Referrals are vital to a successful law practice. To get as many referrals as possible remember that every person you meet is someone who will need a lawyer at some point. 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 can generate new business.
How do you market to lawyers and other members of the legal community?
You could begin with the Lawyer2Lawyer Professional Referral Directory, a part of the SBM Member Directory. With this service, you can advertise your practice areas to over 40,000 Michigan lawyers. Normally a paid service, it is being offered free for three months.
The listings comprise a listing box with your practice area and niche. 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 a small advertisement on the right. You can have up to five practice listings.
Face-to-face networking is effective. Start with your local bar association, and join, attend events, chair educational committees in your area of practice, or offer to start some up if none exist. Meeting colleagues in different areas of practice provides opportunities for cross-referrals, a benefit for both parties.
The State Bar also offers opportunities to meet fellow lawyers. Join a section to meet lawyers from all across the state. Consider being or getting a mentor. Whether you're giving or getting advice, a mentorship can help develop your career or help a new lawyer just starting out.
Teach in your field. You can teach a whole course at the local college, offer a workshop in your field to fellow colleagues, or contact local community groups who need speakers. Speaking helps establish your reputation as an expert in your field.
Your website should be current and mobile-friendly so when referrals visit they can quickly find the information they want and can easily contact you for help.
Social Media Can Help Too
What social media can help? You will undoubtedly find your potential audience of lawyers and consumers looking for legal help on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.
LinkedIn has become the professional social networking site. Recruiters, executives, and legal professionals respect and use it. If you only have the time and energy to use one of these three social media websites, put yourself on LinkedIn. Connections are made there all the time.
Facebook and their business pages can be used to further your own business. It strengthens your firm's web presence and you can announce new blog posts, articles, or events.
Twitter can also be a useful tool for lawyers. Using keywords for your practice, preceded by the famous hashtag (#), you can post and keep up with the latest information and developments in the legal world.
The practice of law continues to grow more fast-paced, increasing the importance of qualified referrals. Using SBM services, keeping up with social media, and being active in your local community and bar associations will let your colleagues know about your availability for referral.
Roberta 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 The Mentor, SBM Master Lawyers Section newsletter.
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