Remember taking clients to lunch? Attending organization happy hours? In-person conferences?
In just a few short weeks, all traditional networking opportunities ground to a halt once communities embraced social distancing guidelines to mitigate the impact of COVID-19.
This likely had an immediate impact on many attorneys and law firms who use networking as a primary referral source for new business.
However, even as we adapt to virtual work environments and social engagement, there are opportunities to continue connecting with new potential clients and referral partners.
In the latest Law Firm Leadership Collaboration Circle, we discuss how to take advantage of the new normal that is virtual networking.
Technology Helps Substitute In-Person Networking
Similar to how it helped make working remote more viable, video conferencing software like Zoom has made it possible to continue connecting with clients and other professionals on a more personal level.
From attending virtual happy hours to using extra time in your schedule for video chats with current clients and new consults, there are still plenty of opportunities to continue growing your network from the home office.
In fact, many industry associations have already converted what would have been in-person events to virtual events, including Bar Associations legal networks.
These opportunities even offer certain benefits, such as cutting out travel time and allowing you to attend multiple events in a single day that would have been impossible in person due to where they were held.
Take The Initiative To Fill Your Calendar
It’s easy to go into a very isolationist mentality right now – we have all been stuck in our homes for the past several weeks and socialization skills are likely rusting.
However, virtual networking requires a little initiative to be successful.
Put yourself out there and work to fill gaps in your calendar with meetings. You know all those annoying LinkedIn In-Mails that fill your inbox? Go ahead and schedule some of those meetings instead of automatically rejecting them.
You can also try reaching out to past clients or reconnecting with former colleagues for a quick catch-up.
Time is something many of us have an abundance of right now, so make the most of it and get some meetings on your calendar.
Producing Educational Content Is Easier Than Ever
Hosting virtual webinars or panel discussions offers potential clients and referral partners an easy introduction to what you offer and a demonstration of your expertise.
Whether it’s a round table on changes in the legal industry during COVID-19 or offering virtual CLEs, everyone has become accustomed to video conferencing technology and has more time on their calendars to fill, so it’s much easier to get attendees.
Plus as an added bonus, recording educational Zoom meetings also helps your marketing efforts by giving you more content to share on social media and your website.
We are all a captive audience right now, so start creating your own virtual networking opportunities to make up for the loss of in-person networking events!
Be sure to join us for our next Law Firm Leadership Collaboration Circle as we discuss the conflicts in determining how to safely reopen your practice as stay-at-home orders are lifted and states attempt to return to a sense of normalcy.