It’s impossible to deny the impact of the pandemic on the legal industry. While lawyers have long persevered through difficult circumstances, COVID-19 delivers a whole new bundle of concerns.
The initial lockdown put in-person consultations on hold while bringing additional confusion to already complex legal processes. After the economy opened up, clients were less willing to take on legal pursuits not deemed absolutely essential. This reality is reflected in data from Clio, which reveals a significant drop in monthly billing volume as compared to pre-pandemic numbers.
While harmful in all practice areas, COVID has proven especially worrisome for immigration law firms. Many proceedings were postponed at the start of quarantine, with some immigration courts only recently resuming non-detained cases. Now, clients who might ordinarily seek advice on matters such as naturalization are less willing to invest in the “luxury” of legal guidance.
Meanwhile, select immigration cases have taken on a new sense of urgency — due in part to deteriorating conditions in detention centers. Deportations, although briefly halted, later resumed, leaving clients feeling panicked.
In the midst of all this, immigration attorney marketing may be more confusing than ever. How do you attract immigration lawyer leads and produce conversions when people fear for their safety?
These concerns are understandable, but now isn’t the time to lose hope. After suffering an initial reduction, page views for immigration law resources saw a significant rebound on our sites. By tweaking your approach to immigration law firm marketing, you can inspire confidence among prospects who may need it now more than ever. Keep these strategies in mind as you connect with immigration leads:
Emphasize Remote Opportunities
From attending consultations to submitting briefs, a variety of immigration essentials can be handled remotely. Many clients are simply unaware of the extent to which the legal process can be pursued online. Any marketing campaigns that take place during the pandemic should highlight exactly where digital services come into play.
Keep in mind that many clients find virtual offerings difficult to navigate. This can be especially troublesome for those with limited access to technology. Virtual consultations are also difficult for those who aren’t fluent in English. Use marketing efforts to let them know how you’ve addressed their technological concerns. All prospects should feel confident that they can take advantage of your firm’s online offerings.
Highlight In-Person Accommodations
Certain legal affairs may still need to be conducted in person. As such, clients must know whether they’re expected to attend, and if so, how they can prepare accordingly.
Marketing efforts should reassure clients that their safety is paramount through every step of the legal process. Don’t forget details about efforts to prevent the spread at your firm as soon as it returns to brick-and-mortar status.
Amp Up Content and Video Marketing
Right now, the most effective marketing solutions provide accurate information and plenty of empathy. Content marketing, in particular, can be called upon to establish your firm as an authority on immigration law.
Use this opportunity to experiment with video marketing. Videos should provide substantive answers to top client questions while also conveying much-needed compassion.
In addition to developing video guides for YouTube, share them in emails or on social media. Live Q&As on Instagram and Facebook may also grant followers the insight they crave. The American Bar Association recommends hosting weekly virtual events such as webinars.
Update Marketing Materials Regularly
As the COVID situation evolves, be prepared to make continual updates to ensure that prospects understand exactly what they can and cannot accomplish with your help. Otherwise, they may find it frustrating to keep abreast of delays and procedural changes for everything from issuing application receipts to Requests for Evidence.
Email marketing will also prove helpful for keeping prospects in the loop. Social media can provide basic updates, but in-depth information is best left to long-form content.
Harness the Power of Client Reviews and Testimonials
New clients may not be plentiful, but you can still position your firm for future success. Use this time to build a strong online reputation with help from client reviews and testimonials.
Today’s prospects place great importance on client feedback when researching law firms, as evidenced by Martindale-Avvo’s Understanding the Legal Consumer report. Respondents cite reviews as the third most common research tactic after searching on Google and asking personal contacts for recommendations. What’s more, nearly one-third of respondents admit that online reviews play a crucial role in final decisions on attorneys.
To encourage reviews, let past immigration clients know that you value their insight. Keep in mind that some prospects will focus primarily on feedback from those who have worked with you during the COVID era. These tailored reviews can reassure potential clients that their safety will be prioritized — and that they’ll benefit from your current virtual offerings.
Consider Your Tone
Sensitivity and compassion have never been more important in immigration law firm marketing. Today’s clients feel understandably panicked, not only about their immigration status, but also about their health, safety, and economic prospects. They need to know that you understand their fears and will make every effort to help.
By striking the right tone now, you can build the loyalty needed to gain clients both during the turmoil of COVID and far into the future. Don’t ignore today’s valuable marketing opportunities — this could be the lifeline your firm needs.
If you’d like additional ideas on how to market your firm during COVID, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team at Martindale-Avvo. From real-time lead generation to intake management, we offer a variety of solutions to help you attract and retain clients during these trying times. Reach out today to learn more.