Should You Stop Your Law Firm Marketing During a
Like it or not, the United States is headed for a recession. It’s no longer a question of if, but when.
We may already be in it and we just don’t know it yet. The scary thing, though, is that it’s not just us. Most of the rest of the world is slowly inching towards it, too.
We at Revel believe that idly bracing for the inevitable is not an excellent strategy, no. That’s why our goal today is to consider ways on how law firms and lawyers can properly react to the probability of a recession.
The first and most important question you should ask is this: should you stop your law firm marketing or advertising during a recession?
A safe answer would be “it depends”. Every organization or individual’s circumstances are different.
Good strategies, however, cannot be built on something as uncertain as “it depends”. So, instead, we’ll tell you this: No, you shouldn’t. And for this blog, we are going to tell you why.
But before that, let’s try to clear something up first.
Is Law Recession-Proof?
There are very few industries that are recession-proof and, technically, the legal profession is one of them.
This is not absolute, however. A better, rephrased answer would be that most law firms may be recession-proof, but only some individual lawyers are like so.
Where you fall into would depend on your practice or niche. As the country goes deeper into a recession, you will definitely see some budget-tightening from both current and potential clients.
Some may decide to withhold pursuing certain legal actions because of this (such as delaying their estate planning to save on billable hours). Others may end up resorting to certain stop-gap measures which may cause you to lose that business or client (such as selling their business or company).
One thing we can be sure of is that if someone slips and falls while a recession is going on, no amount of financial stress can stop nor dissuade that person from pursuing legal action.
It’s instances like these that make having a steady marketing budget and strategy during a recession even more important.
Allow us to explain.
A Recession Can Be Your Best Time to Invest
Marketing is essentially an investment where your expected returns are to have more paying, valuable clients.
Investors, like Warren Buffett, are wont to say that the best time to invest is during a recession. Why is this so? It’s simply because prices are lower during a recession (that, and other things, of course).
Now, considering that history tells us that the economy is bound to pick up after a recession, it then follows that investing during a recession can net you great returns when things normalize.
This same line of reasoning applies to legal marketing during a recession.
By focusing on maintaining, if not growing, your law firm marketing during a recession, you are basically capturing the attention of every potential client in your market.
When things go back to normal, those potential clients will immediately think of you the moment they decide that they now have the financial freedom to pursue certain legal actions that they’ve been holding back because of the recession.
This, of course, is a very simplistic example. Still, the basic idea stands: if others are cutting back on marketing, this gives you an opportunity to swoop in and become visible to your market’s subconscious over your competitors.
Be warned, however, that as with any investment, the higher the risk, the higher the reward. In instances like this, the risk is aligned more to us not knowing how long a recession will last.
It’s a long-term battle, for sure, so don’t expect immediate results or returns.
Thankfully, paying clients is not the only thing you can expect when you don’t cut your law firm marketing during a recession.
There are other benefits, too. Such as…
When the big tech and e-commerce giants began laying off employees, people immediately assumed that those companies were in danger. This assumption not only affected the public’s confidence in those companies, but it also clearly gave them bad press.
Sure, a business-minded person will know that it was a tough business decision that they had to make, but most of the public doesn’t know that.
Can you say the same to your potential legal clients?
If you decide to continue investing in your marketing during a recession, potential clients may see you as a strong and established law firm that is unfazed by hard times.
It’s less about you being immune to it and more about you being tough enough and capable to brazen through it.
It can even have a greater effect if you’re a small law firm or a solo practitioner.
Being able to power through a recession as one of the smaller players may show potential clients that you know how to adjust and reposition yourself when economic circumstances change. Simply, it means that you are a smart and competent lawyer who can think on their feet and adapt to any situation.
Smart lawyers are a dime a dozen, but this skill of knowing how to handle a recession can be the separating factor that can help you stand out.
Speaking of which…
When your competitors cut back on their marketing, that is the best time for you to push with yours.
Think of it in terms of billboards. When one lawyer has his or her removed and you decide to put up yours, people will see you and not him or her.
So the next time they get into a legal situation, they will remember you and not the others.
But marketing during a recession is more than just billboards. It requires careful strategy and even more careful execution.
Recessions are a make or break situation and the last thing we would want to do is to go on a marketing spending spree.
This is why, for our next piece, we will give you some tips on what marketing strategies are best to plan around and execute during a recession.
For now, all you need to do is consider the fact that managing your law firm’s marketing budget during a downturn is a viable strategy that can be better than simply cutting it back.
Once you have that mindset in place, then we can talk about the options and strategies that you can adopt to help you and your law firm brace for a recession.
When times are tough, your knee-jerk reaction may be to cut down on everything that you think can or should be cut down so that you can afford yourself some breathing space.
But the thing is, something as crucial as a recession shouldn’t trap you into that thinking.
Success is sometimes best measured by going against a traditional train of thought and being contrarian to both the times and your instincts.
Do you want to learn how to do that? Do you want to remain on the radar of potential clients and more?
Reach out to us today and let’s talk. It’ll only take 30 minutes.
With the recession looming, this may well be one of the best decisions you will ever make.
We hope to hear from you!