. The same should be true with your firm’s plan. Look at what you are currently doing and whether it is working or not and direct your energy and resources towards efforts that are producing the greatest return on your marketing dollars.

Using Role Modeling to Accelerate your Success

At this point, you might be saying to yourself, “this all sounds great, but I don’t know where to start.” We get it. You are an attorney, and your area of specialty is serving legal consumers. Developing a comprehensive marketing plan that is designed to grow your clientele and maximize ROI is probably not in your “wheelhouse”, and the thought of implementing a plan like this while you are trying to run a legal practice may seem overwhelming.

Rather than trying to learn all of this on your own and essentially reinvent the wheel, it would be a good idea to strongly consider bringing in some outside help. Just as those who have legal problems come to you to benefit from your expertise, you can leverage a marketing firm’s expertise to grow your practice more effectively and cost efficiently. By partnering with a reputable legal marketing company that has produced success for other firms like yours, you can position yourself to achieve the results you want while continuing to stay focused on what you do best; practicing law.

About Sundown Legal Marketing

Sundown Legal Marketing specializes in helping law firms review their current internet footprint, developing a comprehensive internet marketing plan and implementing every aspect of that plan. Contact us today for a free website evaluation and a no obligation assessment of your internet marketing plan. Call us today at (800) 864-1764 or online at Sundown Marketing.