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Networking is a whole new ball game. In-person networking is still important but no longer the only — or best — option. Savvy networkers are using new strategies to make more high-quality contacts. These relationships are more enduring and bring more value to you and your network.

The new approaches to networking don’t rely on coming up with small talk. Nor do they have any awkward pauses. You can adopt any or all of these as they are all interconnected.

Use these 5 hacks to ramp up your networking opportunities and networking skills:

Start your own LinkedIn Group

LinkedIn lets you start your own group on virtually any topic. These groups attract like-minded individuals. Members like groups because they don’t have to wade through a lot of material for relevant content. This same like-mindedness fosters discussion and engagement — creating knowledge-rich discussions and ongoing relationships.

Your groups don’t have to be about legal topics. You can start groups about outside counsel management, the lawyer experience, mentoring, shared experiences, client experience, managing your boss, and more.

Associates can build groups around career development, navigating law firm life, work-life balance, managing partners, and client experiences. More than 50% of associates will leave big law — starting your groups now can create relationships lasting throughout a career.

Active LinkedIn Profile

Be where your network goes. Clients and lawyers from law firms visit LinkedIn 4x more often than law firm bios and websites.

Your LinkedIn profile is essential to networking success. And you can’t start your own group without one. Potential connections want to know you are worth the effort to connect. Engagement, content sharing, and comments drive the successful LinkedIn profile. Designate time every day to comment and respond to posts. You will see your following — and engagement — grow, giving you another point of leverage to bring contacts into your other networking vehicles.

30-minute Video Networking Meetings

Hold monthly video meetings to discuss current and relevant issues. These are most effective when the attendees feel as though they can share concerns and issues in a supportive environment. Attendees tell us they are a combination of learning, sharing, networking, problem-solving, and therapy.

Keep the groups small and skip the PowerPoints. Ask open-ended questions to drive discussions. Listen more than you talk. Once your group reaches 12 people — start a new group with the same format — to ensure the groups stay small and intimate.

X (formerly known as Twitter)

Elon Musk and corporate drama aside — X (formerly known as Twitter) is still a content source of record. Quinn Emanuel’s founder, John Quinn, enjoys 44K followers — up from 40K last year. You can post news items, original content, opinions, and repost others. The goal is to become a source — and attract more followers.

Email Networking

Send emails to people you know with a question, observations, comments, or facts. Ask them to provide an answer, comment or thought. Share the results in summary form.

Ask their opinion about risks, changes, and new observations in their industry — or ask about new pressures they experience. Generative AI can be helpful here: Enter a query asking about the most popular questions posed by executives in an industry of interest.

Send these emails consistently every week, at the same time. Say things others aren’t saying — or bring an alternative view. Think of it as your idea-building and networking tool.

You will find your network sharing these emails with their colleagues and it will build over time. Interesting and novel topics will keep and attract more people — and your network will grow. You will be able to call and reach out to anyone on your list — and they will reach out to you.

Networking is the lifeblood of a successful legal career, but the old methods are tired. No one has time for awkward small talk and superficial connections. These five hacks will help you double your networking efforts with half the time investment.

This approach works for all — top rainmakers, new partners, associates, and business professionals. Your network can never be too robust or too good. Make time for at least one hack — and you will be energized to adopt others.

Best in the market ahead.


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