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Communicating externally and marketing your business during these trying times

BY KRISTIE WALLIS

Just last week many North Carolina law firms and businesses were still functioning under the status quo. Flash forward: now many firms are operating remotely, encouraging working from home or possibly scrambling to get business continuity plans in place.

While there’s so much out of our control these days with the highly contagious coronavirus (COVID-19) and volatile economy, let’s gain some of that back by controlling what we can, including communicating with clients and being proactive on the marketing front.

Despite these uncertain times, you need to continue connecting with your clients and potential new clients—and here’s how.

Communicate with your clients about how your firm is responding

While it may not be top of your clients’ minds, it will reassure them that your law firm is taking measures to protect your clients and employees—and that your team is fully prepared to continue serving their business by working remotely. You’ll want to note how your business is taking extra precautions against the spread of illness, such as:

  •         Offering videoconference and teleconference options instead of in-person meetings, when possible
  •         Frequently disinfecting high-touch surfaces and wiping down conference rooms in between meetings
  •         Making sure that any employee who shows symptoms of being sick stay at home

For clients with active court cases, share how the North Carolina Judicial Branch’s decision to delay court proceedings for at least 30 days may affect their legal matter.

Most importantly, always remember to take an empathetic, compassionate tone. Your client’s business or personal life may be under duress due to economic pressures or any number of other stressors. And even for those whose businesses are poised to withstand these unprecedented circumstances just fine, the uncertainty of life today and dread of what’s unknown may be triggering some anxiety or depression. Take the time to connect with them and ask how they’re holding up. Let your clients know that you’re there for them if they have any legal questions related to this crisis.

Now, yes now, is the time to focus on your website and digital marketing

Now is not the right time to announce a new series of events, given that we don’t have a sense about how long the virus will impact our businesses and daily lives. However, it’s a great time to give some TLC to the virtual front door of your firm—your website.

Connect with Clients Online

Whether through your blog or another platform, prioritize writing new posts that provide a platform to connect with potential leads. Blogging and bylined articles can position you as a thought leader and credible source. To engage your reader, you need to offer content that’s of value. Always think about how you can address your clients’ challenges, rather than writing from a standpoint of selling them on your services.

If you’re stumped on what to write about, consider these prompts to get started on a topic:

  •         How may coronavirus affect [insert your area of practice]? Fill in the blanks here. Don’t look at this as being opportunistic, but rather set a tone of providing information that will address your clients’ questions and ease their concerns.
  •         What’s new in your profession that affects how your clients do business? Or recent developments in your area of practice?
  •         What are the top five questions asked of you when first meeting with a potential client? Consider addressing these topics in a series of blog posts.

Once you’ve written an article, share it broadly with your universe via email, your firm’s social media channels and your personal channels as well. People connect with people, more so than companies or brands.

Take an Inventory of Website Needs

Getting your website up-to-date may seem like an insurmountable task. It’s especially easy to procrastinate if your practice has been thriving and leads have been flowing.

Now that your website may truly become your proverbial front door, assess what updates are needed to reflect how your firm, practice areas and industries that you serve have evolved. Create a short list of the top three needs. What pages are your visitors most frequently visiting? Do you have current testimonials on your website? Move that to the top of the list.

While this pandemic and now bear market are out of our control, I find it really helpful to think about what we can do to still connect with clients and work toward business growth. As for me, you can find me in my office updating case studies!

Kristie Wallis is the principal of Profoundly Group, a boutique public relations and digital marketing consultancy working with professional service firms. Kristie has spent more than 18 years in the marketing industry, with most of that time at public relations and digital marketing agencies.

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