A lawyer networking with others is crucial to his or her success. You can’t rely on on advertising alone. With all the bar rules restricting how and when a lawyer can advertise and market, it’s a wonder how lawyers can get clients at all!
Word of mouth referrals are always the best but generally people do not rave about their attorneys all the time.
It is important to develop referral sources for your practice. There are many options to meet referral sources such as joining rotary clubs, chamber of commerce groups, etc.
There are also Business to Business Network (BTB) groups which tend to be smaller groups in which only one industry could be represented, dues have to be paid, meetings are mandatory and you may have to make at least one referral or one introduction a month to continue to be a member.
While those may be helpful, consider forming your own networking circle.
Organize Meet & Greets with other Attorneys
One law firm we knew would throw quarterly coffee and bagel meet & greet mornings for all the attorneys they knew. It was remarkable how successfully the attorneys could network with each other and refer clients to one another.
Sponsor your own Networking Event
Since our firm worked with small business owners, we created “Coffee Talks” for entrepreneurs in our community. We would hold monthly meetings in a local coffee shop where either we would present a topic of interest for small business owners, such as the need for confidentiality agreements or how to plan for business succession.
We also allowed those same business owners to present their expertise from their businesses. For example, an insurance broker would talk about workers compensation issues , a CPA would talk about the latest tax laws that could affect small businesses, a Realtor talked about how to create referral relationships and make customer contacts.
Each meeting provided valuable information to entrepreneurs which kept them coming back and bringing in new business owners. It was a great chance for small business owners to meet us and get beneficial information for their business. In return, they would call on us if they needed legal assistance and often referred us to others.
Think about what networking group you could create with your time and talents. Make sure it fits in within the scope of your practice and your life to keep it sustainable. Better to commit your time to one group and develop deep relationships than scatter your time in many groups. Referral networks will increase your visibility in the community and hopefully result in more clients for you.
Want more tips and advice for your awesome law practice? Check out Law Office on a Laptop, Second Edition: How to Set Up Your Own Successful Law Mobile Law Practice.