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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.