In today’s world of Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest Tumblr, Flickr and all the other social platforms, networking for lawyers is easier than ever. If you are using one or more of these tools to engage clients and prospective clients, congratulations! According to a Fast Company article published in November, the fastest growing demographic on Twitter is the 55-64 age bracket. The 45-54 year age bracket is the fastest growing demographic on both Facebook and Google+. Given these numbers, it only makes sense to engage through social media.
Just like traditional networking, social networking for attorneys is all about engagement — communicating, building your following, connecting with your online audience and creating relationships. These platforms are free and quick, and they provide tools to target your message to key audiences and to track results.
With all the benefits afforded by social media, one might start to feel a false sense of “connection.” For lawyers, maintaining an active face-to-face networking calendar remains an important part of law firm business development. Because legal services are professional services, prospective clients hire the professional who has their trust and confidence, and with whom they feel comfortable.
Three Tips for Re-energizing Your Networking
If you too value in-person contact, here are a few pointers to help you reinvigorate your networking efforts.
- Make it easy. Re-energize your in-person networking program by first inviting clients with whom you’ve recently worked. Given that your relationship is current, you likely will have an easier time finding topics of conversation. You might even consider asking the client for feedback on your recent engagement.
- Make it comfortable. Select a restaurant with an atmosphere and noise level suitable for a private conversation. Arrive early to make certain your table is in a quiet, low-traffic area of the restaurant. Silence your cellphone, and devote your attention to your guest.
- Make it a habit. Set a calendar reminder for taking one client, prospect or referral source to lunch once a month. If you commit to a certain date, say, the second Tuesday of the month, you are less likely to sacrifice the date to another meeting.
Social networking is a great tool for attorneys to increase revenue, but it should complement, not replace, one-on-one interaction. Rather than checking in via Facebook at your favorite lunch spot tomorrow, call a client and invite them to meet you there.
Do you have your own in-person networking tips for lawyers? Leave a comment, or contact Terry M. Isner at firstname.lastname@example.org.