Running a successful business takes work, but building or expanding your legal network does not have to be an arduous task. From active listening to attending networking events, there are many ways to increase your legal network on a day-to-day basis.
For solo attorneys, the idea of having to expand your legal network while maintaining your law practice can easily be the most daunting task. What most do not know is that it is actually very simple to expand your network. In fact, we have gathered a few tips on how to do this effectively. Check out the 7 tips below!
Try Something New
When you think of networking, most people think, scheduled events with hors d’oeuvres and a speaker. While that is true for many networking opportunities, it’s not the only place. Take Liz Johnson, who turned a dance class into a networking experiment. There are numerous times you come in contact with people and if you strike up a conversation, you never know where it will lead.
It can come from an unlikely place
Are you the type of person that feels anxiety at the thought of talking to a complete stranger? You are not alone. Networking in everyday life can be challenging. Try to scope out who is in the room, and pick the person who dresses like a professional and strike up a conversation. If you are not sure how to begin, find something to compliment, like maybe an interesting piece of jewelry or a book they are holding.
Surround yourself with Positivity
We are all influenced by the people around us, especially those we work with. Surrounding yourself with people who will encourage, challenge and inspire you will help you to grow your practice. Attorneys who take the time to network are committed to excellence in their practice. Think of the benefits you will gain associating with these professionals.
Be an Active Listener
Much of what lawyers do revolves around talking, especially for trial lawyers. A good rule of thumb when trying to make connections, is listening more. Ask the person about themselves and their practice, and show them that you are really listening by asking follow up questions. Being an active listener helps to build trust and respect.
Dust off your speakers hat
When you are asked to speak at an event, say yes. It is a great opportunity to talk about your successes and provide tips for what works for your practice. You can also share challenges you faced and mistakes you have made and how you got through them. Public speaking does not come easy for everyone, so try breaking out of your comfort zone when the opportunity presents itself.
Consider a Networking Group
If you have not considered joining a networking group, now is the time. There is great value when you are surrounded by a group of like minded professionals and have the opportunity to discuss all avenues of your business. Find a group that has a designated leader who provides a topic for discussion but also one where you have the opportunity to ask questions and share advice.
Always Follow up
Don’t be the person who says they will call and then not call. Even if you think this contact does not seem so promising, you never know the connections they have. And in return, the simple act of keeping your word and showing interest can come back to you in a referral they send your way.
To sum it all up, being proactive and genuine will expand your legal network and ultimately increase your law practice success. Remember, taking the necessary steps and attending networking events or trying something new can simply increase you and your firm’s exposure. Additionally, making the effort to truly get to know your peers, colleagues or office neighbors by having active and meaningful conversations will not only positively affect your day but most importantly add to your legal network list.