#024 – Your Post-COVID Marketing Plan
We all weathered a heavy storm with the global pandemic in 2020 and 2021. Learn how your law firm can succeed with an optimized Post-COVID Marketing Plan!
Some of the resources I visited about in today’s episode include the following:
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Hello, welcome back. And today is going to be something that has a lot of optimism. In it, we are going to be talking about completely thinking in a different way about your marketing in a post COVID world, which we all hope is going to happen very, very soon. And if you haven’t hit that subscribe button, go ahead and do that. Because then you will always know when a new episode drops. So let’s just get right into it. We all know that COVID has changed the status quo of all of our lives in a lot of ways, not just in our businesses. It’s been in our relationships, and our families and our friends. And it has cut very deeply into every area of our lives. And I think as we start to move forward and hopefully start to come out of this global pandemic, we will recognize that a lot of things have changed, right. And not just in business, although we’ll talk about that in just a minute. In our personal lives, in our relationships with our friends and our family, I don’t know a single area of our lives that hasn’t been touched by this. And speaking of business, we all know that zoom meetings are now a staple of an ordinary business day, right? We connect with people through phone calls, zoom meetings, we all work from home in our sweat pants, let’s be honest. And we’ve exchanged office hours for online meetings. And while the legal industry is still intact, there have been a lot of changes. And it really does depend on your practice area as well. Some practice areas,
like estate planning, or contracts, business documents may not have been impacted as greatly as criminal law, or some personal injury firms that had a lot of cases on the docket in front of a court. So we are all trying to now gain our balance in a post COVID world. We all had to get our balance as we were moving through COVID especially, you know, in spring of 2020. But now we’re looking at what our life is going to look like in the legal industry, specifically in marketing.
As we move towards continuing an online presence, we know the legal industry is still intact. And the progressing. Impact of COVID is that law firms had to grapple with new trends in marketing and adapting to new technologies. Many law firms that did not have a strong online presence got one during COVID because that was the way that they could connect to their current clients and attempt to get additional clients where otherwise they would have had other opportunities outside of the online or digital space to do so. Additionally, it’s not just connecting with potential clients. It’s connecting with other law firms with other lawyers. Having that network of referrals is really important. And what COVID really did was force the legal industry to make exponential growth in the area of digital marketing and networking for law firms. If you are a law firm that has tried to ride this roller coaster of online marketing, you’re not alone. Many law firms struggled with it.
Getting sealegs on new marketing strategies, either social media strategies, video, increasing their content on their website through blogging. And as we start to hopefully, move back into normalcy sometime soon.
I think that a lot of law firms are now going to have to establish a marketing plan that incorporates what they were doing during COVID. Because that is something that potential clients, networking, other lawyers have come to expect, it’s become the standard. So if you are a law firm that has started in digital marketing, or perhaps you’re already very established with digital marketing and social media, this is going to have to be something that you include in your post COVID marketing plan. So today, we are going to look at seven different steps that can help you move forward during this transitionary period. And hopefully, you know, hopefully, this COVID thing is going to be over completely in 2021, or at least hopefully by 2022. But I say this with a bit of caution, because at any point, something like this could happen to all business. And there could be another pandemic, God forbid, or there could be some other sort of industry disruption. You want to make sure that your law firm is positioned in such a way that you can maximize every potential for your marketing plan. So let’s go through the seven steps. The first one is to put clients first. Now when you’re creating your post COVID marketing plan, you need to make sure to put the needs of your clients into the fabric of everything you do. And I’m talking your current clients. These are people who have either already paid you in the past, which I guess would be past clients, but people who are your clients in some sort of way, you need to communicate a desire to serve your clients above and beyond and provide value and optimize their entire experience with your law firm. And that includes not only in person, but that also includes their experience with your website, and other digital marketing, maybe your email list, maybe your social media connections with them. So putting clients first entails empathizing with their needs, and their fears and the challenges that they have. So set your law firm apart from other law firms, by demonstrating an understanding of their legal concerns in such a way that you can empathize and connect with them on a digital level, either through your website or social media or your email list, provide resources for them. consider putting additional blog content on your website, creating an E book, making videos, starting a podcast, create value for your law firm clients that makes them feel that they are getting a substantial amount of value from you. And that is going to help them on whatever legal journey they have, it’s going to make them come back to you. And then it’s going to make them recommend your law firm to other clients or friends family. If it’s a law firm that has used you before as a reference, they will use you again and recommend you to others. So offering this increased value, even though it’s free, is actually going to be a great part of a post COVID marketing plan. Because it’s going to make you stand out among the rest of the law firms that are not offering an ebook or a check sheet or something to help give value to your clients. The second way that you can consider optimizing your post COVID marketing plan is
to really look at the user experience on your website and with all of your digital platforms. So really smart business owners are going to want to maximize a client’s user experience. You may see this referred to as u x in different places on the internet. That’s the short code for it. So a client’s user experience when it comes to a website can make a key difference between
A visitor contacting your law firm or frankly, going somewhere else. User Experience plays a crucial role in attracting new clients. And a website often only gets really one shot at making a good first impression. The side benefit of pleasing your visitors is that you’re going to impress Google at the same time. And I’ve said this before, while the Google bots are not our robot overlords, yet, there is an algorithm there that you want to please in order to increase your rankings. And I’m going to tell you right now that Google is absolutely factoring in user experience into its rankings. So let’s put the rubber to the road here. What are some solid action steps that you can do to enhance your website’s user experience? You can first revamp your website to make sure it looks good on mobile search, and voice search. Voice Search is a thing. And I have a blog post about that if you want to go look at mobile search and voice search, I have a lot of free information on my blog, you can find [email protected] Ford slash blog. And making sure that your website can be found through these searches is extremely important, because frankly, everybody’s on their phone, right? Or they’re asking Siri a question. So make sure to take advantage of that. The next thing you can do is create a smooth website navigation, make it very easy for people to get through your website. One thing I highly recommend is if you have a blog, put a search bar there, people are not going to look through 10 pages of your blog articles, which you know, hopefully you have a lot of blog articles, they’re not going to sit there and look through every single article to try to find what they need. Put a search bar on the front page of your website, make your drop down menus very easily understandable. Just make that whole navigation easy.
