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FIVE WAYS TO GROW YOUR BOOK OF BUSINESS

In the current economic climate, it’s more important than ever to make sure you have every advantage when contemplating a legal career move.  One of the best ways to ensure that you’re a desirable candidate is to have a healthy book of business.  Of course, this is easier said than done.  It takes effort and patience to create an enviable (and hirable) book of business, but it’s well worth the effort.

Developing a book of business is not the reason most of us attended law school; and it’s certainly nothing that we’ve been taught.  At times, lawyers can find this process to be overwhelming.  Therefore, we at Swan Legal Search have broken down the process into a few simple tips that are sure to help you grow your book of business.

1. Strengthen existing relationships. 

Strong relationships within (and outside of) the legal community are imperative.  It’s common for folks to aggressively pursue new contacts and forget to follow up with and give attention to existing contacts.  This is a big mistake.  Sometimes, upon first meeting, the contact has no need for a lawyer.  Six months, a year or even two years later, his/her situation may change. Make a list of contacts and be sure to communicate with them at least twice per year.  Send a short email asking how they’re doing or inform them of your status.  The follow-up doesn’t have to be long or incredibly formal, but it should be professional and they should know that you are seeking new clients.  

2. Get referrals. 

If you have current contacts or clients, ask them to refer you to friends, associates and/or acquaintances.  Referrals are the easiest way to get new clients, because you come as a recommendation from a trusted source.  One important note – if you are referred to a client, be sure to give him/her the “royal treatment.”  When referred clients go to their original source and sing your praises, more referrals are sure to come your way!  (Remember to send referral thank you gifts.)

3. Market yourself. 

As a lawyer, it’s sometimes tough to learn how to market yourself.  However, it’s really the best way for folks to learn who you are and what you do.  There are many ways to market yourself without being unethical or tacky.  Write an article to be published in a legal magazine or send an introductory letter and business card to someone with influence.  Whatever you choose to do, get your name out among other lawyers and business owners.  You’ll be amazed how quickly your phone will start to ring.

4. Put yourself in front of people. 

Speaking with influential people face-to-face is a wonderful way to meet potential clients.  I love technology as much as the next person, but nothing is quite as impactful as an in-person meeting.  There are many types of events you can attend.  Find a business or charitable organization that “speaks” to you.  Go to as many meetings and events as you can, talk to new people and make sure they have your business card in hand by the end of the conversation.

5. Take advantage of your alumni associations. 

It doesn’t matter how many years ago you graduated, your high school, college and law school alumni associations can be wonderful resources for building a book of business.  Check with your alumni associations to find out if there’s a way to get involved or to get a mailing list of other alumni.  Reach out to fellow alumni and let them know what you’re doing.  People love to help others with whom they feel a connection.  Many alumni will be thrilled to speak with a fellow graduate and may become clients.

Need more help?  Please contact us today.  We’d love to work with you and help you with your career  goals!

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