6 Tips to Level Up Your Networking Strategy

In many industries (legal included), business success is tied not only to what you know but also to who you know. Having a network of other professionals can result in referrals, knowledge sharing, and access to services that build a better client experience. 

There are a few ways to build this essential network. One of the most effective is attending conferences and events related to your practice area. You can connect with other lawyers, judges, and legal professionals who may be able to refer clients to you or provide you with useful information.

1. Prepare

As the saying goes, if you fail to plan, you’re planning to fail.

If your firm is hosting the event, make sure you have everything you’ll need to advertise your services, such as brochures and business cards. If you’re an attendee, bring along something to contain all the business cards you’ll collect.

If talking to people isn’t your forte, try rehearsing what you want to say about the firm and your services. Take a cue from your LinkedIn profile—what do you say about yourself there? Come up with an introduction that’s just as concise and professional.

2. Be Flexible

Networking is about building relationships. Your goal at these events is not to do business, but to meet valuable contacts. You should only have one agenda: talking to people, getting their business cards, and perhaps doing business with some of them later on. Focus on the “getting to know you” aspect of these relationships right now.

3.  Make an Effort

If you’re new to networking or are on the shy side, it can be easy to sit this one out in the corner. Make the most out of this opportunity by working the room at a strategic but natural pace. Don’t be afraid to speak to people, and if you see someone sitting alone, say hello to them.

4.  Be a Good Listener

It’s important to talk to people, but you also need to listen to them. Although it’s important to be friendly and welcoming, not everyone is a potential valuable connection. As you chat, ask yourself, “Does this person have the ability to support my objective?” If the answer is yes, get their business card.

5.  Ask for Two Business Cards

When talking to someone at a networking event, ask for two business cards. Take one not only for yourself, but also for someone you know who may be interested in what they offer. This accomplishes two goals: showing your own interest in what they offer and demonstrating a willingness to share their information with others in your network. 

6. Be Sure to Follow Up!

After meeting someone new at a conference or networking event, send an email, connect with them on social media, or invite them to coffee or lunch. Make sure you do so within one or two days while the conversation is still fresh in their mind. Remember, networking is about building relationships, not just exchanging business cards. It takes time and effort, but the connections you make can be invaluable for your career.

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Spotlight Branding

Spotlight Branding is a content marketing and branding firm for lawyers and other professionals. Our goal is to help you create an online presence that positions you as a credible expert in your field, keeps you connected with your network in order to stay top of mind and increase referrals, and to become more visible online so prospects can find you!