Networking is a very important aspect of your career as an attorney. It might not seem like it’s worth it, but getting out there into the community allows you to get your brand out there in the public eye, and grow your firm to gain more clients. Referrals are one of the best ways to grow your business. People trust their friends opinions more than trying to internet search a firm nearby.
It’s important to explain who you are and what you do. Instead of introducing yourself as a “lawyer” or an “attorney,” start by talking about what area of law you practice. Try to create a relationship and relate to your networking group. Explain how you help people.
Speaking of explaining how you help, don’t be afraid to expand your reach! Not everyone in networking groups can directly help each other, so don’t be discouraged. As the saying goes, “you attract more bees with honey.” The nicer and more helpful you are to your peers, the more of a chance they’re going to refer you to their friends, family, or even clients who need your expertise.
Make sure you’re utilizing your calendar. We all know that attorneys have very busy, fast paced, all-over-the-map schedules, so it’s important to keep yourself on track. Scheduling your networking meetings will make attending them a habit. While you’re at these meet ups, always ask questions.
The more questions you ask, and the more interested you seem in your group, the more likely you’re going to get referrals and find long standing relationships. People love to talk about themselves, and most people like the attention. Some networking groups can be large, like chambers of commerce, or small, like a few fellow colleagues meeting up after or before work. Networking doesn’t always have to be a formal group, with paid membership, or even anything with “networking” in the title. Don’t be afraid to talk about what you do and how you help to friends, or even other organizations you might belong to.
Do you have a favorite non-profit? Non-profits are great starting points to get your name out into the community. Most, if not all, non-profit organizations have events, and are constantly looking for sponsors and donors. Ask if they have an Ad Journal. These Journals are handed out to everyone attending their event, and they’re one of the most sought after items to bring home. It doesn’t hurt to let your potential clients know that you’re attending a non-profit event and that you’re passionate about giving back to the community. That alone “humanizes” the business, and provides some comfort and attraction to your firm.
Networking still might seem like it’s not worth your time, but it truly is. Expanding your reach into the community is very important. It might be uncomfortable to start up a conversation with a complete stranger at some events, but try your best and start by asking questions. Aforementioned, people love to talk about themselves.