COVID-19: Prepare Your Bankruptcy Practice for a Recession
Written by Leigh Ebrom
Just a month ago, consumer confidence in the economy was relatively high, and people were living their normal lives. Now, we’re living in an age of immense uncertainty and constant market volatility, and many people are facing significant lost income. According to Professor Ed Altman of NYU, the likelihood of high-yield businesses filing for bankruptcy doubled in a matter of weeks.
As a bankruptcy attorney, you need to understand how the coronavirus will impact your business, prepare for an influx of calls, and implement systems that can build trust and rapport with your ideal clients. In this article, the legal marketing experts at LaFleur explain how your bankruptcy firm can prepare for this quickly evolving reality.
We’re Entering a Recession (Or We’re Already in One)
According to many economists, the United States’ economy has already entered a recession or is on the brink. Since February, the financial markets have been remarkably volatile thanks to the one-two punch of the novel coronavirus and a pricing war in the oil industry. In the week ending March 21, a record-breaking 3.3 million people filed unemployment claims. We are adjusting to this new “lockdown economy,” and none of us are sure what the future holds.
According to JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs, the economy may retract somewhere between 14–24% in the second quarter of 2020. Some experts believe we’ll see a rebound by Q3 or Q4 due to pent up consumer demand after months of social distancing. However, that prediction assumes we will have COVID-19 under control by that time. Some scientists anticipate social distancing measures will last up to a year. It took us roughly 18 months to recover from the last recession.
In short, we’re entering uncharted economic territory. While some businesses and individuals will manage, others will inevitably need to file for bankruptcy.
Digital Marketing Can Reach and Educate Vulnerable Individuals and Businesses
Right now, people are stuck at home and feeling relatively helpless. As a bankruptcy and debt relief lawyer, you can empower and educate them about their options. You also have an unprecedented opportunity to reach potential clients online since people are turning to their computers and devices for information, entertainment, and social connection during the quarantine.
If you’re considering ramping up digital marketing for your bankruptcy practice, you should take a comprehensive approach that uses:
- Pay-per-click advertising and display ads
- Social media ads and organic posting
- Blogs, infographics, and ebook offerings
- Email newsletters and drip campaigns
- Educational and marketing videos
However, because it takes time to develop authority and reach the first page for a keyword, paid advertising is essential to your campaigns. With the right keywords and targeting, you may be able to reach your most vulnerable community members and offer them the help and encouragement they need.
Why Is PPC Essential to Your Bankruptcy Marketing Campaigns?
At LaFleur, we understand the power of high-quality content, like blogs. We’ve seen how they can provide a remarkable return on investment; a high-performing blog can consistently attract your ideal clients for years.
For example, we work with a personal injury firm that published a blog more than two years ago about the timing of settlements. The blog has remained on Google’s first page for multiple keywords during most of that time, and it attracts thousands of readers each month. It’s evergreen content that has become exponentially valuable to our client, and the blog requires little to no ongoing maintenance.
However, that blog did not magically appear on the front page of multiple Google searches. It took time for the search algorithms to identify it and rank it appropriately. In most cases, it takes weeks or months for a blog to organically rank for a keyword. And in an economic crisis, neither you nor your potential clients can afford to wait.
While PPC may not have the year-over-year impact of a blog, a well-built PPC campaign can deliver almost instantaneous results. However, you can burn through a PPC budget quickly if you’re not careful. At LaFleur, our paid advertising team understands the art of building effective campaigns that maximize your budget. Then, we use these ads to draw leads to your website, where they can discover your firm’s other content and resources.
RELATED: Remote Workplace Checklist
Is Your Office Prepared to Operate Remotely During a Bankruptcy Boom?
The federal government recommends social distancing remain in place at least until the end of April, but the quarantine may last longer. At this time, we don’t know when COVID-19 diagnoses will stabilize or decrease. Therefore, it’s essential that you start building systems to encourage remote work and client interactions now.
Thankfully, the majority of bankruptcy lawyers are already filing their clients’ forms electronically. However, you should consider whether your team can manage an influx of clients while working from home.
For example, you may be accustomed to meeting with clients in person to exchange information and sign documents. Now, you’re going to need to transition to systems that securely transfer encrypted data between you and your clients. We’d suggest you consult with experienced IT professionals to ensure that you protect your clients’ sensitive data.
LaFleur: Forward-Looking Marketing for Law Firms
At LaFleur, we’ve been helping law firms grow and thrive since we opened our doors. If you have questions about how you can serve your community and continue to grow your bankruptcy firm’s business, we’d love to hear from you. Our team will get to know your priorities and build a practical, forward-looking plan within your budget.
Guzman, Z. (2020, March 24). The coronavirus just doubled the risk of mass bankruptcies. Yahoo! Finance. Retrieved from https://finance.yahoo.com/news/coronavirus-just-doubled-the-risk-of-mass-bankruptcies-123827521.html
Stewart, E. (2020, March 26). The coronavirus recession is already here. Vox. Retrieved from https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2020/3/21/21188541/coronavirus-news-recession-economy-unemployment-stock-market-jobs-gdp