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What Estate and Elder Law Attorneys Must Do Now

Posted On: June 8, 2020

By: Jennifer Goddard

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Written by: Jennifer Goddard

Jennifer Goddard is CEO and co-founder of IMS. She has been at the helm of the agency since its start-up in 1995. Jennifer specializes in helping estate planning and elder lawyers grow 7-figure firms with digital marketing. Jennifer has a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia and a master's degree in business administration from Michigan State University.
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Control your own future

It’s a relatively safe bet that when you were planning for 2020, you didn’t have a contingency option for “Global Pandemic.”

And yet … here we are.

While the initial panic may have subsided, it does look like we will be living with COVID-19 … and it’s emotional and economic fall-out … for quite some time.

So, what does that mean for you as an estate planning or elder law attorney and business owner?

Who's Winning Now ... and Why

Here’s what I have seen in law firm marketing over the past six months, working with hundreds of attorneys across the country:

Those who had their digital marketing game dialed-in and working have not missed a beat.
In fact, they are busier than ever, with some of the best revenue months of their careers.

Those who relied on workshops and referrals? Not so much. They are struggling, laying off staff and anxiously awaiting “re-opening” of their communities so they can get back to “normal.”

Those Who Do Not Learn from History are Destined to Repeat It

Even as communities are “re-opening” and easing restrictions on large gatherings, there is no “normal” to go back to. If you were thinking that you would just call the caterer and start mailing out workshop invitations to market your law firm again, I urge you to think again.

Nothing has really changed about COVID-19. “Re-opening” is happening only because economic lock-down is not sustainable and we believe (rightly or wrongly) that easing restrictions will not overwhelm our health care system now that we are better prepared. It does not mean that our elderly population is no longer at high-risk – those over age 60 (aka, your “target market”) are still the ones most likely to die from infection.

We are still far from winning against this beast.

The Truth About the Buffalo

So, what does that mean for ramping up workshops again?

First, good luck with that. Most people over age 60 are not going anywhere … and they certainly are not taking needless risks to attend what amounts to a live, in-person infomercial for legal services. And younger people, who have less risk? Well, just in case you haven’t noticed, younger people stopped attending these types of workshops a few decades ago – they are not tempted by free consultations or steak dinners because they are vegans who use the internet.

Second, even if you can assemble a group for your live workshop … should you? Law firm marketing that encourages at-risk individuals to take needless risks for your own pecuniary gain is fool-hardy at best and both unethical and immoral at worst.

So, we can take live workshops off the legal marketing table for the foreseeable future.

How can you ethically market your law firm, help people understand their options and solve some of life’s biggest problems … now?

It’s time to pivot.

The buffalo are not coming back and … what if they did? Is it still a viable plan to hunt buffalo on the plains to feed, clothe and shelter today’s population?

Of course not. Live workshops are suffering the same fate as the buffalo … they’re just no longer a viable plan for today’s population.

It’s time … right now … to get your digital marketing house in order. No more excuses. No more tepid efforts to “dip your toe in the water.”

You either figure this out now, or you go the way of the buffalo.

It’s that simple.

Here’s what you need to do to get digital marketing working and build a bullet-proof law firm that is ready for whatever comes next:  Arm yourself with the agility, technology and strategies to win, even in a global pandemic.

The Five Law Firm Marketing Essentials

We call this The Essential Solution®, and it’s about getting a solid online foundation of visibility, authority, trust and conversions. In other words, get found online, be heard and trusted, and convert visitors into clients.

  1. A great website. Not just a beautiful website, but a great website that’s built on a modern platform, with modern code, professionally designed and maintained. A website that doesn’t look like an online brochure, or a kindergartner’s first attempt. A website that’s built around a strategy of attraction, pre-selling, and conversion.
  2. Local SEO (search engine optimization)/Estate Planning & Elder Law SEO. Implement and manage the fundamentals of local SEO so you show up when people in your market are searching for your service. That’s the slam-dunk of digital marketing … the one-yard-line, if you will. It’s not the end-all and be-all, but you must get this right! PS – this includes a system for getting lots of great online reviews!
  3. A consistent, relevant, and optimized blog. Content is still King with Google and fresh, relevant content, optimized for the search engine is a linchpin of digital marketing success.
  4. Email marketing. Email marketing to your warm market delivers the un-contested best return on your marketing investment. If you’re serious about driving revenue with digital marketing, get your email marketing game dialed-in now.
  5. Marketing automation and lead flow management. Everyone focuses on estate planning & elder law lead generation, and while that’s a must-have for digital marketing success, it’s not enough. You need a strong marketing automation and lead-flow management system to turn leads into new clients.

The Secret Sauce

You may have already tried your hand at some or all five of these legal marketing essentials … with varying degrees of frustration and results.

The missing ingredient?

If you’ve been frustrated or under-whelmed with your digital law firm marketing solution, odds are you’ve had a vendor relationship with your law firm marketing provider. They probably did exactly what you asked them to (since you are clearly the expert in digital marketing?), gave you some tools and a couple of tutorials and walked away.

What if you had expert help?

What if instead of hiring someone to take orders, you chose to work with a coach … a mentor and guide? The secret sauce in making all of this work is a partnership, where you take full responsibility for yourself and your law firm’s success … but you work with someone who can guide, coach and train you and your staff to accelerate your outcome and make it all work!

No judgment. It’s not a weakness to seek expert help and guidance, it’s just plain smart. This is why people should stay away from Legal Zoom and work with you – how many snarls have you had to fix that were created by inexperienced people wielding powerful legal instruments they simply did not understand?

When you work with an expert, you get insider-advice and the benefit of someone else’s experience. In other words, you’re no longer on your own to figure things out through the school of hard knocks with trial-and-error. Experience is a great teacher, but she’s really slow and ridiculously expensive!

Here’s What I Have for You

My team and I set aside time to speak with attorneys and map out a revenue strategy to achieve their goals. We call this a break-through discovery call, and it takes about 45 minutes to an hour. During these sessions we learn more about you, your law firm, your goals and what you see as your biggest challenges right now. Then we help map out a step-by-step strategy to overcome your challenges and exceed your goals. You’ll walk away from this session with massive value, knowing exactly what you need to do next … even during a global pandemic!

The cost for these sessions?

We don’t charge for these discovery calls, but we do ask that you agree to a few pre-requisites. First, come with a coach-able mindset. Be honest with us, just as you would be in a doctor’s office. We can’t help if you hold back the truth. Second, this session is for estate planning and elder law attorneys who are committed to serving more clients, growing revenue, and becoming self-reliant and bullet-proof. No buffalo-hunters!

If that’s you, then book your break-through call now: imsrocks.com/apply

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Disclaimer: Growing a small law firm to six or seven figures (or more) is not easy. The journey is both challenging and exhilarating. At every step you may be tempted to quit. Those who succeed are committed, coach-able and resourceful. If that’s you, let’s talk.