Networking for Referrals for Solo Practice Attorneys – Making Friends and Keeping Them

by Alexa Drago on October 7, 2021

Networking for Referrals for Solo Practice Attorneys – Making Friends and Keeping Them by LawBank

Building your network as a solo lawyer is an essential part of your business development strategy. While meeting up for coffee has become difficult due to COVID-19, you can take advantage of other networking opportunities. Some of these business development options are prime for getting the word out about your practice, even during unprecedented times.

Making a Case for Networking

Most solo lawyers agree that a network of well-nurtured contacts is crucial to an effective marketing strategy. However, most small law firm owners also say that it is their least favorite aspect of running a firm. This feeling makes sense since it is frightening to “put yourself out there” so openly.

Keep in mind that networking is the most organic form of promotion that you can utilize, and it does not directly cost you any money to give someone your time and attention. Networking is an algorithm-free form of relationship-building that stands the test of time.

When you network with other lawyers and professionals, you also create mutual trust and understanding. It can become one of your most lucrative yet traditional marketing channels. Additionally, a supportive network of enthusiastic attorneys will keep peers engaged while helping each other avoid burnout.

Identify Whom You Can Help

It is vital to stay aware of networking opportunities daily. An opportunity could be around the corner, and you want to be ready. Know your practice and the legal industry well, then identify whom you can help. Lean on these strengths when building your network. Networking during a pandemic is as simple as sending a personalized email, offering free legal advice to clients with

any coronavirus-related issues, or merely reassuring your clients over a video call; there are plenty of options to foster these relationships. Check-in with lawyers in your network; conversations-in-passing can open doors to new business ventures. This situation is not uncommon. You need to keep putting yourself out there and be ready for the moment that the chance arises.

Smart Ways to Network with Other Lawyers

There are several creative and innovative ways to network with other lawyers. Instead of holding fluff events that no one shows up for, use your enthusiasm to pull the group together and get out there. Be aware that the most successful attorneys are the ones who show up and are present every day. Networking is no different in this regard, even during a pandemic.

Here are a few smart ways to network with other lawyers:

Cross-Selling and Upselling

Cross-selling and upselling are often discussed points in the law firm environment. However, there are challenges associated with this method of generating revenue. By networking with business-adjacent lawyers, you can refer services to them (and vice versa) when it makes sense to do so for your client.

For example, if you are a general practice lawyer and draft only wills for clients, you can refer clients to a trust lawyer in your network if they want a trust created. Your contact will receive a living trust referral, you are paid for the will, and your client walks away happy.

Host Events Together

Hosting a live, virtual event is an excellent way to let people into your network. In a COVID-19 era, we are all starved for attention, time, and the opportunity to network with key contacts. If you can host a virtual or socially-distanced live event with another attorney, you can pull your networks together and generate new synergies.

Some of these opportunities include:

· Virtual happy hours

· CLEs

· Online conferences

· Hosted webinars

· Fundraisers

· Seminars

Develop a few ideas for events that you would like to host. As you meet new legal professionals, keep your ideas in mind and approach other attorneys if you believe that they would be a good fit for your project. Do not stop asking until you find a strategic and willing co-host.

Pitch Businesses Together

Some projects are much too big for any solo lawyer to handle alone. Focus on teaming up with other lawyers that can handle various legal issues for the same client or same type of client to garner their business. You both can start by identifying opportunities in your area and work together to pitch your ideal clients collectively. After a few successful co-ventures, your network and its members will build a positive reputation for itself around town.

Support Each Other Online

Find online opportunities that you can offer to other attorneys and vice versa. There are missed chances in this area since attorneys do not have time to learn what is happening on the backend. Let us tell you that the opportunities for overlap are tremendous in this regard.

Here are a few ways to support each other online:

· Guest blog on other websites

· Share each other’s social media posts

· Link to each other’s websites

· Like and comment on social posts

· Create a podcast or be a guest on one

The best networking partners for online efforts are generally attorneys that you are not competing with directly, either in the practice area or geographic region. Online networking is the most passive option, but you should make it as active and inviting as possible. Utilize video, interviews, audio recordings, and other forms of digital media that make an impact.

Shared Office Spaces

There are several innovative ideas on the table, including shared office space. You can simultaneously reduce your overhead costs and build your network by renting an office away from a traditional environment. Search for office share spaces that are exclusive to attorneys to bolster your networking efforts.

Final Thoughts

Nurture your network carefully, whether you are an aspiring lawyer or a legal veteran. Genuine relationships are the only thing that can stand the test of digital time. Take the time to engage with people individually and in a group setting.

You will become a more innovative and inspired lawyer at the same time. Clients will continue turning to you as an expert who possesses a wealth of resources and contacts. It is a win-win for everyone when we connect.

And always make sure your legal marketing is consistent with the Rules of Professional Conduct, including Rules 7.1 through 7.6, which address issues from communications regarding a lawyer’s services to solicitation of clients.

About LawBank

LawBank is Colorado’s premier community for independent law firms. With multiple locations around the Denver Metro area and a new location in Las Vegas, Nevada, LawBank offices are strategically placed around city centers and court systems for the convenience of solo practice and small law firm lawyers. Members enjoy flexible membership terms, great amenities such as monthly CLE programming, and even discounts off of law firm service providers. Learn more at www.Law-Bank.com

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