So this is something you didn’t learn in law school (or probably anywhere else for that matter): how to drive business to your law firm during a pandemic! 2020 has been a crazy ride and it is not showing any signs of letting up. You don’t have the luxury of just waiting it out, either. There are a number of action steps you need to take now to keep new business coming through your doors.
I have been advising hundreds of attorneys since March on how to navigate the law firm marketing process in this COVID-crazy world we now live in. Here are some things you need to focus on:
- Don’t stand still! Take action—even if you’re not 100% sure it’s the right action.
- Don’t ignore your problems! What you don’t know can kill your business.
- Don’t wait for everything to get better. You might be waiting for awhile.
- Don’t stop adding value. Now is the time to demonstrate why you’re the best law firm out there!
- Don’t ignore your ARs! Train a staff person to start working through them now!
- Don’t fire all your staff. If you’ve built a great team, find a way to keep them.
- Don’t treat your firm like a baby. Treat it as a business. Run it like a business.
- Don’t wait until you run out of money to ask for marketing help!
- Don’t be controlled by FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt)!
- Don’t look for reasons why something won’t work. Instead, look to adapt and modify.
- Don’t stop your marketing engine!! It’s the only thing that will keep you alive!
There are many attorneys I’ve talked to who are struggling mightily with lead flow. For some, the faucet was completed shut off and for others, it’s been a mere trickle. This is why you need to mine your database for your old and cold leads. There’s gold there! In addition, be sure you:
- Check everyone’s voicemail and email at least 2x per day, especially if you had to lay someone off.
- Call, email, or text every single person who called your office in the last 60 days and didn’t set an appointment.
- Most law firms stop calling after 1 return call. Do not stop until after 7 calls! Yes, 7 times!
- Call, email, or text every single person who set an appointment with you but didn’t show up to reschedule using video.
- Call, email, or text every single person who you saw for a consult but didn’t hire you.
- If you normally charge for a consult, offer them a free one.
- If you normally give free consults, offer them one via video or phone.
Specific Practice Area Strategies
Depending on your practice area, there are some specific strategies you can use to attract new clients even in the midst of this crisis:
- Contact every client to see how their rehab/physical therapy/doctor appointments/treatment program is going. Many people have stopped going to any doctor appointments out of fear.
- Plan now for how you will respond when the insurance company makes your client a low ball offer and they want to accept it because they need the cash.
- Stop marketing for car accidents.
- Refocus your marketing budget on bike and truck accidents and dog bites.
- Focus your spending on reaching people still working— think first responders, healthcare professionals, construction, trade crafts, and other essential businesses (some manufacturing).
- Contact all clients about their rehab/PT/doctor appointments. Many people have stopped going which will hurt their case.
- Geo-target large grocery stores, Amazon, FedEx, UPS, hospitals, industrial parks, and delivery centers.
- Bars and restaurants are closed. Fewer DUIs. Less/no traffic offenses.
- Stop spending money on DUIs and minor crimes.
- Increase your spending on domestic violence and drug offenses. Calls to domestic violence hotlines are up 20-30%.
- Use gated content to lead generation — e.g., “Top 10 Reasons Why You Should NEVER Use a Public Defender”.
- Discretionary spending has dried up fast. All optional spending on immigration issues is on hold as consumers panic.
- Fewer people working and driving means fewer arrests. Pivot all spending to criminal cases, people who are still working like construction, trade crafts (plumbers, electricians), essential businesses, deportations, U-visas for domestic violence (target PPC on Facebook groups for domestic violence).
- Geo-target large restaurants and job construction sites.
- Refocus your spending on higher income areas/ zip codes.
- Increase your spending on Facebook PPC (costs are down 15-25% right now!).
- Send out discount offers for COVID crisis mediation if they start in the next 90 days.
- Offer a discount for healthcare workers. Contact all your clients who have used you for child support & alimony issues to do a check-in. Contact all clients who have reported domestic violence, restraining orders, or stalking problems.
- The biggest issue with Estate Planning has always been a lack of urgency. Now is the perfect time to call and email every single person who contacted your firm and didn’t set an appointment or hire you in the last 6-12 months. Mortality is on everyone’s mind right now. Leverage that!
- Focus your spending on first responders, health care providers, doctors, assisted living facilities, nursing homes, and more affluent neighborhoods.
- Use gated content as a lead generator: free power of attorney and/or advanced healthcare directives.
- Offer a discount will for first responders and healthcare workers.
As I noted earlier, you are not going to be able to just “ride this out,” hoping that things will soon return to normal. That is wishful thinking, not a marketing strategy! If you feel lost, we can help. Click below to schedule a free consultation with one of our Rainmaker legal marketing experts. We can share stories of how other law firms are not only surviving but thriving in this current business environment.