COVID-19 and The Future of Law Firm Marketing
Does your elder law or estate planning firm typically host live educational workshops for your community?
In this video, we explain exactly what you need to be doing now to continue growing your practice during the COVID-19 panic.
This video was recorded on Tuesday, March 17, 2020.
Video transcript as follows:
Here’s the update we have right now on the COVID-19 and how we can reduce the impact that this is having right now on your practice.
The good news, and I’ve talked about this a little bit in the emails that you’ve been receiving, is that more people are online right now than ever before. Obviously, people are at home, and they’re spending time away from people, so that gives them the ability to spend more time online and interacting digitally with their friends and family.
Estate Planning and Elder Law topics right now are being discussed all the time. People are thinking about: Do I have a plan in place? Does my plan need updated? If there’s a crisis, what’s going to happen? And this is in the news, so right now, your business is at the top of mind, especially for those in the seniors and their adult children.
People are still placing registrations for Live Events right now for whatever reason. So a lot of those have been canceled, obviously, because of the social distancing issues, but some of our clients do host these events that they control, like at their office and smaller facilities. And so they’re still running them and people are still signing up for those workshops. And right now, people are highly motivated to act with what’s going on. So you need to be aware of that.
And then, to show you what I’m talking about, if workshops are still a thing that you want to do I took some screenshots, I took this one yesterday at the top. This is a firm that did an elder law workshop here they received $8.88 cent registrations. That’s some of the best results ever.
This [next example] is a pretty average result [$28.69] and so I wanted to show it to you. You can see where I have circled at the top in the last seven days, March 10 to March 16. And you can see where this particular client of ours at almost $29 apiece, which is still right, just a little bit below the national average for these people to sign up for workshops. People are still coming. I was talking to our team today, I’m like: “With everything that’s going on the news, why would people still be registering for workshops?”
Well, the answer to that seems to be what I received from one of our other clients, I got an email it says this is last week towards the end: “We had 16 out of 26 show up, he signed the entire room, they talked about the coronavirus, they talked about the fact that nursing homes and hospitals are quarantine people. If you go into quarantine, there’s no estate planning be done at that point, it motivated him.”
So 16 people out of 26 showed up and he got all 16 of them.
So it was a very successful event. He was able to help a lot of the communities and families in the community, get their plans in place and schedule those consultations. The people that do show up to these events and that are registering for these events right now are ready to take action immediately. So keep that in mind.
You’re probably going to get more cancellations right now than you would have in the past. And if people do cancel, they’re hot. They’re actually taking the time out of their day to call you and let you know that they’re canceling.
What you need to do, and what you should be talking about with the staff at your firm, is provide anybody that reaches out to you at this time with reassurance, additional options and ask them plenty of questions. You want to confirm that they are in your CRM for follow up once things get back to normal whenever that is.
With that being said, here’s what we’ve been moving a lot of our clients into, that are unable to do workshops, and it’s been unbelievably successful so far. So it’s definitely worth exploring if it’s something that you’re interested in: Recorded workshops.
What is a recorded workshop?
A recorded workshop is a exactly what it sounds like. It is a recorded version of a previous event that you may have hosted or it’s just you sitting behind your desk, talking about the same type of topics and stories that you would have talked about at your event in a summary form. So something that’s 10 to 30, maybe 40 minutes in length. You’re going to sit behind your desk and have somebody record you, and then you’d provide that video to your community as a virtual on demand workshop.
I put a couple screenshots here, some that we’ve been running for people, you can see. “Watch this free video workshop”, and then they can secure their free consultation, they put their name, they put their email address, they put their phone number in there, they click Watch now. It takes them to the next page, your video starts playing, your phone number pops up, and your law firm gets a notification saying that, Mrs. Smith watched your workshop, here’s her phone number and email address. Then your team can reach out to that person, ask them if they have any questions and see if you can help them while these topics are at the top of their mind.
