Last week, a new solo practitioner introduced herself on the Solosezlistserv and requested tips on how introverted attorneys can network and market their law firms. Even if you are not introverted, the life of a solo practice attorney may isolate you from other attorneys at times.
This can easily make anyone feel a bit lost when they begin looking for referrals or professional contacts. If you feel that being introverted or independent holds you back when networking and marketing your law practice, try these tips to help you feel more comfortable and confident in your search for referrals and professional friendships:
- Get out of your comfort zone. The thought of introducing yourself at an event may make you cringe, but a few seconds of feeling uncomfortable could lead to a great contact. Before you go to an event, think of ways you can introduce yourself to other people around you. As soon as you sit down, try to say hello to the people sitting to your immediate left and right. The longer you wait to introduce yourself, the more uncomfortable you will start to feel.
- Build confidence by constantly educating yourself on changes in the legal industry. Attend CLE sessions and join legal services programs that offer tutorials. You will meet others at these sessions and you will build your skill sets for different areas of law.
- Be the organizer. Often, it is easier to feel comfortable at an event if you feel in control. Ask Solosezzers or LinkedIN contacts in your area to meet up for a coffee break or cocktail hour. Since you planned the event, anyone who attends will seek you out to meet you, so you don’t have to be the first to start the conversation.
- Set goals for yourself. Next time you go to a conference/meeting, aim to meet at least X number of people at the event. If you have a goal, this may give you that extra push to speak up even when you feel uncomfortable.
- Practice, practice, practice. Often, people who are introverted want to avoid attending events that force interaction. If you keep going to bar meetings and other events, you will start to see familiar faces. A good way to introduce yourself to someone is by saying, “Didn’t I see you at XYZ event? I’m _____. What brings you to this event?”