Tips for Building Your Network Off & Online for Lawyers

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Building up your law firm’s contacts all comes down to networking. These days you can network both offline and online. Through a strong network you are able to build and grow your business, so having a strong networking plan is vital. Creating, maintain and utilizing contacts requires having the right tools in your belt. Here are some of the tools we believe are most important:

Offline Networking:

  1. Join business organizations. A great place to meet potential clients is through community business organizations. Get out of your comfort zone and attend events with these groups.
  2. Plan ahead. Before you go into a networking situation, take the time to prepare. Research potential clients and their backgrounds, review your firm’s mission statement and pack business cards to take along.
  3. Relax. Walking into a room of people you don’t know can be intimidating, but there is a high chance almost everyone feels a little antsy. If you’re able to relax and enjoy your time there, then you are more likely to have positive, effective conversations.
  4. Follow up. This is key! After you have made contacts, follow up with them within 24 hours. Take the time to write an email or request them on LinkedIn. This shows that you have a desire to keep communication open and will hopefully open the door for some business.

Online Networking:

  1. Follow thought leaders. Within your social media groups, follow people in your industry that share useful content. Not only will that content benefit you, but it could lead to potential others to network with through retweets or replies.
  2. Join the conversation. Twitter chats are a great way to get involved in your industry’s online community. The easiest way to find a Twitter chat is simply google a topic with ‘twitter chat’ at the end of your search. (Ex. family law twitter chat) Once you know the date and time, you can enter into conversation with others that can grow your network.
  3. Pay attention. Make sure that you are monitoring your social media every day because you never know what good conversation may spark. Set a goal for yourself to follow or connect with a certain number of people each week.
  4. Engage. Most importantly, be present in your social media! With strong online networking you are sure to create a quality network that has the potential to bring in new clients.


By |January 8th, 2015|

About the Author:

For years, Josh has helped lawyers become more organized, productive, and profitable. A trained litigator, Josh came to Smokeball from a large east-coast law firm where his practice focused on franchise, insurance, marine, and general litigation. His work with Smokeball, and his continued passion for what he does each day, is driven by a desire to help lawyers and their staff do better in every way. Knowing well the stress and strain put on today’s legal professional, he regularly focuses on improving work and life in the law. He has traveled the country working with and learning from lawyers and their staff. Josh speaks regularly to bar associations about successful law firm practices and other legal topics. Recent notable engagements have been with the Chicago Bar Association, the Illinois State Bar Association, and the Missouri Bar’s Solo and Small Firm Conference. In addition to his work at Smokeball, Josh serves on the Writing Resource Center staff at The John Marshall Law School. Besides legal technology, his research interests include judicial decision-making, jury decision-making and psychology, and legal writing. He has written and overseen research exploring causal effects of sex/gender on federal appellate court decision-making, and assisted with research for a forthcoming textbook on judicial decision-making. Additionally, Josh sits on the Board of Directors of Chicago-based Community Activism Law Alliance and on the Board of Directors of Chicago Fringe Opera Company. Josh holds his J.D., cum laude, from Washington University in St. Louis, where he served as a Senior Editor of the Wash. U. Law Review, held the prestigious Thompson Coburn Research Fellowship, served as Research Assistant to then-Vice-Dean (now Chancellor) Andrew D. Martin, and clerked at the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri. He holds a B.A. in Political Science and a B.M. in Music Performance with Honors Scholar distinction from the University of Connecticut, making him a Huskies basketball fan through and through. Follow Josh’s activity on LinkedIn, and keep up with new articles on the Smokeball Blog.