During past recessions, the legal industry has been one of the few industries that remained strong. But with the COVID-19 pandemic in full swing and a recession looming, it is important for law firms to start thinking strategically and creatively about how they can excel their business during this time so that they are top of mind when the market turns around.
This blog is an excerpt from our downloadable guide, “The Quarantine & Recession Survival Guide for Law Firms” which includes a BONUS “COVID-19 Quick Tips for Law firms” checklist. Click below to download the full guide:
Many changes will occur in the legal industry as a result of the economic downturn and demand for many legal services actually increase. During these times, it is crucial for law firms to learn how to navigate and take advantage of the surrounding situation. This can be done by achieving two main goals:
- Improving communication with all audiences
- Reducing expenses
How to improve communication:
Provide free guidance to those looking for it
Just like doctors and professors, attorneys are considered trusted advisors by many. In times of panic and confusion, when people are confronted with potential legal issues, they want to get educated advice from a trusted source.
That’s why it is important that your law firm becomes the go-to source for getting the answers to the top legal questions that people are going to be experiencing during this time. A great way to do this is by creating assets that answer your clients’ top questions. For example:
- Create a quick video using your cell phone and share it to your social media pages
- Create a checklist to make sure they are equipped with the right information and send it out in an e-blast to your database
There are many other ways that you can share this guidance, so it is important to think strategically about your ideal client and what channels they use to consume information. By being there for your clients during these uncertain times, you will become a trusted source for legal representation in your local community.
Over-communicate any changes your firm has put in place
With events such as the COVID-19 pandemic, it is crucial that you keep your clients aware of any updates to your firm’s processes. Email and text automation tools are great ways to automate these announcements and stay top of mind with your clients. Start by sending out an e-blast with a general update so your customers feel confident choosing your firm during these hard times. Make sure to include any new changes to your firm, such as:
- New processes or services you are offering such as remote meetings and consultations
- Updates to your hours of operations or contact phone numbers
Automate all other conversations
Aside from sending a COVID-19 update, it is important to continue communication with all of your audiences – leads, clients, professional connections and more. By segmenting your audiences in a CRM and developing automated email nurturing journeys for each audience, you can save a large amount of time that would otherwise be spent communicating and developing unique messages for each audience.
For example, turn the manual process of generating referrals into a predictable and scalable process by creating a journey of automated emails asking your networks for referrals. Think creatively about each of your separate audiences and create a communication plan that speaks directly to them so you become their go-to law firm when they have a legal need.
How to reduce expenses:
Evaluate current marketing expenses
- Website: As a very image-focused industry, many law firms spend upwards of thousands of dollars to build a fancy website to represent their firm. But in times of economic strife, a beautiful website is a luxury expense, not a necessity. Instead, choose a less expensive website that can be personalized with your brand’s colors, photos and service offerings. Once you have a website set up, make sure to optimize it strategically for lead generation. This will ensure that you maintain a strong online presence and convert website visitors into leads at a much lower cost.
- Marketing technology: Many law firms spend a great deal of money on marketing technology and tools, including email and text automation, SEO optimization, landing page builders, CRMs, online reviews management and more. All of these tools, which work together to achieve marketing goals, are very useful but can cost anywhere between $6,000 to $10,000 per month. To reduce monthly costs, instead choose an all-in-one marketing platform that provides all of these features (and maybe even more) in one lower-priced platform.
- Marketing channels: Auditing your marketing channels is one of the most important things to do when considering where to cut expenses. Many law firms advertise on traditional channels such as billboards and television advertisements, which can be extremely expensive and don’t always yield a short-term gain.
Instead consider digital marketing channels such as paid social advertising on Google and Facebook. During times like the COVID-19 pandemic, people are spending lots of time online, so it is an effective way to get your brand in front of the local community almost immediately. These channels can also fit any budget and offer extremely granular audience and location targeting options, so you can feel confident in the budget that you are spending as well as your ROI.
With a recession looming, it is a great time for law firms to rethink their business and marketing strategies. Do not simply stop marketing to reduce expenses; instead, take a strategic look at how your firm’s practice areas will be affected by the economic downturn and evaluate what you are currently doing. In most cases, there will be a high demand for legal services in the coming months. As a result, law firms need to learn how to better communicate with their clients and add new processes that will accommodate the restrictions placed on us as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.