Social media is obviously one way to network these days, and it can work. But, it is not as effective as face-to-face events with clients, referral sources and prospects. So, it’s time to get up from your desk, and get out and about. That is the theme of an article on Attorney at Work by Theda Snyder. And I completely agree.
Further, Snyder points out some simple tips on networking that aren’t new, but I have to admit I appreciate the reminders myself; to wit:
- Go where your potential clients hang out. That is, it is better to spend time with trade groups, business organizations, etc. where your preferred types of clients are likely to be found. Spending time with other lawyers makes sense too, if they are a source of your referrals;
- Be active in any organization you join. Be a “doer” not a “joiner.” Show that you are a player by volunteering and even seek a position of leadership, if possible, to raise your profile;
- Mingle at events. Don’t just talk with people you know, or stay with one group. Take advantage of the occasion to speak to as many people as you can;
- Remember to put your name tag on “your right side so it is easily visible as you shake hands.” Use a magic marker to write your firm name and nickname, if the organization used only your more formal name;
- Introduce yourself to odd-numbered groups, as it is easier to interrupt than is a twosome;
- Exchange business cards, and put a note on the back for recall conversation, and to remember the connection;
- Follow up after the event. As Snyder suggests: “keep the conversation going.” Take a look at my post “Networking: Flawed Fallacy About Follow Up” on suggestions on how to do that.
The important thing is get out there and mingle face-to-face. Don’t just rely on social media for your networking.