At the beginning of lockdown, I wrote a blog about how we would continue to promote our firm during these uncertain times. To be honest, I thought lockdown would last a matter of weeks. Here we are almost four months on, and so much has changed in the way we can now do our business development and marketing activity.
I knew that we needed a Plan B and that everything had to be digital. I’m not a digital marketeer so it was a case of learning new skills – very quickly! Fortunately, we have been doing a fair bit of digital marketing over the years, so I wasn’t going into this as a total novice.
A social media campaign was planned almost immediately, with each department instructed as and when to write articles in order to promote all areas of law that we specialise in. The social media refresher workshop I organised in February has certainly paid off! Our solicitors have been posting, liking and sharing away on LinkedIn. All this activity has no doubt lead to more engagement with people in the region and around the UK. Looking at the analytics on our social media accounts, and seeing that all important data looking more and more positive each month, is confirmation that we are doing something right.
We started recording our WhatsTheLawPod Podcasts remotely in May, with the help of The Digital Gene and we are now launching two a month, some with guest speakers from businesses around the region. The number of people downloading our podcasts has increased by about 50% during lockdown. Again, a sign of the times! Have a listen to our Podcasts here.
Jacksons is well known for its TS18 and Secret Tower breakfast networking events and seminars. With everyone in lockdown I thought about how we were going to keep in touch with our clients and contacts. We soon got our head around how we could do this virtually and launched our online events on Zoom. We now have our breakfast events, with guest speakers, in the diary and our commercial property Life Cycle of a Lease seminars planned from now until the end of the year. There is even the opportunity to do some networking at our breakfast events before talks start. We intend to carry on hosting our events in this way until it is safe to bring everyone back in the same room. We do hope that won’t be too far in the future! Have a look at our events page here.
In June, we organised a virtual boardroom lunch with some of the key business leaders in our part of the region, including Ben Houchen, Mayor of Tees Valley who was our guest speaker. It was an interesting morning delivering lunch to our guests who were working at home in Yarm, Middlesbrough, Hartlepool, Wynyard and Ingleby Barwick. It worked brilliantly; great lunch, great company and great conversation.
We are organising an afternoon tea event when we will be raising funds for Tees Valley Charity, High Tide Foundation. There will be a delicious afternoon tea provided by Tees Valley Caterer, M Brown Catering, along with a game of Bob’s bingo, talks by David Beattie from Rountons Coffee and author Fiona Erskine – find out more details and how to book your ticket here.
Monitoring the data on google analytics, and looking at the volume of traffic visiting our website, has always been something I have enjoyed doing. However, it has been interesting to see just how much more people are visiting our website. The increase is astonishing. I guess we have all got a bit more time to spend online as we no longer have that commute to work and car journey to events.
I had been thinking for a while about looking into an on-line chat function on our website and finally took the bull by the horns and got in touch with Chat Heroes to set it all up for us. This is working really well and we are seeing a number of new clients contacting us in this way.
We launched a three month digital advertising campaign with Tees Business in June and are sponsoring one of the categories in the Tees Tech Awards that they are organising in August. This is very exciting and a great way to recognise the tech talent in the region.
In the next week we will be launching our monthly newsletter, with articles to help businesses with their all-important legal decisions and updates on our events and podcasts.
It has been a strange few months, challenging at times, but a lot has been achieved. I couldn’t have done it without the support of the great team we have at Jacksons. Everyone has taken this new way of doing business development in their stride and come out of their comfort zone at times. I bet the commercial property team didn’t think they would have been doing Tik Tok videos in the workplace when signing up to be a solicitor!