Pragmatic Advice for Leading Your Law Firm in the Virus Crisis
You’ve read enough typical corporate coronavirus statements.
Perhaps I can help with first-hand lessons Firmidable learned during our own, localized disaster: Hurricane Katrina — but updated for today’s time and technology.
Interestingly, Katrina was about trying to get back home. COVID-19 is about being stuck at home.
Let’s start. This is a time when you will need:
- to be creative
- to improvise
- to be flexible
- to be patient
- and to watch out for the emotional needs of your team and clients
Here are specific ways to achieve these goals:
Virtual Offices: If your office has not yet mastered working remotely from home, feel free to reach out to one of us at Firmidable about how to use video conferencing. With the work our legal marketing agency does around the country, we’ve been video chatting for many years. We’d be happy to coach you. For example, last week Firmidable moved a facilitated planning session for a group of law firm partners from in-person to virtual. The primary difference was that I didn’t wear long pants. (Shhh!)
Scheduling: You’ll want to establish regular times for department check-ins. Consider putting someone creative in charge of periodic team morale boosters. With schools closed, consider scheduling regular work-free kid time for the parents who work for you. 10-11 in the morning and 2-3 in the afternoon seem to be when the little ones get most restless. Yes, it’s during the work day, but this is a way to meet those goals of showing flexibility and watching out for the emotional needs of your team. Ultimately, it will help with productivity.
Call Centers: For extra resources for your client intake team, consider an external Call Center to make sure none of your potential new clients get missed. Here’s a blog post we published, including a link to a webcast, on this topic: https://firmidable.com/how-legal-intake-call-centers-help-you-get-clients-you-didnt-know-you-were-losing/. We can introduce you to our contact at Alert Communications.
Live Chat: Similarly, if you’re not already using Live Chat to allow potential clients to communicate with you 24/7, here is our blog post on that topic: https://firmidable.com/live-chat-for-attorneys-why-it-works/. If you tell Amie at Ngage that Firmidable sent you, she will waive their start-up costs for you.
Special Graphics Idea: You can—and should—add special coronavirus-themed graphics to your website and TV commercials to emphasize that your potential clients do not have to leave home to meet with you. We‘ve built a prototype and can help your firm with such graphics. You can see an example in the photo at the top of this post. The website version is a pop-up to grab attention, and it includes click-to-call.
Television: Interestingly, television viewing is already way up. No, not just the news. Not just streaming.
- “Streaming had been tipped as a major beneficiary of the current mandate for staying home, but viewers are also checking out traditional TV.”
- “Ratings experts expect viewing levels’ growth to continue as more people stay home amid expanding restrictions, including quarantines, around the country.”
- “Daytime and late-night usage levels also have been up.”
Internet Marketing: We’ve seen law firms score some great results even during this crisis with online marketing. Just last week two firms told us that they were hitting new records thanks to new digital marketing initiatives. Your future clients are on their computers a lot right now.
E-sign-ups: And this blog post about obtaining electronic signatures should prove timely: https://firmidable.com/how-to-sign-new-legal-clients-electronically/. If you’re a Firmidable Social Security law firm client who needs to collect wet signatures under Social Security rules, you can still have new clients sign your retention form electronically—to solidify in their minds that you are their attorney. Then have them sign a physical form by mail or in person later.
Finally, I’ll close with this. In the past we’ve often found that many plaintiffs’ and administrative law firms actually do better when the economy is down—although we are not wishing that on society, of course. There are some industries that are simply counter cyclical. And lawyers often help people in their greatest time of need.
A few days ago on a conference call with the 4A’s, a respected advertising industry association, the moderator said they will soon release a white paper about how, during the Great Recession, brands that stayed steady-on-course significantly gained market share.
For certain, this is a scary time. But everyone—really everyone—is in it together, so we will get through it together. Please reach out to us at Firmidable about adapting your law firm marketing, or any area where you need help or even a conversation about managing this crisis. More than anything, we just want to help. Talk to Firmidable.
Firmidable has been a national expert in legal marketing for almost 30 years. It brings law firms customized, data-driven marketing strategies and services, including online and traditional media for a wide range of legal practices. From Maine to Hawaii, it has transformed the lives of attorneys—and their clients.