How to Use Others (And Not Feel Bad About It) (Part A)

A big trend in today's world is one-stop shopping. The success of retail giants like Wal-Mart and Target prove that people love to be able to go to one store and get their groceries, clothes, home goods and electronics all in one shot. Consumers don't like to have to run to 12 different places to get all they're looking for - the more they can get in one trip, the better.

While most clients don't have needs in multiple practice areas at once, they like to know that they have one main source of legal advice. Legal networking allows you to retain your guru status in your niche but still be a source of trustworthy information for practice areas outside your realm.

Use Your Colleagues

Let's say you're a personal injury attorney who specializes in commercial truck accidents. Through your professional networking, you're bound to know a handful of other personal injury lawyers who specialize in their own niches. If a client comes to you looking for a P.I. attorney who specializes in marine accidents, while that may not be your area, you probably know someone who has made his mark helping boating accident victims.

The more people you know, the larger your legal networking contacts can grow.
When clients see that you have a wide professional networking reach, you build your reputation as a pillar of legal knowledge. While you may not know the nuances of boating laws in your area, you know someone who does and you have still helped that client.

Likewise, by establishing legal networking relationships with other lawyers with similar but different practices, you should be able to expect the same referral courtesies as you offer.
The old "you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours" adage applies here. The more clients you can refer out to other professionals, the more referrals you should get in return.

Enhancing Your Legal Marketing Materials

You should have already written a book or guide about your practice area as you further establish your position as a pillar of legal knowledge. To better expand your legal marketing, you should consider co-authoring some books with other colleagues you've connected to through your professional networking.

While your legal marketing should be mainly drawing your ideal clients, there may be times when a client comes to you with a legal matter outside your area of expertise. It would be nice to be able to say "Well, I'm not the expert, but I have a book I co-wrote with an expert to get you started, and I can put you in contact with her."

There's more to be said for referrals and professional networking with industries outside the legal spectrum. Continue reading for more information.

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Ben Glass
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Ben is a nationally recognized expert in attorney marketing and the owner of Great Legal Marketing.