Most lawyers include networking as part of their legal marketing plan. This is a good idea but to do it effectively you need to have a strategy. This video touches on how to approach networking and make the most out of it.
Here are three ways to make networking pay off as part of your legal marketing plan:
Know Who Your Want to Meet
Don’t just sign up for an event without knowing who is scheduled to attend. At a minimum, look at the people who are putting on the event or who are sponsoring the event and see if they are people you would like to meet.
The best case is to get a list of possible attendees from the host in advance. This way you can determine who you would like to meet. Once you know who you would like to meet, you should find a way to have a mutual friend (like the host or event sponsor) introduce you.
Be a Connector
Once you meet someone at a networking event, you should follow up with them by introducing them to someone who would be valuable to their business. Sending them a referral is an ideal way to immediately deepen the relationship. Absent the ability to refer business to your new business acquaintance, an introduction to a valuable referral source is the next best thing.
Keep in mind that it is always better to give something to someone before you ask them to do you a favor. Always try to pass something along of value first and then ask for a referral.
Follow up, Follow up, Follow up
Always add new people you meet at networking events to your newsletter list. (Ask permission first.) This is critically important. They cannot refer business to you if they don’t remember you.
Networking is like any other legal marketing activity. It requires discipline and consistency but if it is done correctly it can deliver excellent results.