How To Close More Legal Leads During Economic Disruption
Recent events with the global pandemic of Covid-19 have caused professionals to rethink the way they acquire clients. This of course, includes law firms, who rely on law firm leads to drive their business. The good news is that legal representation is one business that will probably outlast Covid-19. Even so, as it has for many other businesses types, the pandemic might call for law firms to rethink lead generation for law firms.
The state of the union
The current economic situation at the time of this article seems dire. At the time of this article, almost 36 million people have filed for unemployment or benefits. Some estimates have suggested that as many as 10,000 small businesses have permanently closed their doors. Entire industries such as travel and hospitality have been rocked, and it’s hard to know when they’ll bounce back.
But don’t worry…it’s not all doom and gloom.
There are a few silver linings to this cloud for law firms who can pivot their client acquisition strategy at this time. In fact, Covid-19 may have just spurred you on in a direction you should have been focusing on anyway: your online presence.
People are relying on the internet more than ever
People have been sitting at home for weeks, some of them working, some of them not. As states phase out of quarantine, many people will continue to remain at home—some of them working, and some of them not. Even for those who will return to work, the face of their working situation may have changed. Many more companies will be shifting to a remote workforce, either for safety reasons or because commercial real estate is no longer affordable.
This is great news for law firms that have optimized their online presence with social media, SEO, and a beautiful, functional website. Lead generation for law firms with their head in the internet game will not have to suffer such an adverse impact from the pandemic and its resultant economic disruption.
Americans have been increasingly reliant on search engines for information, both Google and social media search engines (searching with hashtags). Under lockdown, and through the continued adjustment to resuming normal life, it’s likely that their reliance on the internet for information will only increase.
This means that law firms with strong SEO and an optimized web presence will not see a decrease in law firm leads. In fact, they might even see an increase—but again, only if they are playing their cards right.
Here are some questions you need to ask yourself…
With enforced lockdowns underway in many states, many Americans have been relying on social media networks to stay connected with friends and family. This trend is concurrent with a currently low cost of social media advertising.
Is your law firm on social media platforms like Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram? Are you creating engaging content on these platforms and interacting with your connections, followers, or fans? Are you running ad campaigns and using metrics to zone in on the perfect list of potential clients?
Keep in mind that one of the biggest factors in closing internet based leads is the look of your website. If your law website design looks professional and compelling and is accompanied by quality written and/or video content, you’re in the clear.
Does your website look professional? Do all the links work? Is the copy convincing? Is it funcional on mobile devices? Does a popup window capture leads? Are client reviews displayed prominently on the page? These little things can make or break your ability to pick up leads.
Shift your strategy to content over explicit client acquisition.
At the same time, it’s important to acknowledge that an increase in leads doesn’t necessarily translate to more paying clients. With the economic fallout of the shutdown, many Americans might be reluctant to spend money chasing down a verdict. They might be too overwhelmed to pursue a legitimate case, as they scramble to find a new job and deal with anxiety…even if the statute of limitations regarding their case is looming ever closer.
This is why part of your current online strategy needs to incorporate a shift to education and free service over selling. Slow day at the office? Make some videos talking about common legal topics and post them on LinkedIn, YouTube, and Facebook. Write a post that you’re going to answer a few questions from anonymous contributors. Give away copies of your favorite John Grisham novel. Whatever is, now is the time to make yourself engaging on social media.
When things go back to normal, or as close to normal as they can be, the potential clients among your social media connections will come back to you—especially if you’ve been consistently in front of them delivering content they find engaging. If you give away some free consultations during this time, they’ll be even more likely to circle back your way once they’re ready to pursue their case. And if you can remind them that their time to file a case is running against the clock, they might be more motivated to move as well.
To discount, or not do discount?
You may be tempted to offer steep discounts for your services, and in fact, this might be a good direction to go—but you’ll have to play with the numbers and make sure that you’re not going too low for profitability. Also keep in mind that broadcasting discounts may make you look desperate or undermine the value of your services. If you offer free consultations, the time to offer a discounted service might be at the end of that call, instead of offering it publically. In the meantime, you can keep giving away educational content on social media and through the content on your blog. You do have a legal blog, right?
In many ways, that will be more attention-grabbing and effective long term than using neon-colored signage about huge percentage reductions in your prices.
A final word about closing more leads
Closing leads means bringing leads in, and now is the perfect time to start investing more time in your internet based sales funnel. Remember that internet users love content, so make sure part of your client acquisition strategy involves education and engagement. Remember that in order to close the leads you’re pursuing, you will need some law website design that gives your firm a look that inspires client confidence. Bonus points should also be awarded to lawyers who create blog content that users want to come back to.
While Covid-19 has certainly disrupted the world, legal representation continues to be a necessary and vital business. The question is whether or not you are positioning your law firm to continue picking up leads during this economic disruption—and beyond.