The Important Role That Networking Plays in Your Legal Career
Billboards, social media, e-mail marketing, advertisements… These are a few of the many marketing techniques that attorneys invest their time and/or money in to progress their careers. However, there is another key marketing element that often gets overlooked…networking. Networking is one of the least expensive, yet most effective ways to gain credibility and clientele in the legal industry.
When attorneys attend networking events frequently, he or she becomes a part of an influential “circle” of people. This circle can offer a multitude of benefits to the attorney, including access to:
- Important, timely information about the legal market and industry.
- Legal professionals that you can partner with and/or refer work to one another.
- Individuals that can speak positively of your reputation, increasing your credibility.
- Potential clients that you can provide legal assistance to.
Are you ready to advance your legal career by building your network? It is not as complicated as you may think. All it takes is strong communication skills, business cards, and your time and commitment. When choosing your networking venues, don’t be afraid to branch out. Rather than attending the same “Business After Hours” event each month, register for a legal conference or professional advancement seminar. It is important to remember that networking is not a sprint, it’s a marathon. The more events you attend, the more professional relationships you form, which means you are continuously growing your “circle.” Make it a goal to attend at least one networking event a month. Set aside time to pick out some events you wish to attend, register for them, and then mark your calendar so you don’t forget!
While attending networking events, shaking hands, and passing out your business cards can help grow your “circle”, but you don’t have to stop there. You can take it a step further in building lasting, positive connections by following up with each individual you meet. Connect with them on LinkedIn, send them a follow up e-mail stating how nice it was to meet them (to really stand out, send them a hand written note inviting them for coffee or lunch). Add value by sending articles or press releases that may be of interest to them, or reach out to them before the next even to see if they will be attending. Following up with the professionals you met at the events enables you to keep them in your “circle”. You never know what doors these people can open for you, and what doors you can open for yourself by putting yourself out there. Happy Networking!