In the highly competitive legal industry, you need to use every tool at your disposal to generate new business. Standing out from the competition is essential to your law firm’s success. Fortunately, there are several ways to accomplish this.
In addition to having a robust digital marketing strategy, many law firms achieve success through networking and building strong relationships. Here’s why this approach is important and some ways legal professionals can boost their businesses through networking.
Why Networking is Essential for Attorneys
Networking as a legal professional is much more than just boosting your LinkedIn connections or exchanging business cards. It’s about building lasting, genuine relationships with other professionals that can help grow your business. Here are a few reasons why you’ll want to network as an attorney.
Collaboration and Knowledge
Networking with others offers opportunities to collaborate with lawyers from various legal areas and other professions. Attending events, listening to presentations, or having discussions can expand your legal knowledge or lead to collaboration or projects.
Having a solid network can be an excellent source of new business for your law firm. You’ll be more likely to receive relevant referral business from other attorneys who receive calls for work outside their practice areas or who are too busy for new clients.
Getting word-of-mouth recommendations and referrals from other professionals can enhance your visibility and credibility both within and outside the legal community.
Every attorney is likely to face some challenges throughout their career. Having a strong professional network in place can provide you with the professional and emotional support you need during challenging times.
How Legal Professionals Can Network Effectively
Now that you understand how networking and relationship building can benefit your business, here are some ways lawyers can network more effectively.
- Build Relationships With Other Professionals
In everything you do, it’s important to cultivate positive relationships with other professionals in your community. This includes other attorneys as well as doctors, accountants, real estate professionals, and more. Join community associations, like the Chamber of Commerce, to make these connections and recommend these professionals to clients when there is a need. Many of them will reciprocate.
- Maintain a Strong Online Presence
Other professionals will make referrals to attorneys they respect and trust. You’ll want to create and optimize your professional online presence to ensure it reflects your background and experience. This includes things like your attorney bio page on the law firm’s website, your LinkedIn profile, and any presence you might have on social media.
- Deliver Outstanding Service
Your reputation as a skilled, knowledgeable, and effective attorney will take time to establish. But it will never happen if you aren’t delivering top-level service to your existing clients and having your positive service reflected in online reviews.
- Join and Contribute to Professional Associations
Make sure you join and participate in various professional associations, like local and national bar associations or other legal organizations associated with your specialty. Participate in the association’s events, serve on committees, and take on leadership roles to build lasting bonds with others in the industry.
- Participate in Community and Legal Events
Attend workshops, seminars, and conferences related to your practice area. Going to these events offers an opportunity to meet other legal professionals and gain additional knowledge that can help you become a leader in your field. You can boost your visibility at these events by giving presentations and participating in panel discussions.
- Maintain Contact With Former Colleagues and Classmates
Don’t forget the power of staying in contact with former classmates and colleagues. These can be long-standing relationships that can continue to produce referral business and professional support throughout your career.
- Ask Other Attorneys for Referrals
Other attorneys in different practice areas can be an excellent source of referrals. But they may not recognize this opportunity unless you bring it to their attention. For example, an estate planning attorney might approach a business or family law attorney about potential referrals.
- Offer Assistance to Other Attorneys
You can’t expect others to help out your business if you’re not willing to do the same for theirs. When you receive contacts from prospective clients with needs outside your specialty areas, refer them to other attorneys in your area who can help.
- Build a Network of Attorneys Offering Complementary Services
Create a strong network of other attorneys who offer services that may be complementary to your own. If you’re a family law attorney, it might make sense to have contacts with an estate planning, real estate, immigration, and business law attorney.
- Collaborate on Marketing
Another way to connect with other professionals and build strong relationships is by collaborating on marketing. A few ideas include exchanging blog posts and links, resharing each other’s content, and co-presenting on podcasts or webinars.
- Donate Your Services
You’ll likely meet and garner the attention of other professionals if you spend some time donating your services to the community. This might involve doing some pro bono work or volunteering for some community service or charity functions where other professionals participate.
- Follow Up and Express Thanks
When you meet another professional or receive a referral, whether or not it leads to a paying client, make sure you follow up. This can be as simple as a quick text or email to reinforce the meeting or express thanks for sending over a referral.
Create a Winning Online Presence to Strengthen Your Networking Efforts
You can be sure that the professionals you connect with are going to research your law firm online. When they do, you’ll want them to land on an engaging and useful website that describes your firm’s services and outlines your professional qualifications.
At Too Darn Loud Legal Marketing, we specialize in helping law firms of every type and size dominate their markets and achieve lasting positive results. We offer customized digital marketing strategies, meaning we only recommend the service you need. Give us a call at (800) 649-1764 or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation and website evaluation.