Make sure that your website loads quickly, you’ve got about two seconds is what they say before someone will bounce away somewhere else. And so there are certain ways you can do this by decreasing photo resolutions or decreasing the amount of actual videos embedded on your website. If you’re having challenges with your loading speed. And by the way, you can find that out by just googling How fast is my website, there are a lot of different free resources to find that out. If you find that your website is slow loading, you can talk with your IT department to try to increase those speeds. The next way to increase user experience is to make sure that the content is user friendly, and rich in visuals. So people absorb content and information in different ways. Some people love podcasts, my guesses that that might be you because you’re listening right now, there are other people that want things visually in an infographic or a video. So make sure that your content sort of straddles all of those different formats, so that you can capture the attention of frankly, everyone. Another thing that you should do to increase your user experience is to make sure that visitors to your website can easily opt out of pop ups. pop ups are a thing. There is a new study that says that Google may start to decrease the value of a website, if there is a pop up. So you may want to consider that for the future. However, if you do still include a pop up, I have one on my website right now, just make sure that it’s very easy for a visitor to opt out of it. And the final way that you can increase a user experience is to consider live chat or chat bots. And I’ve actually written articles about those as well. If you are interested in that. This is a way for a person to feel that they are getting immediate answers or at least a connection to your law firm. Now you obviously can’t provide legal advice to someone, but if someone can have their fears assuaged by a live chat or a chat bot, this is a great way to keep them on your website, which makes them remember you more, which makes them eventually either pick up the phone and call you or enter their information into this life.
Have chat or chat bot, so that you can contact them later.
The third part of your post COVID marketing plan should be to revive your blog. So as the business world starts to come alive again and rejuvenate in person, it might be a good time to get back to blogging, if you haven’t been doing it, or start a new one, this is not going away, folks, blogging is not going away. And let me explain why.
Google looks at a website, and it indexes everything on your website. And then it’s done. There’s nothing more for the Google bots to do on your website. So if you spend $10,000, on a beautiful website, and then you don’t consistently put content on it, Google thinks it’s dying over there, even though it’s beautiful. Google doesn’t have anything to look at over there. So blogging is a way to produce content, not only for your potential clients, to showcase yourself as an expert, but it also gives something for the Google bots to look at and your SEO rankings, your search engine optimization rankings, they will not go up without a blog. And listen, if you don’t believe me, just go to Google and type in your competitors that are crushing it. And I guarantee you that they’ve got blogs that they post either once a week or twice a week, that has 1000 or more words, that is really valuable content. So informative blog posts are really going to add value to potential clients, it’s going to anticipate their questions. This is part of the user experience to write, it’s going to be a way for you to speak to these potential clients through articles, lists, videos, helpful how to materials, infographics, whatever it may be, you can plan ahead by scheduling, writing and publishing dates, you can keep a running list of ideas for future posts, if you get stuck. I have not only a podcast, but also a blog post about how to come up with really great ideas for your blog, if you’re trying to DIY this yourself.
