With computers in every home and office, smartphones in every pocket, and tablets becoming increasingly popular, it would appear that we’re always dialed in. If there’s business to be done, information to be passed around, and services to be promoted, we can do it all without ever having a face-to-face meeting. But that doesn’t mean that business can’t happen the old fashioned way. In fact, getting to know clients, interviewees, and business partner on a personal level, without keyboards and firewalls in the way, is still the most engaging way to do business.
Networking offline didn’t die when the Internet came into play. There are many ways to get out there and meet new people, to further your business and advertise your law firm. Check out the following tips to start getting personal…in person.
Meet For Coffee
With online chat and video conferencing becoming the norm for most intraoffice communication, it’s no wonder why we prefer it to talk to other companies and clients, as well. But hiding behind your monitor can be bad for business. Clients can’t get a feel for what kind of lawyer you are and business partners can’t get a feel for who they’re about to shake hands with, so to speak. So why not turn off the Skype and get out of the office? Leave your computer behind and meet a client or two for coffee.
Doing business in person is friendly and comforting. We are naturally drawn to people who seem like open books; we can trust them. Inspire confidence in your clients by having a face-to-face meeting and assuring them in person that you’re the right lawyer for all their needs.
Refresh Your Business Cards
Do you remember those little pieces of paper you used to hand out when you first started in the legal world? Now it’s all about finding each other by Twitter handles or sending one another an email. However, business cards are in danger of becoming a lost art when they could actually be promoting your business more than you ever imagined.
Talk to a graphic designer about getting your law firm some new, modern business cards. Look into colorful designs that draw attention immediately. Having a hefty piece of paper in the right hands can speak to the quality and caliber of your firm. Not to mention, it’s much easier for someone to refer your services with a business card in hand. Order some new business cards and hand them out to all those new faces you’ll be meeting.
Plan A Social Gathering
What better way to schmooze than at a party, a happy hour, or any sort of social event? Talk to your law firm about putting on a fundraiser, a networking event, a presentation, or any other sort of gathering where they can host clients, business contacts, and even investors.
Set the mood with some music, drinks, and snacks. Choose a venue where there’s a lot of space to stand around and catch up. Have your firm’s brochures, white papers, and yes, even business cards ready to go so you can promote on the fly and reel in potential leads.
Conferences still happen, especially for attorneys. If you’re in need of some new clients and new business (and let’s be honest, who isn’t?) then attending a large conference with other likeminded individuals can do your law firm a lot of good. Come prepared to not only meet other conference-goers, but to hit the town in search of some more leads to bring back with you.
Again, you’ll want to have your business cards and any other literature on your law firm ready to go. When you meet people on the go, giving them a small keepsake, even if it’s just a well-designed business card, can leave a lasting impression.
So now you’ve been out on the town, rubbing elbows with clients, getting to know investors, and advertising your services in person. Congratulations on leaving the Internet behind and making real face-to-face connections that will be much more powerful than any “friend request” ever will be. But now it’s time to seal the deal and bring in our new friend, technology.
After you make your acquaintances in person, connect with them online. If they’re potential employees, employers, investors, or business partners, send them an invitation to connect on LinkedIn. Email them a follow up and link your blog, website, and social media profiles. Get in contact with clients as well. Sending them an email recounting your conversation and linking your website will be a great way to reel them in after you’ve made a strong first impression.
Networking isn’t an online-only activity. While the Internet might have stole that word away from old fashioned business textbooks, getting to know people in person can give your law firm an advantage over other companies that are stuck behind their desktops and tablets. Get to know the people you’re doing business with in person; the trust and confidence that results makes for long-lasting business relationships.
Pete Wise is a copywriter working for Wolf Law Colorado, who is known around the front range as the best Denver Probation Attorney you can have. Check out their website or my facebook page to keep in touch.