If this is something that you are interested in, moving your live events over to digital events, it’s been working unbelievably well. A lot of people are taking advantage of it because potential clients are online more than ever.
Alternative to Being On Video
Some people don’t want to be on video. What we’ve been able to do for those clients that don’t have a recorded workshop or don’t want to film something, is a direct consultation. If that’s the case, what we would do is we put together a campaign for you and you’d be able to get the potential client’s name, phone number, email address, and someone will be able to schedule a complimentary consultation with you.
It could be a phone consultation; this particular client wanted a phone consultation and only a phone consultation so that’s why that’s there. But it could be any type of consultation.
What You Need to Consider
Some things that I wanted to go over that you need to consider at this time:
-Don’t put your foot on the brake, because this is going to pass and once it does, you need things to continue moving on. Life doesn’t stop because of this.
-Let’s say you stopped doing anything, that’s going to be a cash flow problem at the firm. While everybody’s thinking about this, and people that have not taken action on their estate planning, they need to be doing that right now.
-You’re basically doing a disservice to your community, by not being proactive about this and say: Now is the time.
If this is as bad as some people say it is, you need to be taking these actions so that your family has everything in order if the worst case scenario happens.
Then there are technology concerns with the elderly. One of the things that we get a lot of people asking us are: I want to do a live webinar, can we do a live webinar, we’ll set up a link, we’ll do a live stream workshop. We’ve tested all of that before, it can be done.
But with the older population, you’re going to find that simplicity wins.
By making somebody typically over 65 go and download Zoom or go download, GoToWebinar, click a link at a specific time to access at the program, you’re going to lose a lot of people. You’re also going to get a lot of technology problems. People are going to have complaints like: this didn’t work what is this, are you sending me the wrong link, I don’t understand.
It ends up causing more problems than it should. It should be pretty easy to do, we’re all on this Zoom, we figured it out. For some people, that’s not the case and those people need help too.
What we found is the best marketing and the best end user experience for your clients: They put their name in, your video pops up, they press play and that’s it.
Our Bambiz system also sends the client an email with a link, so they can watch the replay. And it sends your firm a notification, so you know that that person watched the video. So simplicity is going to win.
There might be some adjustments that need to be done at the firm. Be a patient teacher, because there’s going to be situations where maybe you need to use different programs like DocuSign. Maybe the older population, they’re not familiar with DocuSign or digital signing [if allowed in your state] or FaceTime consultations. Being a patient teacher and being able to help them walk through the technology issues, it’s going to make your firm come out shining at the end of the day.
Speed is Key
Here’s one of the things that’s different and I would take notes because again, this is going to be very important if you decide to go with like a direct consultation or an on demand presentation. Speed is key.
I always like to think about things as if I’m the person that’s getting the marketing to me, and I’m sitting on my couch, I’m trapped at home, and I see that there’s an on demand presentation talking about topics that I’m interested in right now. And I’m interested in it so I click it, I put my name in there, I put my phone number, I put my email address in there. I press the button. I know they’re going to be reaching out to me to secure my consultation.
I watched the video, I like the video, but nobody follows up with me for like two or three days, even a day. I’ve moved on in my life. My interest is now focused somewhere else. Even if I like that, if you call me and you say something like: “Hey, thanks for watching our video.” What video are you talking about?
When you have a regular workshop and a live group of people and everybody’s in the room and you have a captive audience, just by you being a likeable person. Some of those people are going to move into the next step, schedule the consultation and become a client of yours. When somebody is watching an on demand presentation, they never left their couch, and you need to be reaching out to them proactively.
As soon as you see the notification they watched, call them.
“Thank you so much for watching it, obviously, you have lots of questions right now, can we go ahead and answer those for you over the phone? What can we do to schedule that consultation so we can learn more about your situation and how we can help you?” That needs to be something that’s implemented at the firm as a very strict follow up process.
If you wait, you lose.