Frankly, if you get stuck peek at a competitor’s website for inspiration, now you can’t plagiarize, okay, I know you wouldn’t do it anyway, because I know you. But you can look at a competitor’s website, they are doing the same practice area as you and it might get the creative juices flowing, to give you some ideas for your blog post, of course,
shameless plug here, if you just simply do not have the time, or the energy to research exactly, not only how to write a blog post, come up with ideas, but then also optimize it for SEO, you can always contact me at an ad at laquelle calm, and I will absolutely visit with you about what you can do yourself on your own as a DIY course of action or you know, you can hire laquelle to there is that option. So the fourth thing that should be part of your digital marketing strategy in a post COVID world is to complete your online profiles, you may notice the theme that I’m going with here, which is that the online world is not going away. Just because people are getting together in person. law firms have found that having a strong digital presence is only increasing traffic to their website and then turning into potential clients, right, because that’s what all of this is about. It’s not about vanity metrics. It’s about getting people to pick up the phone and call you and make some money. That is the point of all of this. So completing your online profiles is a way for you to increase your online reputation. It’s a crucial part of a vibrant marketing plan in any kind of world post COVID or not. So take some time to examine all of your online profiles. And I’m not talking just about Facebook or your LinkedIn profile.
You want to look at all of the spots that your profile for either use a lawyer or your law firm might be so look at the law directories Super Lawyers, Martindale, Hubbell, all of those places, obviously checked your LinkedIn check your Facebook, check Google My Business. Now, if you’ve heard my podcast or read my blog for any period of time, you will know that I am a huge fan of Google My Business. It is an integral piece of the SEO puzzle. It’s a
Huge puzzle piece that you need to have optimized for a strong digital presence because here’s why Google is synthesizing all of the information that they get about you. So they’re taking your website, they’re taking your LinkedIn, they’re taking maybe your YouTube channel if you have one and your Google My Business and synthesizing it all together, like a big jigsaw puzzle, except they don’t have the top of the box to know you know what you look like. So they are trying to piece this all together, make sure your Google My Business profile looks fantastic. Optimize that. All social media that has to include Instagram, if you’re on it, Twitter, and clubhouse, which is just frankly, an amazing place for lawyers to be and if you are not sure what clubhouse is, or have not taken the time to look at how to optimize this platform, I highly encourage you to do this. I’ve got a blog post on its Well, I’ve got a blog post on a lot of things, right. But if you are interested in getting really deep into connecting with potential clients and other lawyers, clubhouse is fantastic. Also look at your law firm website and make sure your about me pages. And anywhere that talks about your accomplishments, achievements, success, all of those profiles are maximized and optimized to their fullest potential.
The next thing that you need to focus on for a post COVID digital marketing plan is your social media presence. Now I just talked about clubhouse. And of course, you know, there’s a lot of social media platforms Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, tick tock, that’s a thing. For lawyers. Absolutely. There are many lawyers that are crushing it on Tick tock, and it can feel overwhelming. So in addition to your profile management on all the social media platforms, it may be time to think about the way that you engage in social media. Don’t freak out, don’t think you have to be on every social media platform all at once all in 100%. It does take time to spread your brand, around the social media platforms, and engage with followers in an organic way. But reports say that regular social media interaction is a really savvy marketing move it was before COVID. It absolutely was during COVID. And it will be post COVID as well. So create some goals for yourself. This could include increasing your interaction on LinkedIn, or Facebook, or Twitter, and looking at interacting not only with potential clients, but with other lawyers, so that you can network with them and become the expert that they refer cases to. I will encourage you to commit to regular content sharing on whatever platform you decide to use. The reason is because the algorithms on all of these platforms favor those people who provide consistent content on their platform. So just commit to regular content sharing connection creating every week. And if you need to start with just one social media platform, that’s great.
If you are interested in working on several different platforms, you might want to consider outsourcing that laquelle does that as well. Or outsourcing it to another member of your own team, perhaps you’re just handling the LinkedIn, they can handle the Facebook. Also, you may want to consider social media advertising on sites where your typical clients are hanging out. And that is going to be different for every single law firm and different kinds of practice areas again, but again, if you are uninterested or if you feel overwhelmed regarding your social media, you aren’t alone. And you can just check out all of our social media management services on our website. And there’s samples of them there too, as well.
The next thing you can do in a post COVID marketing world is to send an email newsletter and you should be doing that consistently. Email advertising is absolutely not dead and it reaches its target most of the time. So email marketing is something you should definitely consider adding to a post COVID marketing blueprint or increasing what you already have.
If you are just starting out and you don’t even have an email list, the first step, I would say is to get one. So how do you do that you provide some sort of value, an ebook, an article, a check sheet, a DIY estate planning form, something that they can get in exchange for providing their email address. If you finally get some people on your email list, and you can look at different email service providers, I personally use ConvertKit. But there are others out there as well, MailChimp, etc. What you will want to do is start with a newsletter at least once a month, and that can spotlight what your law firm has done in the last month. And then again, I would encourage you to make that perhaps every two weeks or even weekly. In the future, you can highlight new team members, plans for community events, charitable organizations that your law firm is associated with any wins that you’ve had with your law firm. And here’s the thing, your blog posts. If you are consistently putting content on your website, you can include links to those in your emails as well. So plan your newsletter publishing dates ahead of time, you can do those in every email service provider, and stick to publishing on a regular basis. Because here’s the truth. Email Marketing is a really efficient way to stay connected with your clients, which is your best referral source. And it allows you to showcase your expertise to the people that are on your email list that aren’t your clients yet.
