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As a clinician, you may be receiving fewer referrals in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. This decline is inevitable — many immigration courts across the country have closed, and for the most part, only detained cases are being heard.
With unemployment rates rising by the millions each week, many of our prospective clients are now jobless or underemployed. This means money is tight, so unless they are facing an emergency, many clients are choosing to delay their evaluation until a time when they feel more financially stable.
Indeed, it seems that many clients are holding off on seeing lawyers altogether — many of the lawyers I’ve spoken to recently have reported a sharp decline in their caseload. Fewer clients for attorneys means fewer referrals.
If you’re feeling the sting of an empty schedule, don’t despair. Instead, use this time as an opportunity to rethink some of your marketing efforts.
Here are four things you can do to market your services during COVID-19:
1. Reach out to any lawyers that you have worked with, even if it has been years.
Send any attorneys you have worked with an email letting them know that you are open for business and still doing evaluations via teletherapy. Assure them of your success conducting teletherapy sessions by letting them know the number of sessions you have held so far and any client outcomes you are able to share, such as positive testimonials.
As always, remind attorneys of the qualities that make you an ideal fit for their clients, such as any second languages you speak, your flexible or after-hours availability, and your experience with trauma or other specializations if you have them. Also, be sure to provide several ways to contact you, given that you may be unable to answer your regular office phone at this time.
2. Approach lawyers from a place of service.
Ensure that your email doesn’t become inbox clutter. Instead, be sure to offer value in every communication. Ask yourself: What stresses are attorneys facing in this current climate that I can help them and their staff deal with?
This might include ideas to keep up office morale while staff work from home or links to useful resources to help them with matters of psychological health and safety. As a clinician, you are in a unique position to offer advice on these matters, so don’t squander the opportunity to communicate your concern and support for these attorneys and their businesses.
3. Reach out to new lawyers state-wide.
During quarantine, most clinicians are doing teletherapy. So, for clients, it doesn’t make a difference whether you’re down the street or five hours away. If you usually practice from a remote location or small town, this time can be advantageous for you. See it as an opportunity to develop new networks beyond your local community.
4. Embrace all things digital.
While you’re “going virtual,” consider setting up an online booking platform if you don’t already have one. Doing so will make setting appointments convenient for your prospective clients and will serve your business long after the pandemic is over. Similarly, consider refreshing your digital marketing collateral, such as your website, blog, or any online testimonials. Even including a short note in your email signature indicating that you are providing teletherapy is a small measure you can take to remind attorneys that you are open to new referrals.
Another idea is to record a short introductory video. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy. Simply set up a webcam, ensure the room is well lit, and hit record. Use the video to introduce yourself and speak a little about your experience providing evaluations and support for past immigration cases. You can then include a link to this video in your email to attorneys and make it available on your website. Taking the time to do this gives prospective clients a chance to gauge your warmth and professionalism. At a time when they may be feeling nervous about reaching out, a short one-minute recording may be the deciding factor that gives them the confidence to engage your services.
If you want to learn more about marketing immigration evaluations so you get more clients and help more immigrants, check out my course Marketing Immigration Evaluations.
I’m Cecilia Racine, and I teach therapists how to help immigrants through my online courses. As a bilingual immigrant myself, I know the unique perspective that these clients are experiencing. I’ve conducted over 300 evaluations and work with dozens of lawyers in the various states. Immigrants are my passion, I believe they add to the fabric of our country.
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