Holiday Marketing in Unprecedented Times for Law Firms
Whew! We made it! Well, almost. In a few weeks, 2020 will draw to a close and we’ll tie a bow on what can only be described as a wild reindeer ride of a year. So, as we enter the holiday season, how do we celebrate and how do we prepare for what we hope is a more normal 2021?
First, let’s congratulate ourselves and our staff for surviving the year, in most cases with professionalism and aplomb. We can never do too much to thank our law firm employees for being adaptable, patient and loyal when riding the ups and downs of 2020. Budget allowing, it’s not a bad idea to offer even modest holiday bonuses to staff this year, especially since some may be grappling with reduced household incomes if family members work in industries that have been especially hard hit by the pandemic.
While it’s been a tough year financially for many families, experts still predict holiday retail sales will be up in 2020 by 1% to 1.5%, amounting to between $1.14 trillion to $1.15 trillion during the November-to-January time frame, according to Deloitte. So, there is some cause for cheer. Unlike some sectors of the economy, the legal field tends to be pretty resilient even when facing economic headwinds.
Taking Care of Clients
As a law firm marketing agency, we at Gladiator always encourage clients to look for new and creative ways to communicate and stay in touch with their clients. This year, that’s more important than ever. Having a strong digital plan and staying close to customers will be really important this holiday season.
Whether you traditionally send holiday cards, email greetings or use another means of reaching out, remember to thank clients for their business and remind them that you always welcome referrals. While you’re at it, encourage them to leave a positive review on Google My Business or on your website and provide them an electronic link to make it effortless.
With stay-at-home orders still in effect in various regions around the country, humans are craving connection now more than ever. Holiday gatherings are bound to be smaller, and some people may be alone. Remember to reach out to clients and make a warm connection, this year more than ever.
Some small law firms or solo practitioners may have an abundance of caseload during the holidays as their staff take vacation days or partners themselves take time off with their families. If you have the bandwidth, the holidays can be a great time to publicize your attorney referral program, offering to handle cases on behalf of other lawyers. Consider sending an eblast highlighting your attorney referral program to others in the legal field in your geographic area.
Giving Back to the Community
The holidays are a great time to give back to your local community, either by sponsoring a food giveaway or contributing funds and volunteers to worthy causes. While social distancing is imperative, there are ways to contribute your time and treasure to local charities in December.
Don’t forget shut-in populations like senior citizens, too. Delivering self-care goody bags to nursing homes and senior community centers can provide a much-needed boost to aging residents who’ve been more isolated than most in 2020. Gift bags can include hand sanitizer, tissues, lotion, cough drops and disposable face masks.
While traditional in-person firm holiday parties may be out this year because of the pandemic, there are lots of creative ways to have virtual holiday fun with co-workers. Consider a Zoom holiday gathering with home-delivered food, virtual bingo, mobile scavenger hunts and prizes for winners. Ugly Christmas sweater competitions and white elephant gift exchanges are also easy to do virtually. After all the stress and anxiety of 2020, it’s important to remember to relax and have fun with work colleagues during the holiday season.
Stocking Up for 2021
If the holidays at your firm mean a lull in activity, then you can use this time to take stock of marketing supplies and purge files. Whether it’s golf balls, T-shirts or coffee mugs with your firm logo, organizing those shelves can provide a fresh and tidy start to 2021. Get out the shredder and purge outdated or unnecessary files to create space in file cabinets. Dust off your law firm marketing plan and re-commit to some of those revenue growth goals. Review professional memberships and local board positions and decide which ones to renew, which to jettison, and which additional ones to go after. Need help updating your law firm marketing plan? Give our Gladiator professionals a call at 888-683-3212. We’d be glad to help!
Quiet time during the holidays is a great time to plan your recruiting for summer law firm interns. Which universities do you want to target? How many internships can you offer? What’s the contact name and number of the school administrators who can help you publicize your internship opportunities on campus? These are the kinds of tasks that never seem to get done when the phone is ringing off the hook and you’re tied up in court. Getting a jump on these tasks can avoid delays later.
As you plan for 2021, this can also be a good time to assess your staff’s skills and determine whether some need additional training or professional development. Is there new software you need to purchase for the firm, and, if so, does the manufacturer provide on-site or virtual training? Are there conferences you’d like your paralegals or office manager to attend? Even though it’s been a crazy year, some of these human resource and employee training opportunities need to be resumed in preparation for the new year.
Five, four, three, two, one … Happy New Year!
2021 will be here soon!! Despite the setbacks, heartbreak, uncertainty and anxiety, we will ring out 2020 on December 31st and leave behind one of the weirdest and most challenging years of our lives. Good riddance! While there’s still a lot of uncertainty facing us in 2021, most of us discovered that we have more resilience and coping ability than we realized, and we’re a strong bunch as a whole. Let’s give thanks and cultivate gratitude and recommit to our firm’s future goals. If we can weather 2020, we can do anything!
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