It has been approximately five months since the COVID-19 pandemic forced the biggest economic shut down since the Great Depression. While many people are returning to a version of what their lives looked like before COVID-19 with (some) kids going back to school, restaurants and businesses opening their doors, and cars hitting the road once again, you may be wondering what’s next for your injury law firm in the aftermath of such a challenging time for our country.
More importantly, you may be wondering this: What can your law firm do to prepare for the future, including another possible shutdown? Our personal injury law firm marketing experts at Whitehardt are here to answer all your questions. CEO Kevin White, CFO Felix Eckhardt, Director of Web Services Alyssa McCord, Account Services Supervisor Bails Palmer, and Godfather of Legal Marketing Harlan Schillinger have broken down the essential trends you need to know about in legal marketing during the changing times of COVID-19 in this month’s blog.
Did You Increase Your Market Share?
One thing we learned quickly in the early stages of the pandemic was that we could offer TV stations a much lower price for ad space for our clients, and we did not waste time jumping on that opportunity. Sometimes offering as low as 10% of normal rates for ad space, we were able to save our clients money when their cases were scarce while still maintaining their brand as the name to trust in their communities. People will always need personal injury lawyers, pandemic or not. The pandemic rages on, but people are back out in public (whether that’s a good thing or not) at near pre-pandemic levels. If your law firm continued to advertise while rates were low and viewership was high, you just got a very good deal on branding impressions that could pay dividends for a long time.
“A couple of firms decided this bargain on media was an opportunity to really grab some market share,” CEO Kevin White said. “The couple of firms that did that were rewarded quite well for it. They weathered the storm better, they came out the other end with better brand recognition, and that dividend will pay forever.”
Make Friends With Google
Although organic marketing is not a direct response method of lead generation, both COVID-19 and the upcoming election season has presented law firms with an opportunity to gain an intriguing competitive edge: Make friends with Google.
As the economy recovers and law firms begin increasing their advertising budgets, the competition will undoubtedly increase along with it. However, organic search results and Google Map-Pack search results will forever remain untouched by ever-changing advertising spends. Why? Because, when it comes to organic search results, Google doesn’t care how much money you have.
That’s why it’s more important than ever to make sure that your website, your online citations, and your Google My Business listing are in tip-top shape. “While a competing law firm may outbid you in other advertising mediums, they can’t outbid you when it comes to SEO. Now is the time to build your foundation: Clean up your website, create valuable content, build local backlinks, and generate as many 5-star Google Reviews as you can. It’ll be worth it in the long-run,” says Alyssa McCord, Whitehardt’s Director of Web Services.
Zoom Consultations Are Here to Stay
Whether you like them or not, Zoom meetings with your clients are here to stay. In a world where client referrals and Google reviews drive the market, it can’t be ignored that client satisfaction soared during the pandemic. And it’s not all that surprising, either.
“It’s not about managing your business, it’s about managing your client,” Godfather of Legal Marketing Harlan Schillinger said. “One of the things that COVID brought out is that we can embrace people more easily.”
For the first time, clients were able to see their attorneys’ faces on a regular basis to discuss their cases and connect with them on a much more personal level than ever before in these Zoom meetings. It changed the game on communication between law firms and their clients. Our marketing experts believe this technological step forward is not something to abandon when your firm’s physical doors open back up.
“COVID has forced the necessity for having that process in place, and I think it will continue to happen after COVID is gone,” Account Services Supervisor Bails Palmer said. “Everyone is going to have to keep up.”
Preparing for the Great Dip of 2021
Assuming the average injury case settles in about 8-10 months, come March 2021, law firms are going to see a dip in their income when the lack of leads they’ve been experiencing turns into a lack of settlements. Our CFO Felix Eckhardt believes the best way to prepare for this spring slump is to: 1. Pay bills and employees first, then put what money you can away for this time you know is coming, and 2. Start to cherry pick your bigger cases that take around two years to settle that may be coming to fruition around March. Use those settlements to your advantage.
“Don’t lose sight of the settlement machine,” Whitehardt CFO Felix Eckhardt said. “Use the settlement machine that you’ve built to not only keep your business afloat while there are cases in your inventory, but to also save some of those settlement fees while you’re preparing for bad days that you can see coming when your inventory is going to dip because that’s how COVID affected you.”
How a Legal Marketing Agency Can Help Your Firm Generate Business Post-Quarantine
While COVID-19 has taken much from us as a country, it has also given us new opportunities to help our friends and neighbors. Whitehardt has been helping our clients run business interruption campaigns to help people who had to shut down their business these past few months connect with firms who can help them seek compensation. We are also partnering with a number of firms licensed to take on mass tort cases like Zantac®, Elmiron®, and Belviq®. Firms who aren’t licensed to handle these kinds of cases can still benefit from their settlements when they work with us. You can learn about opportunities like these and so much more when you call us for a free Zoom consultation with our team.
Whitehardt is a legal marketing agency dedicated to staying on the cutting edge of marketing strategies designed to generate leads and successful cases. We hope this information has been helpful as your firm begins to see business again and you prepare for the months ahead. For any questions you may have on how your firm can remain profitable and competitive in the months ahead, contact us for a free consultation.