One of the things that we’ve seen that’s been really helpful is firms that set up a dedicated email for all these notifications to go. What do I mean by that? For example, if it was me, maybe I’ve set up an email address like [email protected]. Then that’s what you’re providing to us and we send the notifications to that email address. You have a couple members of your team that are monitoring that new email address for new contacts and you’re reaching out to them as they come in.
Some more things to consider:
-Respect the needs of your potential clients.
-Right now, some people aren’t going to want to meet in groups, or they’re not going to want to have a one on one consultation with you.
-They’re unsure of what the future holds right now, because of the fear that’s going on in the media. And so you want to give them as many options as you possibly can to ease those concerns.
The Most Popular Options
The four options that we’ve really seen that have been the most popular right now have been:
-FaceTime consultations. If an elderly person has an iPhone or an iPad, they’re familiar with FaceTime, because they’re typically using that to interact with their relatives anyways
-Travel to their home. A lot of our clients are even offering, if they didn’t offer it before, the ability to actually travel to other people’s homes and their community to meet with them one on one. [Based on the restrictions in your state]
-1 on 1 in the Office. Let people know that you do still offer a one on one consultation at the office. If they need to be sitting far away from you and they want to be comfortable like that, you’ll respect those wishes from them.
But any of these that you can get somebody to agree to, I would take advantage of. I would definitely utilize FaceTime.
I put a picture here on the slideshow, telehealth has been a huge hit. I know that’s personally what I like to use. When I’m not feeling well, I go on the telehealth I talk with a doctor. If I need a medicine, they’ve prescribed it to me right there over the phone it’s done. So that’s something that you can definitely use and implement with like a FaceTime consultation to people that have iPhones and iPads.
I know I kind of flew through that. But there’s a lot of opportunities here for you. I know that there’s going to be lots of questions and like I said, my whole goal was to talk for about 15 minutes to get about 15 minutes of questions in here.
Q&A Follow Up
Q: So we have suggested keywords to avoid and keywords to use when communicating with registrants.
A: Here’s the thing. Just like with any of the marketing that we’ve ever do, and some of the live workshops that we’re still marketing right now, people ask: Can you put in there this and that about the virus? Or some people have reached out to us in the past and they’ve talked about like comments and how to manage comments that are on the marketing like, should you be marketing a workshop right now with everything that’s going on.
What your goal is, with any type of keywords that you’re going to be using is to continue having like a positive outlook on things. No matter what you’re talking about, only if you’ve lived living in a cave, do you not understand that there’s the coronavirus going on right now. For you to have to say that in your ad, I would not do because I don’t want to be like the fear monger and so I would just start how I told you.
Say something like: “A lot of people have been thinking about what do I do if I don’t have a plan lately?” A lot of people have been thinking about what happens if mom’s in a nursing home right now, and something happens. You’re just asking those questions that they’re already having. So you’re not calling out the coronavirus, but you’re just bringing up topics that are going to relate to them because of what is happening.
Q: How long would you recommend the virtual workshop be?
A: [Live] workshops usually are an hour and 15 minutes. So there’s it’s two pronged. If you have a recorded workshop, you’re actually talking to a group of people, and the person that’s watching the video knows it’s a recorded workshop, you’ll be able to get away with having a longer workshop. Something that is an hour, hour 15 minutes, that’s a recorded version of a real workshop will be fine. If you have something like that you can send it to us or use it, and it will work great.
If you don’t have a recorded workshop in front of a group, you’re not going to want to have anything longer than about 30 to 40 minutes. Ideally, something about 10 minutes to about 30-40 minutes. The goal of your little recorded video is not necessarily to replace your workshop, it’s to get them to like you well enough that they’re going to want to have the consultation with you.
That’s the goal, give them the meat and potatoes, let them know that you’re there to help them. Then your office is going to be reaching out to you to schedule your consultation. “You have a unique situation, we want to talk that over with you.”
