Is there a secret for how to get clients as a lawyer—the easy way?
Even if you are the smartest and most amazing lawyer in town, that hardly matters if you can’t find anybody who wants to hire you. Fortunately, the easiest, fastest way to find new clients isn’t a deep dark secret.
It lies in networking. But we are not talking about endless lunches, clever pitches, or circulating through groups of strangers and handing out as many business cards as you can—there are a lot of other ways to go about it... and to leverage those connections when you do.
Leveraging your network is one of the most powerful things you can do to stack up enough work to grow a thriving law practice.
Take New Law Business Model member lawyer Shihlan Chen, for instance. She attends a bilingual church with many Chinese parishioners. Among the members of the church are professionals in need of a business lawyer; Shihlan’s first business relationship with another church member started a chain reaction. After news of her stellar legal services got around, she became the "go-to" lawyer, not just at her church, but also in the local Chinese community.
Shihlan was able to connect with a strong and sustainable network without even changing her routine, and is now a sought-after expert with financial advisors in her community, and is bringing in a steady stream of leads as a result! You can do the same.
Keep these five tips in mind for leveraging your network and discover how to get clients as a lawyer quickly and naturally:
Build Connections Where You Spend Time
Chances are you know and associate with some people who aren’t lawyers. Do you workout at a gym? Are you part of a local club of any kind? Do you volunteer? There could be any number of people in your immediate vicinity who need a lawyer in one way or another, and most people prefer the idea of working with someone they’re familiar with rather than calling up a random stranger.
So, look for those natural opportunities to say hello and strike up a conversation relevant to your common interest. Perhaps ask them what they love about it, when they got started, or maybe for a bit of advice on some aspect of it that you are less familiar with. And, as conversations go, more often than not, people are going to naturally ask you what you do...
Plant Conversational Seeds
Don’t be shy about discussing your work or even saying that you have space in your schedule for a couple of clients. If you share information about the kind of law you practice in conversation, someone just might say, “Hey, I know someone who might need help with that…” Even if you don’t get anything out of a conversation right away, that’s ok.
Networking is a long game, and if you approach every person hoping to sign them on as a client then and there, you will probably put them off instead. Be patient, and you’re likely to harvest new business later on.
Join a Professional Organization
If you don’t get out much, you might start by joining a professional organization with other lawyers. It might sound counterintuitive, but other lawyers are actually a great source of referrals. Many of them aren’t taking any more clients, or practice a different type of law than you do, and they would be glad to have someone to refer people to when they can’t help them. You can do this in your local community, or in online groups.
Maintain Good Relationships with Your Existing Clients
This is very important. Obviously, you will put every effort into doing amazing work for your clients. You should also try, however, to keep in touch with them even while you’re not in the midst of doing work for them. That may mean sending them a card on their birthday or a holiday, and making sure you stay top-of-mind with them via informative weekly e-newsletters, consistent posts on social media, and regular invitations to events.
By staying relevant in their minds, when your clients meet someone who may need your services, it will be you that they refer their family, friends, and associates to.
Become a Trusted Advisor in Your Community
As a lawyer who completed school and passed the Bar, you know a lot of things that other people might not. Providing some information for free isn’t just ok, it’s a great way to establish yourself as someone who is helpful and trustworthy, and someone who people will want to hire when the time comes. You could be a helpful resource through keeping up a blog or newsletter, conducting seminars or webinars, or commenting on social media platforms like Quora or even Facebook when people ask for legal advice.
Remember: You have something that people need, and if you can build a connection, that can lead to a very positive working relationship. It just takes a little mindfulness of your surroundings, a little creativity, and a little consideration for how you can help the people in your life.
Leveraging your network will not only allow you to crack the code for how to get clients as a lawyer, but it will also make a positive impact in your practice for years to come.
The next item to consider is how you handle intake + your initial consultations once those connections come to you ready to learn more about how you can help them. Download this free resource from New Law Business Model now for 5 Steps to Improve Client Intake for Lawyers—and get happier clients, at higher fees, right away.
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