4 strategies to survive as an attorney

If you’d rather not hear about how to boost business during a global pandemic, we don’t blame you. File this article under “read later,” close your laptop, make a coffee, get a book, and go sit on the porch. But…come back soon. Why? Because quarantine isn’t going to last just a week, and eventually you’re going to need to start hustling again.

While the priority of the moment is self-care and caring for others, I’ll leave it to the World Health Organization to tell you how best to do that. But once you’re set up to care for your health and that of your loved ones, it is essential that you also think about your firm’s wellness. After all, at a certain point, professional health overlaps with personal health; taking preventative measures to care for both will help you come out this in the best shape possible.

There are four things you should be doing as soon as you’ve got your immediate needs covered:

1. Take care of your team members

Now that you’ve sent those employees home who are able to work remotely, provided them the time they need to prepare them self and their family for weeks of quarantine, and done your utmost to keep everyone on payroll, it’s time to show some real leadership.

  • Communicate decisively. Employees will look up to you for guidance in these times. Provide information from credible sources such as the CDC or WHO. Issue transparent, easy-to-understand information about employee health coverage and employee assistance programs. Send weekly updates on self-care, working from home, travel policies and staying safe.
  • Relax. Yes, you, personally but your policies and guidelines, too. The pandemic is bringing unexpected changes to all of our lives. Roll with them. If an employee needs flexible hours to attend to childcare, say yes; if Kevin from HR calls in sick, cut him slack. Your generosity now will pay for itself later.
  • Mitigate risk. You have a moral obligation to shield your employees from risk. Cancel all work-related travel. If your office is still open, load it with hand sanitizers, Clorox wipes, and disinfectants. Eliminate penalties for call outs and sick leaves. Get some Glo Germ and have a hand washing contest…

2. Plan for growth.

You’re ok. Your employees are ok. Now’s the time to research those business growth strategies you’ve kept on the back burner since, well, forever. Can you answer the following questions? If not, here’s your homework for the month:

  • Have you saturated your target market? What strategies can you craft to gain deeper market penetration?
  • How will you nurture market development over the next five years? Have you built a plan to capture adjacent markets? Are you prepared to go online?
  • Can you define your firm’s unique value in clear, unambiguous terms? What plans are in place for development or innovation?

3. Develop better systems.

Even dark, deadly virus clouds carry a silver lining. The unprecedented shutdown of the global economy is also an unprecedented opportunity to learn. In these times, work with your team to address the following:

  • What services are you paying for that you don’t really need? This might include software you can do without, subscriptions you don’t miss, and even time expenditures that bring no value (read: unnecessary meetings).
  • The last point above bears repeating. Use this moment to determine where you are wasting time. Ask yourself and your team if everything you are doing is actually required to sustain your firm. (And maybe even ask yourself the same about, well, yourself).

4. Become marketing pros.

For many law firms, online marketing is a bit of a gray area. The pandemic has created new challenges and new opportunities for digital marketing. The pros are that everyone—literally everyone—is sitting in front of their computer all day, every day. The cons are that every business is jumping on the digital marketing bandwagon, so, without a real strategy, chances are your marketing message is going to fall silent into the sea of other marketing messages. How can your firm capitalize?

  • Pro tip: For more on not only surviving, but thriving in the present moment, join our free Facebook group, Legal Marketing F.L.O.W. There, you can cut through the noise and join a conversation with other leaders in the field about how best to navigate this abrupt shift from business as usual.
  • Free daily Masterclass to help your firm market itself, including how to optimize and leverage your LinkedIn profile, how to use Zoom to host virtual workshops and webinars, how to connect with your clients on a personal level, and—most importantly—how to build and maintain marketing momentum.

During the last recession, some of the most successful companies in the world were born: Uber, AirBNB, Slack, Pinterest, What’s App, Square, Venmo…

During this recession—and we hope it’s a short-lived one—your firm could begin to implement effective growth strategies and set itself for long-term, sustainable success. Start by joining Legal Marketing F.L.O.W. and take advantage of a free marketing program designed specifically for small law firms and attorney solopreneurs. Click the button below to learn more about the group and join today!

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