I get it. Lawyers are busy. Time is money, especially in the legal profession. Making time for business development might not be high on your priority list, but BD does not just happen on its own. After all, the word “development” is there for a reason. Sure, you may have a client reach out because they found you through your website or because you were referred by another lawyer but when you are in the initial stages of your career, those opportunities are quite rare.
You know that you need to drive business to your firm…or you know that you will need to eventually. Rather than wait until the partners ask you about your book of business at an annual review, it’s important to start building relationships now with potential clients. Notice that I said “relationships” not “sales.
The key to business development is relationships, not sales.
You have potential clients all over the place – friends, colleagues, law school classmates, the guy in front of you in the line at Starbucks. But you can’t just walk up to them and say “Hey, need a lawyer?” (as an aside, it would be awesome if it were as simple as that).
You need to get to know people first.
Now what if you have reached out to everyone you know but are still not getting enough leads? Do lawyers have to…gulp…cold call?
No. There…you can breathe a sigh of relief. Although you can certainly try cold calling, there is another method that is much easier, much more likely to generate positive results and much less likely to take you 30 minutes to work up the nerve to just pick up the phone (or was that just my experience).
An Easy Way to Find Leads
The method I’m talking about is using LinkedIn to find leads.
I realize that this may not sound groundbreaking to you, but so few lawyers are doing this at all, let alone the right way. Do you use the Linkedin search function beyond just typing someone’s name in the search bar? If not, you are seriously missing out on a huge opportunity.
You can use LinkedIn to build a custom list of potential clients that you can reach out to.
Why should you do this?
✅ It’s free
✅ It takes less than 2 minutes to generate your list
✅ Not many lawyers (or LinkedIn users) know how to do this.
How to Find Leads Using LinkedIn
I made a video to walk you through exactly how to search for leads that are tailored for you.
The best way to reach out once you have your list is a blog post for another day but this video will help get you started.
Now get out there and use that LinkedIn search bar!
Do you use LinkedIn to find new client leads?
I was trained on Bay Street and worked in Big Law for nearly a decade before going solo. I now help other solo/small firm lawyers launch and build their practices, through 1:1 consulting. I help lawyers implement a marketing strategy, hire help, overcome mindset blocks and build a profitable firm that suits their lifestyle. Interested in learning more? Check out my services page.