Previously, I discussed selecting the most effective legal marketing techniques to boost your law firm marketing plan.  The techniques include referrals, speaking engagements, networking, online presence, public relations, promotional events and advertising.  This post explores the benefits of networking in your law firm marketing strategy.

A sound law firm marketing plan will include networking at trade association meetings, networking groups, professional associations, chambers of commerce, or formal lead groups. Networking works well for some people and not at all for others.

I have seen some attorneys build their entire business from networking and others who have wasted months of diligent effort without a single sale to show for it. It is an effective legal marketing strategy when implemented well, but it does require a significant time commitment for success.

You need to be very deliberate about organizations you join and have a clear goal for your networking efforts.

Formal versus Informal Networking: Going to a group event versus casually meeting someone for lunch. Formal Networking includes: industry trade shows, bar meetings, rotary clubs, special interest groups, political groups, and lead groups (like Business Network International).

Join the Right Groups: not legal groups or groups where a lot of attorneys hang out (unless you get a lot of your business from other attorneys); go where the decision makers meet, not the gatekeepers.

Join Elite Groups: groups that cost several hundred dollars a year are better than cheap groups; groups that require a member to sponsor you are even better .

Use an Audio Logo: Most people are basically narcissistic—they want to talk about what interests them. They don’t want to talk to someone who’s only interested in how to get their business. Use an Audio Logo to attract attention. Be prepared to give case examples of how you have helped others.

An audio logo is an idea or statement that clearly and succinctly tells who your intended audience is and what you can do for them.

When someone asks you or what you do, the response should be in the form of an audio logo.
It should be something your target market can easily remember, is attractive, meets one of their points of pain, and/or offers a benefit to them.
Here is the outline of an audio logo:
“I help (who your clients are) to (what your solution is or how you solve their problems).”

Examples of Audio Logos:
I help mid-level chemical companies keep the competition out by securing strong patent protection on their novel products.

I pave the way for individual and university inventors to obtain income from their inventions relating to biotechnology and pharmaceuticals.

I help win justice for the injured so the injury doesn’t destroy their life.

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Networking and referrals are two closely linked law firm marketing strategies that have a place in your legal marketing plan.  When you are designing your law firm marketing plan, include them if they are appropriate to the individuals who will be implementing the plan.
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