“No man is an island,” and no law firm is an exception. Setting up a law firm is no easy task—more so if you go at it alone. Building a referral network provides a means of transition; a practical opportunity to ease yourself into the practice and business. Hence, building your referral network is more than a stepping stone. It’s a cornerstone for an enduring career.
Read on to better understand why referral network building matters.
Generates (New) Business
When you’re a fresh face in the business, you’re pitted against veterans in the market. This means fighting an established brand and everything that drives it: their years in the industry, their breadth of experience, and their myriad of existing networks. Considering you’re already running a business in cut-throat industry, generating revenue is no picnic.
With a strong referral base, you have a shot at leveling with your competition. Referrals help generate business for your law firm start up—especially organic ones and personal recommendations from past or current clients. Be it via a traditional or digital network, word of mouth remains a credible source, especially in critical personal services like legal support.
Investing time is important in building your referral network. It serves as a quid pro quo relationship; a help-me-help-you kind of setup that will hopefully last.
Builds Relationship with Other Businesses/Practitioners
Regardless of what industry you’re in, you need allies, especially in the legal industry. It may be a dog-eat-dog world out there but nurturing a referral system can help you build mutually beneficial relationships.
Most law firms focus on one legal niche. When you’re faced with a client in need of help outside your expertise, you’re obviously going to refer them to a colleague. Likewise, your colleague in a different niche will refer clients to you when in a similar situation.
Other times, your former clients may also spread the good word about you. Therefore, you need to invest in molding healthy relationships with them; trust us, it will take you far.
Builds Professional and Personal Satisfaction
A referral—an organic one the least—is essentially a vote of confidence. It’s a testament from people who believe in your abilities and are willing to vouch for your services. In the case of former clients, they come from a position of trust and awareness. They know that what they say about you can dictate the influx of business.
Personally and professionally, knowing people trust your practice is a great boost for the ego. It validates the work you put in and assures you you’re going down the right path.
Improves Your Practice
When someone refers you, they’re placing a certain amount of trust in you. They are essentially vouching for your services using their own name and/or brand. This can mean a lot of things; foremost of which is that you’re doing something right, especially since colleagues and clients approve of you and are willing to recommend you.
Getting referrals can help you realize where you’re doing right by your practice. This helps you continue what you’re doing and encourages you to build on it. A lack thereof is also a good indicator that there may be some tuning up you need to do.
Starting a law firm is no easy job; it requires extensive planning, investments, and a lot of work. Tempting as going solo may seem, it’s a high-risk, low-reward option. A referral network is basically a tangible support system that helps your personal and professional growth.