I started practicing law in 1986. Back then, it took lots of work and energy to meet new people and develop referral relationships.
Many late nights were spent away from my family at Bar Association and business meetings. Business cards were exchanged, and during the following weeks, trips were made to the law library to research lawyers and their firms. Once the research was done, letters were sent, and phone calls were made. Looking back, it took a great deal of time, effort and money, to get to know someone to the point where they would trust you with their referral.
Today, things are different. Networking is now more efficient, fun and much less expensive. With digital, it’s also expanded to a global sandbox, with the only limitation being your imagination.
A good example of this new dynamic of networking is a lawyer I met while live streaming on Periscope flying my drone over the Pacific Ocean. We exchanged small talk in the live video chat and later that day I used Nimble* to automagically assemble, in one place, his recent social media posts, feeds, and related information. Within a few hours of meeting each other, I felt like I knew this gentleman very well.
After engaging each other on social media and sharing a few thoughts and comments, we took the relationship to the next level. Within a week of my drone flight, his first new client referral came my way.
This same type of networking dance has happened hundreds of times over the years for me using digital. Sometimes the conversation start over a blog post about a new law. Other times it begins with something not related to law at all, such as a picture or video shot from my son’s soccer game or daughters cross country event. It’s about sharing you as a person and the events of your life with others.
I’ve found this approach to work well in almost every setting imaginable. Rotary community service events, online interviews, and out-of-state speaking engagements all allow for the relationship dance to happen on social media. Networking with a combination of offline personal interactions followed by online social media engagement has been fun, easy and created many win-win professional relationships over the years.
In all cases, the conversations started in a very human to human way, and that’s what made them so meaningful and powerful. Unlike an artificially forced gathering at a Bar Association meeting 30 years ago, my networking efforts today are simply more genuine, real and organic. I’m sure if you use the same approach, your networking efforts and results will be similar.
I wrote this post to remind you how important networking is when it comes to building your business. Spend quality time during each business day networking and building relationships. Engage on the digital platforms and add value to the lives of others. I think if you do, you’ll create new relationships, referral sources and in some cases, new friends.
If we haven’t met and you’d like to start building a relationship with me, click here for most of my social media platforms, websites and blogs 🙂
*While I only mention and recommend products and services that I trust and use, I do want you to know that I am a Brand Ambassador for Nimble.