How The Coronavirus is Affecting Law Firms OnlinePosted by Brian Gomez on March 22, 2020
When it became clear that Covid-19 was going to have a massive impact on our world, every business owner had the same thought; How’s this going to impact my business?
My clients are exclusively law firms and I started going through every imaginable scenario trying to think of how this would impact them. Will courtrooms close everywhere? Will people need lawyers in the coming months? Heck, will humanity even make it to 2021? (Kidding … sort of haha).
As a lawyer and business owner, I’m sure you can relate to these worries considering the unprecedented impact this virus is having.
While I am not going to pretend to have all the answers, I want to share with you some data and information that helped me put my worries in perspective.
Analyzing The Statistical Impact Of Coronavirus On Law Firms Online
For starters, I went through every client’s analytics for the last two weeks (March 6-20), the timeframe where the panic has really began to hit us here in the states.
What I found was that the vast majority of our clients had increased organic traffic and leads over this period compared to the same time last year across all of our primary practice areas (personal injury, criminal and family law).
While that was comforting, I was also skeptical, thinking; what if this is simply due to improved SEO on our part (pats self on back)’?
So I dug a little deeper.
I looked at every metric I could get my hands on and tried to find any sort of evidence that I could that we might see some of the drop in legal that other industries are seeing and still … all the key metrics I could find showed no drop-off during the past few weeks. Impressions, conversion rate, conversion volume, organic conversions, organic conversion rates, social media traffic, etc.
There was no discernible drop off in any of those areas.
When I looked at Google Trends, it appears to support the thesis that how consumers look for and hire lawyers is not being adversely affected:
Here’s the Google Trend Chart for “Coronavirus” over the same period (I couldn’t put coronavirus on the same graph because the traffic disparity is so gigantic that it reduces all the lawyer terms to a flatline in comparison):
These charts illustrate pretty clearly that there’s no discernible correlation between the spike in coronavirus searches and decrease in lawyer searches in family, personal injury and criminal law.
What Does This Mean For Your Law Firm?
While once again I want to re-iterate that I don’t know what the future holds, one thing is clear up to this point; people are still searching for lawyers in the same manner and frequency as they ever have despite this pandemic that has everyone scared out of their minds. All the data I’ve seen anecdotally and at a macro level supports this. Granted, that can change as can other factors (such as courthouses closing) but it’s true right now.
From my vantage point, which I would like to think is rooted in sound logic supported by data (with perhaps a sprinkle of optimism here or there), within that fear plaguing most of the business world right now lies a perhaps generational opportunity to make up ground on your competition while many of them are cutting stuff, reducing their advertising and locking themselves in their metaphorical bunkers.
Doing so sends the right message to your existing clients and to your potential clients:
We aren’t going anywhere.
While others waver, we are steadfast.
If you look at lawyer ads, billboards and landing pages all over the country you hear values like this eschewed so often that they are meaningless.
However there is a real opportunity here to demonstrate them in a real way, that will build real, lasting confidence in the minds of your clients and your potential clients and allow you to make up ground on competing firms who are otherwise receding.
So do what you think is best when it comes to operating your business. I certainly understand how tightening budgets, reducing staff, lowering ad spend, etc. would appear to be a prudent decision in light of the global crisis we are all facing.
Here at Elite Legal Marketing, we will not be hoarding toilet paper, hand sanitizer, reducing head count or slowing down in any way. We are very fortunate to work mostly remotely and remain (operationally) as productive as ever. As we speak, we are in the process of hiring new staff, investing heavily in our operations and our own marketing with no plans to stop.
We are doubling down.
We plan on being around and dominating the legal marketing space for our clients and for ourselves until the zombies kick in our door.
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