While we all have to do our part by staying apart physically, online networking and content marketing are tools that every professional and company should use to market themselves (in an appropriate way) and their company. The worst thing you can do is to do nothing right now. We will all be relying on social media more than ever before in the foreseeable future, so it would be wise to embrace it now.
The most important question you should ask yourself right now is “how can we support our clients and our profession during this time”? Let that be your guiding light.
Here are some ways you can build relationships during the era of social distancing and quarantining. They just require a more human and online touch.
- Deepen relationships – this is the time to pick up the phone and ask your clients how they are doing. Get personal with them. This is not business as usual. Don’t rely on email right now and act like the world isn’t upside down. Anticipate client needs and offer to assist them in any way you can.
- Learn how to use Zoom right away – it is crucial that you can easily adapt to videoconference meetings – it’s a great way to maintain relationships.
- Showcase the human side of your firm on social media – whether it is community service activities, pro bono work or donation drives – highlight how your firm and people are helping others in a great time of need.
- Turn off pre-scheduled posts and reminders – put your regular content calendar on hold.
- Don’t post content that is self-congratulatory or launches a new service/product. I would hold off on posting lateral partner arrivals unless their practice ties into COVID-19.
- Provide content of value – client alerts, blog posts, videos, podcasts, online resources and webinars. Your objective with social media/content is to helpful, period. Any materials you produce should address clients’ pain points both now and in a post-COVID-19 world.
- Don’t cancel upcoming events – instead turn previously scheduled in-person events into virtual gatherings. Instead of asking for sponsorship money back, offer to take a lead role in converting a conference into a virtual experience.
- Host virtual coffee breaks and happy hours (both internally and externally).
- Use social media (especially LinkedIn) to build and strengthen relationships – commit to posting/sharing an update twice a week and to expand your LinkedIn connections by 25 percent.
- Use hashtags and more importantly, the right hashtags, with every social media post.
I hope these ideas have inspired you in some way – this is a great time to focus on all of the things you wish you had the time to do in the daily hustle and bustle of life before COVID-19. Think of this time as a gift and opportunity, and please also do whatever you can to abide by social distancing guidelines and give back to your community. Stay safe.