How Consumers Find And Hire Law Firms In a Post-COVID World
With Charles Gaudet
Law firms aren’t exempt from having to face the unprecedented challenges COVID-19 brought along with it. While the pandemic has forced us all to stay home, law firms have faced internal and external changes in their business model. Perhaps the most obvious change has been investing and adjusting to a more digitalized world.
COVID-19 has pushed law firms to reconsider their traditional approach to doing business. As the world is preparing for a ‘post-COVID’ future, it is becoming increasingly clear that the digital aspects of doing business are paramount, and they are here to stay.
In your preparations to future-proof your firm, keep in mind that of all things your online prospects want, instant gratification is at the top of the list. The easier you make it for your prospects to find the answers they are looking for, the more likely it is they will choose you.
Nowadays, clients want to find answers before they decide who to purchase from and what services to request, and all from the safety of their homes. Law firms and businesses alike should keep this in mind, as the reality is that nothing will be the way it was before the virus hit. Clients have new wants and needs and business owners, including law firms, need to be able to adjust to this.
Having said this, the transition from traditional methodologies to more digital-oriented ones has brought many in the legal industry to hit a bump on the road that they’ve never really had to deal with before. Some digital challenges include:
- Protecting your firm’s online security from possible cyberattacks.
- Meeting clients’ expectations online without losing productivity.
- Obtaining new clients online.
- Maintaining a consistent online presence.
- Integrating traditional marketing efforts with updated digital marketing efforts.
Although these are current challenges in the legal industry, they’re also opportunities for growth.
So, how can your firm position itself to be found at the right place and at the right time when prospects are Googling for your services? Stay with us as we dive into actionable steps your firm can take to accelerate the digitalization of your firm.
The Traditional Marketing Funnel is… OUTDATED
In this day and age, the consumer goes through a repeated cycle between exploration and evaluation making the marketing sales funnel non-linear. “Consumers have become more discerning,” added Charles Gaudet, CEO & Founder of Predictable Profits & Business Coach. He sat down with us to discuss how consumers find and hire law firms in a post-COVID world.
Charles added that clients are selective and look at 12 to 14 sources of information before making a buying decision. What this means for the traditional marketing funnel is that the linear buying decision process is no longer what it used to be and that people have changed the way they do research before making their final decision. COVID-19 has maximized the complexity of the buying decision process. But, as challenging as it may seem, this is an opportunity for your firm to outshine your competition by leading the pack with updated marketing strategies.
Today the typical online consumer goes back and forth until they find what they would consider the best option. Charles Gaudet emphasized that there is a shift from clients looking to buy the cheap versus looking to buy the best. He quotes, “They’re (the prospects) not looking to hire just any attorney anymore, they are actually looking to hire the best attorney.”
To stand out as the best firm, it is important law firms focus on branding. Charles adds that what makes great branding today is focusing on “being everywhere,” meaning having an online presence and taking advantage of the channels you know your prospects are on. Some actionable steps to brand your firm’s online presence include:
- Enhancing your firm’s brand identity i.e. what makes your firm unique? How is your service different from others?
- Attending webinars/ events.
- Email marketing i.e. newsletters and updates.
- Showcasing your firm’s availability and willingness to help.
- Making sure the payment process is clear and easy for the clients to follow.
While there are many other actionable steps in the funnel Charles Gaudet emphasized that at the end of the day long-term actions should always keep the client’s needs in mind. Three important wants/needs of all legal industry clients are:
- The client wants and needs quick answers.
- The client wants convenience.
- The client wants to have the option to search and find everything from the convenience of their home.
Reduce the Digital Noise…
By focusing on a niche, you can reduce the digital noise and stand out amongst competitors. According to Charles Gaudet, niche targeting is a long-term strategy that is helpful for all law firms, especially the ones that have a limited marketing budget.
Niche targeting also helps externally: It helps clients think of you as reliable if your firm speaks directly to their problems. Building on your firm’s niche means you are speaking directly to a specific audience about a specific problem while giving them specific solutions. It doesn’t get any more targeted than that! And the more targeted, the more valuable the information is to the right audience, making it even more likely that your firm will be considered the go-to for that specific branch.
When a law firm specializes in a practice area, they also face less competition. This helps clients find you as being the best in that practice area. Law firms can find a niche by:
- Interests i.e. if your firm likes to litigate, then specializing in the personal injury would work best.
- Location – i.e. Gambling law in Nevada has a higher demand.
- Market – New markets need specialized areas i.e. the cannabis market, drones/cybersecurity markets.
Niche targeting pushes the idea that your firm is the best and ‘go-to firm’ in the given practice area. Some benefits of niche targeting for law firms include:
- Reducing competition.
- Getting your marketing money’s worth.
- Standing out.
- Securing the clients in that particular field.
- Increasing your firm’s internal productivity.
“Think Like A Consumer”
This is the best advice for law firms, according to Charles Gaudet.
Humans base their decision-making on emotions first. Although many people think they are buying using their rational thoughts, the reality is that emotions intervene. According to a purchasing behavior study, the emotional brain process is 5X faster than the rational thought process.
Besides the product benefits and features, law firms need to be emotionally aligned with the clients. Clients that are typically looking for law firms are already on an emotional high. They need the reassurance of their intangible desires such as wanting comfort, acceptance, power, love, and care.
Therefore, it is important law firms influence the client’s loyalty by pushing positive emotions and being there when the client needs support, answers, and services.
Other important factors influencing the purchase behavior include:
- FOMO (fear of missing out) – clients don’t want to be left out, they will follow what others are doing.
- Social proof – clients look at what others are saying about your firm through reviews, recommendations, and overall ratings.
Your Firm’s Long-Term Solution
Even though every firm is different and has different goals, COVID has accelerated the digitalization of the legal industry by years.
Besides convenience, all law firms have to position themselves to show they are proactive, responsive, and up-to-date.
As the world prepares for a ‘post-COVID’ future, the legal industry is surely never going back to traditional marketing only. Law firms need a strategy to navigate the new wants and needs of their prospects in order to meet them at the most strategic location within the funnel.
Even with the trials and tribulations, you can position your firm ahead of the competition. Curious to know how or where to start? Contact Us Today.