The modern world is more connected than ever before but this does not necessarily mean that you will experience purposeful connections in your daily life. For the 70,000 licensed attorneys practicing in Texas and those elsewhere throughout the United States, these elusive connections are essential in finding clients and tackling meaningful cases. To find those cases, lawyers need to use all methods of building relationships with the community at their disposal and know how to use them effectively.
Engage on social media
Social media is one of the most important tools that all types of organizations can use to connect more closely with their community. Platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook are great for engaging with all types of people, any of whom could be your firm’s next client. On any of these channels, try asking open-ended questions related to your legal content strategy. These questions will encourage anyone who sees them to respond and these responses will build a foundation for healthy communication between your firm and the wider world.
These platforms are also perfect for sharing news and updates that pertain to your law firm. You can share blog posts on your website that focus on news or a specific practice area of your firm through these channels. You could also spur engagement in your firm by holding live Q&A sessions or webinars that deal with particular legal topics or common concerns your firm hears. Many social media platforms, including Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, offer features for these video opportunities.
Volunteer in Your Community
It may seem obvious, but an easy way to connect with the people in your community is through community service. Many lawyers will consider taking pro bono cases as their community service. Although this is certainly a worthwhile initiative, it often takes stepping outside of your comfort zone and into another person’s shoes to demonstrate that you want your volunteer efforts to make a difference.
If your firm practices in certain areas of law, you can easily cater your service towards that community. For instance, a firm that often handles cases of discrimination for people with disabilities could volunteer as a group at a local event that helps the 36 million Americans with hearing loss or raises awareness for people with autism. Any worthy cause is a good opportunity for you to flex your volunteer muscles, but connecting it with your practice areas will demonstrate that you care about your work beyond just earning money from it.
Engaging in community service that doesn’t directly relate to your firm still presents the opportunity to make meaningful connections with other people. By volunteering in your community, you can take advantage of networking opportunities and showing others that you care about the world. If you hold a clothing drive to contribute to the 14.3 million tons of donated American textiles that help families around the globe, you’re demonstrating compassion while proving that you can be someone that other people can turn to in times of need. It doesn’t matter much whether the volunteer opportunities are related to legal representation or not, as long as you’re learning about your community by directly interacting with it and trying to make a positive impact.
Host an event
If you want your firm to be a place that people feel comfortable coming to, try hosting an event that shows the community who you are and what you do. Your firm may be able to adhere to the industry standard of settling 95% to 96% of personal injury cases pretrial, but what does this mean for your clients and their needs? Establishing your true purpose is especially important if you are a new firm in town. Popular events that can get people into your firm and understanding your business include happy hours, live performances, and ice cream socials.
Be sure to choose an event that you think with resonate with your target clients. For instance, an ice cream social would be perfect for a firm that focuses on family law and other children-centric issues. Offer popular flavors of ice cream — vanilla is the most popular, with 28% of consumers preferring it — and activities to entertain any young guests. If you’re apprehensive about marketing events to an entire community, start small with events for friends and family. You can expand from there if it is successful or you get more interest than you thought you would.
Fostering relationships within your community isn’t rocket science. By putting yourself in the shoes of your potential clients and considering what you can give back to your community, you’ll find the right opportunities. Once you get out there, your firm will have more of a presence in the wider community.