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Law firm marketing during a pandemic: Helpful tips and strategies to avoid

Wednesday, May 26, 2021 @ 2:16 PM | By Mark Saunders


Mark Saunders %>
Mark Saunders
Whether you are on Bay Street or a sole practitioner, COVID-19 has turned the practice of law, and most everything else, on its head. We are working from home when needed. We are adapting. And, while we continue to look forward to a return to (some form of) normalcy, changes impelled by the pandemic are likely here to stay.

Portions of your marketing budget may very well have been first on the chopping block when considering where to cut costs at the outset of the pandemic. I believe this is short-sighted. At the best of times, getting your message and vision out to your target audience can be a tricky and daunting endeavour.

Your competitors are constantly looking for ways to get a leg up and capture more of the market share. You may find yourself asking: “Where is my money best spent? Which marketing agencies have snake oil and which provide results?” These and other concerns have only been amplified by the pandemic, where budgets are often tighter and value for money is paramount.

Since the first period of shutdowns and social distancing, the following “Dos and Don’ts” have emerged as helpful guidelines for post-pandemic marketing, as we continue to navigate this uncertain legal landscape.

Dos

First and foremost, there is wisdom in the adage “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” If you have a proven marketing strategy that continues to yield results, stick with it! There is no need to reinvent the wheel when small adjustments to your overall marketing approach can make a world of difference, particularly in the eyes of your clients.

One thing every law firm should be focused on during the pandemic is optimizing your website and web presence. Most potential clients will begin their search for legal advice online. The pandemic has made having a strong web presence more necessary than ever, as many firms have sporadically had to close their physical offices during rolling lockdowns.

Your website becomes the face of your organization. It must succinctly show the public who you are, what you do and why they should move forward with you in a sea of other options. Include or expand upon the following to help strengthen your website:

  • a comprehensive and concise mission statement on your homepage.
  • access to a legal FAQ page on your homepage.
  • a website that is easy to navigate for varying levels of technological sophistication.  
  • mobile friendly pages.
  • strong lawyer bios — less is more in this regard; you want it to be punchy, relatable and to the point.

The above is by no means exhaustive, as there are numerous ways to enhance your website. More niche changes will, of course, depend on your area of practice and target audience.

Anyone involved in their law firm’s marketing has heard the term SEO (search engine optimization). To put it as clearly as I can, this is about getting eyeballs on your page.

Since the outset of the pandemic, our firm has focused a lot of energy on upping our SEO game. As, I am sure, many of you do, we work with professionals who specialize in digital marketing and SEO. We came up with an action plan which included increasing our output of informative blogs to our website.

I cannot emphasize enough the importance of blogs for your pandemic marketing strategy. The blogs themselves can touch on various topics relevant to your practice and your clients’ interests. Including commonly searched keywords helps to drive your SEO and when done correctly will result in a significant increase in traffic to your website.

Another valuable plan of action is to reach out to current and former clients. It has been a gruelling year for many and simply calling to check in can go a long way. Avoid the clichéd “during these uncertain times” and express genuine interest for how the last year has been for your client.

While some clients may prefer a phone call, millennials may be more inclined to engage with you through social media. During the pandemic social media has played an even larger role in keeping us connected with clients.

Review your social media marketing strategy for opportunities to interact with your clients. Whether it is posting relevant news articles on your Facebook page or reaching widely to prospective clients with targeted advertising, social media during the pandemic is one of the most valuable tools for getting your message out there.

Lastly, I would be remiss if I did not touch on the more traditional forms of marketing: television, radio and print media. These are tried and true methods which should not be ignored in your marketing strategy.

At the outset of the pandemic our firm put out a television commercial which did not mention our services. The commercial emphasized the importance of staying safe and thanked our frontline workers. It was a resounding success in our market and many members of the public and local business community reached out to praise our efforts. I use this example as I believe it highlights the importance of connecting with your community without an agenda.

Don’ts

Unlike the list of “Dos” above, this will be short and sweet: Do not appear opportunistic! Marketing is inherently self-serving but that does not mean it needs to be heavy-handed. Capitalizing on the pandemic is not a good look and is not required to be successful in your marketing campaign. The public can smell insincerity and opportunism quite easily.

It is possible to get your name and message to your audience without appearing to be capitalizing on others’ suffering. It may be worthwhile to evaluate your marketing materials (whether it be on social media, television, print media, etc.) and consider whether your message is doing more harm than good for your public perception.

All in all, marketing during a pandemic is not all that different when juxtaposed with marketing prior to the pandemic. The tools and message may need to be tweaked but the foundational principles still apply. Be honest with your message, be sincere in its delivery, and the results will come.

Mark Saunders is a lawyer at Wagners Law Firm in Halifax. Saunders specializes in helping victims of medical negligence and personal injury. Wagners Law Firm offers its services in Halifax and throughout Nova Scotia. For more information please visit https://wagners.co/. Saunders would like to thank online marketing agency dNovo Group for help with this article.

Photo credit / Quarta_ ISTOCKPHOTO.COM

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