If we run ads for upcoming workshops that are going to be canceled, everybody’s been doing that. So just before I jumped on this conversation with you, I got a couple emails from clients that were doing workshops, and now they’re canceled because the governor shut down meetings of more than 10 people. That’s easy to fix. You just let us know if we’re managing it, we turn it off, and then we just switch you over to the recorded workshop with the direct to consultation.
Then what you’ll be able to do is the people that did register for your event, you want to get those people on the phone, apologize to them, they registered for an event during crisis, they are hot like they need you.
So you want to reach out to those people immediately as fast as you can, and see what you can do to get them on that FaceTime, that phone consultation, that one on one consultation, whatever that is. Once those are canceled and you’ve moved those people over, you can start focusing on the recorded workshops, and or the direct consultations.
Q: What camera mic do you use?
A: Doesn’t make a difference. iPhone works 99.9% of the time – iPhone or Android. I’m on a webcam, and what we typically film our videos with is the iPhone. So iPhone 10, iPhone 11 and then that’s it. So it’s pretty easy. When you’re recording these events — I have a lot of you on that are clients of ours, which is awesome — When you do those invitation videos and you’re inviting people to the workshop, the more professional your video looks, the less it relates to the public.
We’ve had some clients have like a major video company come out and they shoot this beautiful trailer that looks like it should be a Hollywood movie. It ends up not performing as well because it’s not relatable to the people that are watching it. So the fact that you’re like a real human being, you’re talking to them, you’re empathizing with them, you’re talking to them like, they’re going to understand it, they’re going to relate to you more, they’re going to be more likely to actually use you for your services and sign up for that consultation.
Q: What is the best method to reach potential clients regarding the webinar?
A: Where they are. And so right now everybody’s online. The best method to reach potential clients is going to be reaching them where they are. They’re online, they’re interacting with their families, because they’re tied up. So that’s where you want to be.
We’ve had the most success with Facebook and Facebook properties, that’s where we put the ad out. I hate to use the word Facebook, but there’s just so many people on it. Facebook ads, not really the thing, it’s the whole process of the right message to the right people at the right time.
We use Facebook as the direct mail piece, the targeted list of people in the data that we have, so that you’re only showing your ads to the people that are qualified.
Q: How much lead time to get folks to show up to the webinar?
A: If it’s an on demand webinar, there’s no lead time. They just put their information in and they click the play button, then they start watching it on demand. If you’re trying to do the regular webinar style, where they actually have to click a link at a particular time to watch the webinar and use GoToWebinar, Zoom or something to access that, I would probably do one a week and see how that goes.
I wouldn’t recommend it [live] at all. I would say you’re going to get 10 times the results if you just do an on demand webinar, and it’s 10 times less work for you.
Q: Topics that address COVID without playing off the fear factor?
A: If you haven’t planned yet, now’s the time to plan. If you don’t know what tomorrow brings you need to have a plan in place, for whatever happens. I know my wife and I’ve even been talking about that. You need to have a plan and if you don’t have one, now’s the time because you never know. So that’s where I would go.
I wouldn’t play off, I wouldn’t even mention the virus because it exists, people know it exists and they’re just going to put two and two together. You want them to connect the dots, you want to put a dot here dot here, have them connect the dots. When they make the connection is their aha moment and they take action with you. So that’s what you want to be creating.
Q: The easiest software to use, I want to show on a webcam and share my screen to show a PowerPoint.
A: Loom is the best. loom.com. When you go to loom.com it’s free and it’s really awesome. We use it internally when we have to share things with our team. You can basically record a PowerPoint, and then it allows you to have a floating head for you in the bottom left corner. Then it automatically uploads it to the cloud and you can download the file super easy. You’d be able to provide that to somebody like us or somebody else and they’d be able to upload that and get that up and running for you really quick. You could literally use Loom have everything up and running the next day.
Q: Do you have any thoughts on how the legal services market might be?
