The folks at Varghese Summersett criminal defense attorneys, recommend a few strategies for networking with clients and colleagues. These strategies are like those that small businesses use to market themselves.
1. Be noticed in the community during summer holidays.
The three major days during the summer are Memorial Day, the Fourth of July, and Labor Day. The idea is to present a favorable impression of your firm. You can do this by serving on community committees or by holding events or participating in them. These events should be charitable in nature.
For example, you can raise money in the local walk-a-thon or play in a charity softball game. On the Fourth, donate a portion of the fireworks and be sure to glad-hand during the event. You might also consider showcasing your grilling chops at the fireworks venue and making sure there is a visible sign for your firm nearby.
2. Be fun!
Holidays are an important focus, but so are all 96 other days. Hold your own, fun-filled charity events. These can be anything from murder mystery dinners to bachelor auctions. Be sure to focus your efforts locally. When you hold these events, invite not only luminaries like local officials but also prominent citizens. Make these events open to the public.
If you’re going to do an “X-dollars-per-plate” event, make it lighthearted. Roast the mayor. Have the city council roast you. Be a good sport. Use your creativity to come up with other ideas.
3. Sponsor a contest or giveaway.
As a law firm, you can’t very well give things away as part of a marketing campaign, but you can back a contest given by a local business. By working with a local business, you not only can foster your firm’s brand awareness, but you can also network with the business owners.
Work out a mutually beneficial arrangement with that business owner. This kind of brand marketing is best done in a low-key manner. An announcement and a noticeable but not ostentatious sign or placard proclaiming that you are the contest’s sponsor is enough. As far as what the contest is, work with the business with whom you are partnering.
4. Become involved with local business.
You can join the Chamber of Commerce. Work toward the benefit of local businesses. You can also attend the events given by local businesses. Never upstage the businesses whose events you attend. There is, however, nothing wrong with making sure the guests know who you are.
This is an extension of the glad-handing you do on the summer holidays. Build on the relationships you forged during those events. Be sure to follow through on any promises or agreements you made to cement those relationships. Integrity is crucial for your firm’s brand. People struggle to remember good things. They never forget bad things.
5. Gently leverage your carefully built relationships.
This could involve you having your firm’s business cards placed on the front desks of local hotels and on greeting tables in local restaurants. It could also be a tasteful sign on the fence at the local Little League park. Use your imagination to come up with subtle ways to present your brand without seeming pushy. “Pushy lawyer” is a stereotype you should avoid at all costs.
Return the favor too. Keep low-key promotional items, like pens or small note pads, imprinted with the contact information of businesses with which you have good relations around the office. By doing so, you show others that you are a valued and respected part of the community.
All of these things build your brand and make you more attractive to clients and more respected by colleagues. You must be unflinchingly honest and forthright. If you are, you’re seen as “one of the good guys.” This the chief long-term goal of such a brand-building campaign. Always attract new clients by making yourself attractive and never by browbeating.