The next part of your post COVID marketing strategy should be to conduct a website content audit, every website, even yours unless it was just redone, needs regular overhaul periodically, it’s like your car, it needs some maintenance. And you really need to inventory and examine the content throughout your entire website. It’s called a website content audit. It is a very healthy procedure for any website. And the reasons that a content audit is important is because it can look at the performance of certain areas of your website, so you can double down on those. It can also look at user experience, it can create better search engine rankings, so your website can be working smarter and not harder for you. Although the task can take some time, it is absolutely worth it. A post COVID marketing plan should absolutely include a website content audit, especially if you have never completed one. through the process, you might uncover completely obsolete material laws that no longer exist or have been revised, it may show that articles need to be reworked. Maybe you have some older articles that are only three or 400 words that you could rework. To be larger articles. That’s called skyscraper ring articles is called skyscraper. Because you’re taking an already existing article and making it more robust. And it’s also going to check for broken links, and any areas that are simply not functional on your website. So the goal of that is to clean up your website. And again, this goes back kind of to user experience, right? It’s to put your clients first by continuing to offer your audience fresh, relevant, really great content, and service. The next thing and the last thing for your post COVID marketing plan is I’m going to challenge you try something new. Keep doing all the things that have been working for you marketing wise, whatever is working, keep it but consider injecting something brand new into your marketing plan. consumer demands continue to change and you’ve got a lot of competitors out there. So consider using new options, new ideas for staying connected to your potential clients and new clients and your network. Consider choosing one of these new paths to liven up your post COVID marketing strategy. You can take your long form blog posts and create an ebook out of them that you can then offer to your clients through your email newsletter or through a pop up or simply offer it on your website for free or offer it on social media.
You could host a webinar
or on a platform, such as Facebook Live or on 24. And that webinar can be about anything in your practice area. Obviously, again, you cannot offer legal advice. But you can offer some DIY steps or at least answer questions that your potential clients usually have. You can also take that webinar and transform it into short, really smart Instagram videos. So you can repurpose that content and create more content out of it to reach even more people. You can join clubhouse, I am a fan of clubhouse, and you can find me there a lot. Because I love that platform. It is an exclusive new audio based platform. And interactions on clubhouse can circulate your brand, inject you into conversations with people that you otherwise would not have had. And it really does allow you to establish authority in your niche. And it’s just a great platform that came around at the perfect time during COVID when people really felt a need to connect with each other. Another thing you can do is to commit regularly to a local nonprofit or charity. And you can highlight that on your blog, on your website and in your social media. And frankly, that’s a little good for the soul to me, right. Or you can simply decide to branch out to another social media platform. So those are the seven things you should consider in your post COVID marketing plan. If you are feeling overwhelmed, I understand I get it, you are in a place that a lot of people are at, we can help you. Because we offer a lot of the services that I just talked about in this podcast, social media marketing, blog writing, we do videos, and we do SEO audits too. And in this last year, year and a half now, your law firm has likely discovered flexibility, and resourcefulness that you didn’t even know you had. Right. I know that if you are listening to this podcast, you in some way had to transform or pivot your marketing strategy, the way you connect with potential clients or even existing clients. And after rolling with the punches and rolling with the volatility in the past year, I’m certain you have a fresh perspective that you can now trickle down into a sparkling new post COVID marketing plan. And that will include using strategies that are really working for you. And taking my advice, and perhaps including something new, just baby steps, just something new, just one little baby step. And I know that your law firm has always been about helping people because I know you, you’re awesome. And if you keep doing this well with the excellence that you have in the months ahead and then adding little bits and pieces as you go. So it doesn’t feel very overwhelming. Your business will absolutely enjoy more success in an online visibility and a digital marketing perspective. I’m here to help, I would welcome the opportunity to visit with you regarding any of your digital marketing needs, or just frankly, your questions. If you have questions about how to do digital marketing on your own, I really want you to feel comfortable to contact me. Because this you can probably tell this is my jam. I absolutely love it. And I love helping especially small and solo law firms with their digital marketing needs. So if that sounds like you, then just make sure to get in touch with me somehow. I hope that today’s episode has inspired you. And given you some very practical rubber hits the road kind of steps that you can take as we all start to emerge, hopefully very soon, from a global pandemic which has affected all of our lives in every possible way.
Hit that subscribe button. I know you’ve probably already done it, right. I’m preaching to the choir at this point. But if you haven’t, hit that subscribe button. And if you’re so inclined, leave me a review. And until the next time thank you for joining me in the legal marketing lounge.