A: I mean, for Elder Law and Estate Planning, I think it’ll be stronger because people have all this in their mind forefront. I think that you guys are in a unique industry, because it’s affecting everybody in the entire world. So by being proactive about this, people that aren’t doing anything right now, they’re going to disappear. If you’re sitting on your hands, you might not be here. And how long this takes. It takes six months, even more so.
Just being proactive, providing value, helping your community, being a resource, and helping as many people as you possibly can, while they’re in crisis mode is what’s going to keep your firm as the go to resource when this settles down.
Q: On demand webinars what you would market?
A: If I was in your shoes right now, I would be doing a lot of things. I’d be doing direct to consults, I’d be doing a recorded webinar, I’d be doing ebook downloads, I’d be doing video probably every single day, I’d be doing lots of things. But if you can only pick one thing, I would do an on demand webinar, that’s what I would do.
Q: What products and services do you offer to help practitioners and how do we sign up?
A: All we do is work with Elder Law and Estate Planning firms. Our specialty is workshop marketing. Most people use us for that, obviously but we always — even before coronavirus — have helped people with ebook downloads, recorded presentations, white papers, and other lead generation resources. We’re targeting the right people, qualified people in your area, to get their contact information so your firm can follow up.
Q: Could you repeat the ideas you just listed to addition to the on demand webinars?
A: Other than on demand webinars, you can do the direct to consultation, you can do ebook downloads, white papers, basically, there’s a million different things that you can provide people that they’re looking for. We’ve had people provide a little one sheet where they can put their passwords in for different online software’s or websites so that if they pass away, somebody has access. They’re just little tools and cheat sheets and that type of thing. Then we get people to download those with our marketing, they provide their name, their phone number, their contact information, and then you follow up with those people. If you have any questions about that sheet that you downloaded, did you have any questions about the book that you downloaded, same type of thing as the recorded presentation, just so you know how things work too.
In the marketing world, there are steps. In the marketing world, they also say things like, ask your wife to marry you on the first date, but that’d be super weird. So you start going on a date, you build that up to the point you get married. Each thing that we do with our Elder Law and Estate Planning clients is somewhere on that ladder. I think workshops are probably about halfway or three fourths of the way up that ladder already.
Something like an ebook or a white paper is going to be very minimal commitment. And then as you move up the process, a recorded presentation would be less than a regular workshop. A direct to consultation would be higher than the workshop. Then obviously, if you’re going to pay you or something like that, that even higher.
Each one of those things typically costs more in ad [spend] for conversion. We can go into more into that but that would be another whole presentation.
Q: You mentioned one area that is a must to do every day in marketing ideas.
A: Following up with people, that would be the most important thing. Anything that we’re talking about here, the follow up is key and speed is going to be your friend. If people are requesting your information and providing you their contact information, you need to call with them that same day, that same hour, that same minute. If that comes through, be on the phone with then because you are literally the most important thing on their mind at that moment.
Q: Can we record a zoom meeting and send it to you for our workshop?
A: Yes, you can. You can use a Zoom meeting and send it to us and that can be a workshop. Like I said, the video itself is really not that important. The marketing is important, and then the follow up is important. So we want to market the right message to the right people so that they’re interested in your topics and then once we capture their contact information, your video that’s kind of like the gated piece of content that needs to be good enough that they like you.
Once they, hopefully, like you and it has enough content in there that they want to move on to the follow up, your team is going to reach out to them, and then they’ll set up the consultation. So the video itself, if it’s blurry, that’s fine, if you feel like it could be better, that’s fine. We can always change the video, the video can always be edited, but the most important thing is just to do something.
If it’s a 10 minute video or a recorded video, or whatever that is, and just upload that to YouTube or provide us a cloud link like Dropbox or Google Drive, and we’ll do the rest and get that going for you.
If anything else is needed or you’d like to get started with recorded workshops, reach out to us at [email protected] or (305) 814-9272. Thanks again.
At Bambiz, we work with elder law and estate planning firms and have extensive experience in developing social media marketing strategies unique to your firm, location, and potential client base.
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