The past few weeks have bombarded us with a constant stream of information - not only about the Coronavirus, but about what we need to know to carry on our businesses, to stay safe and healthy, and to provide for our families.
Information seems to morph daily. We have witnessed an unprecedented number of offerings such as webinars, video meetings and conference calls, push emails, podcasts, videos, blogs, social media posts and client outreach.
The redundancy of all of this has contributed to a state of information overload and content fatigue.
...businesses that market and remain visible in a client-focused way during a crisis or downturn recover the quickest.
For those of us focused in the area of business development, the last few weeks of this unparalleled situation has been spent gathering and analyzing information about how to best serve clients. It is crystal clear that those law firms and attorneys that shared the best and most useful content developed and delivered it based on client and industry needs. These firms paid rapt attention to what content was already in the marketplace and what fresh information is still needed.
Clients may have grown weary of attending long webinars and getting through the seemingly endless stream of email blasts. But at the same time, research has demonstrated again and again, those businesses that market and remain visible in a client-focused way during a crisis or downturn recover the quickest. But the information your firm produces must be sensitive and useful in solving clients’ problems.
Then, what do clients view as helpful and effective?
- Deliver a cogent interpretation of new laws, government programs and/or a synthesis of available options.
- Be proactive and gather information early on; avoid being the 10th law firm to share the same information in the same way.
- Call clients and ask how they are doing. Listen carefully diving deeply into their issues with clarifying questions to gain a clearer understanding of their needs and concerns. Address them with specificity.
- Don’t make decisions for your clients without asking them for input. Your clients want to hear from you. Consider attending their planning meetings as one of their trusted advisors.
- In addition to addressing the legal, tax, real estate or insurance questions your clients are facing, work with them to identify their most pressing business problem(s). Imagine how thankful and loyal clients will be if you become adept at facilitating meetings using process improvement and process mapping skills to guide them to effective solutions.
What are the most effective marketing strategies and tactics in this unusual environment?
- All content and briefings should speak to clients’ pain points. How do you best craft your message? Use a variety of mediums such as videos, one-page analysis, phone calls, email, interactive video meetings, blogs, and social media posts.
- Your bio is one of the most read pages on your firm’s website. Does it adequately convey your expertise, especially for these times?
- Increase your power and results on LinkedIn by posting, commenting, searching out contacts and clients and commenting on their posts, posting articles, updates and videos on your firm’s page and then on the attorneys’ pages.
- Set up Google Alerts and LinkedIn Alerts for key clients and industries. Staying on top of industry issues gives you and your partners great opportunity to reach out to clients and prospects on a continuing basis in a meaningful way.
- Consider community involvement or pro-bono work, especially as it relates your clients/industries.
In this most unusual time in history, your clients need you more than ever. Be the solution for them and not just the restater of the problem.
[Merry Neitlich, Managing Partner of EM Consulting, is located in Irvine, California. We assist law firms with strategic business development, branding, websites, legal operations, and client enhancement programs. Merry can be reached at 949.260.0936 or merry@EMconsults.org]