This is the next post in my series on how attorneys can better market themselves in 2017. My last article looked at why lawyers should prioritize blogging over attending networking events. While I understand that legal professionals often see networking as a vital way to get clients, the bottom line is that attending such functions offers nowhere near the return as does maintaining a high quality law blog. Those who actually pay attention to their return on investment will realize this and, in the end, will wind up looking like this:

Happy man with money

Those who continue to ignore the idea of R.O.I. will find themselves broke as a proverbial joke as law firms continue to fail in 2017. In this article I’ll take a quick look at why, when you do engage in networking, you are far better off leveraging LinkedIn as opposed to attending traditional networking functions.

I know what you’re thinking. You’re saying “but all attorneys attend networking events” and “it’s a way to get business.” You’re also thinking of the fact that every legal professional will tell you that attending such events is the way to go. Before you join into that collective group think consider the following. First, virtually every attorney will openly admit to being bad at business. Second, almost every law firm out there is patterned on the model of other law firms. Call me crazy, but I don’t see it as a good idea to pattern one’s business after that of someone who openly admits to being bad at business. This is why the opinions of lawyers, as to how to run their practice and how to get clients, need to be re-examined. This re-examination includes looking at whether going to networking events is a good idea.

Attending the traditional group function is a gamble. Maybe you’ll meet someone who will eventually refer you a few cases and maybe you won’t. At the end of the day, it’s a lot like gambling. If you don’t get anything out of the event, however, then you’ve just lost time which could have been put into blogging or some other productive activity. This is why any efforts at networking need to provide the maximum possible return. Again, I can’t stress enough, you should only engage in networking after you’ve put time into your website’s blog.

I’ve previously written on how attorneys can leverage LinkedIn. I won’t re-hash that article here. I will strongly, strongly, strongly (strongly) suggest that you read it however. If you leverage your blog as I discussed in my last post, and used LinkedIn to network the right way, then you’ll have plenty of incoming volume. The next key is to convert that volume. My next article will provide tips on getting more good reviews from clients which, in turn, will bring in more business.

Why do you feel attorneys spend so much time attending traditional networking events? Please chime in through the comment form below.