With a COVID-19 vaccine seemingly just around the corner, the next 4–6 months are likely to see loads of pent-up demand for restaurants, movie theaters, in-person conferences, live music — and legal services.
If you stuck a pin in your marketing efforts over the last several months, now is an excellent time to start planning how you’ll put yourself in a good position to capitalize on the coming economic resurgence. Because most business development is still being done remotely — and is likely to remain that way in the immediate future — you’ll want to include a heavy dose of online marketing tools.
Here are some steps you should be taking now to be in a prime position for post-COVID marketing 2021:
Revive your blog.
If you’ve been blogging consistently throughout 2020, hats off to you. You deserve all the good things coming your way. If, however, you’ve felt distracted, uncreative, and just generally stuck, you’re not alone. Let the prospect of a vaccine, and all its attendant promise of going Back to Normal, serve as your motivation to get back on the blogging bandwagon. As the economy revives, your clients and prospective clients will have questions. Start anticipating those questions and writing blog posts that address them.
It doesn’t have to be all COVID, all the time. The Texas Legislature will be in session starting in January, and there’s always something percolating in Austin that can affect your clients. We have a vastly reshaped U.S. Supreme Court; how might that affect those issues near and dear to the people and companies you represent? And there is always the economy, which continues to giveth and taketh away, depending on where you sit. Our guide to blogging provides insightful tips for what to blog about, how much to write, etc.
Decide now how often you want to write in 2021 and what you’ll be writing about, and create a timeline for getting your posts written and published on a regular basis. Even if you’re just writing monthly, that gives you 12 pieces of content you can amplify and use in your marketing efforts throughout the year.
Audit your online presence.
Visit all your online profiles (Super Lawyers, Avvo, Martindale-Hubbell, as well as the bio on your firm’s website and your LinkedIn profile) and make sure they’re up-to-date, accurate, and tell prospective clients what they need to know. For example, if your bio narrative leads with where you were born or went to law school, rewrite it. Our guide to LinkedIn is a great primer on improving your LinkedIn profile, and much of it also applies to other online profile pages.
Refresh your LinkedIn presence.
In addition to ensuring that your profile is up-to-date and informative, make a point to engage with LinkedIn at least a few times a week. Share articles of interest to your client base, comment on other people’s posts, and share your blog posts there. You should be amplifying your work as well as that of your firm overall.
Update your email list.
If your firm has a newsletter — and it should — make sure your email list is up to date. If you haven’t looked at it in 6 months or so, you can assume it includes several out-of-date addresses. You probably also have lots of new contacts you should add.
Plan your post-COVID 2021 newsletter calendar.
Similar to blogging, commit yourself to publishing an email newsletter at least monthly. Your newsletter should include your substantive legal posts as well as other news items, such as recognitions from “best lawyer” lists, client successes, new attorneys joining your firm, pro bono or other volunteer work, and more. Our guide to email newsletters is a great start, as is our post about what to include in your email newsletter. Email is the most efficient way to stay in touch with people who already know and like you: your clients, former clients, lawyer colleagues, and other professionals in your network. These people are your referral base, and email is a great way to nurture them.
Audit your website.
Give your website a thorough review to make sure it’s an accurate, informative, and up-to-date reflection of your work. Are your most recent client successes (the ones you can make public) included? Have you added all your new lawyers and recognitions? While you’re there, re-read your practice group descriptions and ensure they still reflect what you do.
Add in a few crazy ideas.
As long as you’re in brainstorming mode, what unique business development ideas do you have up your sleeve? These can be online or not. Do you have an eBook, webinar, or podcast idea percolating? What kinds of in-person marketing would you like to do once that’s allowed again? Now is the time to get those marketing juices flowing again.
We all can agree that 2020 has been a bit of a mess. And, while the first part of 2021 is likely to be challenging as well, there’s reason to be optimistic that Normal (or, at least, something resembling Normal) is around the corner. So, if your marketing efforts have been on Pause, it’s time to hit Play.
Amy Boardman Hunt is all about helping lawyers find their voice and showcase their expertise. When she’s not doing that, she’s trying to find great hiking spots in Dallas. If you know of any — or you need a legal marketing muse — drop her a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Need help turning your post-COVID legal marketing to-do list into reality? We can help with that. Muse Communications was named Dallas’ best legal public relations firm by the readers of Texas Lawyer (although we represent clients all over Texas). Just drop us a line.