Jump-Start Your Referral Business in 2016

Jump-Start Your Referral Business in 2016

Clear & Convincing Feature Article

Referrals are vital to a successful law practice. Your practice starts with an idea of the type of law you wish to practice and no clients. It grows over time from first client, often a distant relative, however, still--a client--to a second client, then a third, who was referred by the first, and so on until you are as busy as you want to be.

How does that happen?

By getting referrals and recommendations from existing clients and fellow lawyers. In order to get as many referrals as possible, you must remember that every person you meet is someone who, at some point, will need a lawyer. That includes everyone who comes to your office, present and former clients, and … your fellow lawyers. Letting your legal colleagues know what makes you unique and building long-lasting relationships with them can generate new business.

Letting your legal colleagues know what makes you unique and building long-lasting relationships with them can generate new business.

The SBM is aware of this phenomenon and has developed, with the help of Zeekbeek, a Lawyer2Lawyer Professional Referral Directory. With this new service you can advertise your niche practice area to the 40,000 plus Michigan lawyers. Normally a paid service, it is being offered free of charge for three months.

The listings consist of two parts, your contact information and an area for a small advertisement. For example, you might list your practice area as appeals. That designation, along with your contact information, would fill the box on the left. By adding the premium services you can include up to five practice areas in boxes on the right. Let's assume you limit your appeals to family law issues. You could include a box with information about appeals relating to:

  • Divorce
  • Child custody
  • Spousal support
  • Property division & QDROs
  • Termination of parental rights

If you have an elder law practice, you could add, in addition to your contact information, boxes describing the services you offer such as estate planning, guardianship proceedings, financing nursing home care, pension and other retirement plans, and elder abuse. By adding descriptions of your services you are expanding your opportunities for referrals from your fellow attorneys.

Not only is the service free for three months, it is relatively easy to set up. Here's how:

  1. Start at the State Bar log in page and log in using your SBM username & password.
  2. Go to the Product Description page, click on Lawyer2Lawyer Referral Directory.
  3. Select the "Buy Now" button.
  4. Choose up to five niche practice listings with premium ads.
  5. Follow the instructions for each listing and, before you know it, it's done.
  6. If, however, you need help, the Help Desk is ready to assist.

You can preview, modify, and edit your listing at any time. The entire Lawyer2Lawyer Professional Referral Directory will be available for viewing by all lawyers logged into Zeekbeek under the "Resources," "Lawyer2Lawyer" tab.

The practice of law continues to grow more fast-paced, increasing the importance of qualified referrals. Using this new SBM service, you can let your colleagues know about your availability for referral, freelance, or co-counsel work by listing your niche practice areas. Sign up now to receive up to five premium niche practice listings for three months at no charge.

Roberta GubbinsRoberta Gubbins has served as the editor of the Ingham County Legal News. Since leaving the paper, she provides services as a ghostwriter editing articles, blogs, and e-blasts for lawyers and law firms. She is the editor of Briefs, the Ingham County Bar Association e-newsletter, and The Mentor, SBM Master Lawyers Section newsletter.

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Using the New Enhanced Member Directory

How to Login and Edit Your Profile
Zeekbeek For Lawyers Page—learn about all the new directory features
How to Contact ZeekBeek Support