Many attorneys and law firms rely on in-person events for networking and making new referrals. During this unprecedented time of COVID-19, we are reimagining how to go about our professional and personal lives every day. Emails, phone calls and video conferences are great tools for continuing to nurture our established professional contacts, but what about nurturing new potential contacts and leads in a time where coffee shops and offices are closed and legal networking events are a reality that feels far off in the future?
The good news is that lawyers can continue to network and create new leads from home using social media. While each social media tool can be powerful in its own way, LinkedIn is a great place to start building awareness for your law firm and personal connections online. Below are a few steps that you can start working on today so that when we are living our new normal, you can jump back into in-person networking more easily.
Attorneys can do a clean-up of their pages on LinkedIn
Is your law firm’s page listed as an official business? Are there multiple versions of it out there? Consolidate your firm’s listings to one official business listing and delete the others. Use an eye-catching image for the firm’s page, and for your own use a professional head shot and fill in all appropriate information. Then ask your colleagues to make sure that they are connected to the firm’s official page as well. You can also check your own page to make sure it is updated and has a recent picture.
Connect with your current contacts
If you keep a database of your current contacts, go through them and see who you haven’t connected with on LinkedIn. You could write a script for the message that can be customized to send to each one vs using the canned language generated by LinkedIn.
Message your prospective contacts
If you keep a list of prospective customers, consider sending a connection request to each one, explaining how you would like to include them in your network. This might be similar to emails that you currently send out to prospects but tweak them to be less of a pitch about services and more of a networking request.
Shoot a short video
We are advising lawyers to do LinkedIn video and to use these short videos that might help their prospects and clients see them and connect with what they offer. Get a tripod, or utilize Zoom and a webcam to capture 30 seconds to a minute of your knowledge or advice about a topic that’s relevant to your audience.
Make a calendar of content to share
Spend a little time researching relevant articles and other information that current clients or prospects may find interesting. Then create a simple calendar of content to share on your own LinkedIn page. Ask colleagues to share the content. Sharing content ensures that you continue to come up in the feed for your contacts and this keeps you top of mind.
Once you have made new connections, follow up over email or telephone, as you normally would after a networking event. Try to offer something of value that connect back to how you can help a potential client for your firm. Schedule times to follow up again in the future, as this may not be a popular time for people and businesses to be investing in new expenses. Reach out and offer support and listening to clients, prospects and contacts. Instead you are playing the long game by continuing to stay in their mind for when the time is right again. Keep in mind that people are still in business and closing new business during the pandemic.
Stay positive while remaining connected and engaged on social media. It will give you feelings of professional growth and development during these challenging times. You will be setting up the foundations of a stronger online presence now and for when the new normal goes back to the normal we all took for granted.