Networking and marketing are important parts of building a book of business for any solo practice. Nonetheless, it’s true that many successful solo practices build a significant portion of their business around referrals from colleagues and clients. Clients and colleagues refer business to people they trust. Therefore, it’s important that they trust you and your work. Indeed, your credibility may be your most valuable asset as an attorney. With that in mind, here are a few tips to help you maintain your credibility.
1. Be genuine.
The first step in developing your credibility is to simply be yourself. All of your interactions with your clients and colleagues should feel natural and authentic so that they feel comfortable working with you. Be honest about who you are, what your strengths and weaknesses are, and the type of relevant experience you have for any given matter. After all, your clients and colleagues are certainly savvy enough to see through any self-aggrandizing or dishonesty. If they sense you aren’t on the level, they’ll take their business elsewhere.
2. Do your homework.
Clients and colleagues will only refer you to their friends and colleagues if they trust your work. As a result, it’s important that you demonstrate that you are knowledgeable and competent. Do your homework whenever you are assisting a client or colleague on a matter: make sure you understand the relevant law; make sure you understand the totality of your clients’ circumstances; and make sure you truly understand the problems facing them. By demonstrating your knowledge and professional competence, you’ll be able to perform your best work. After all, the best way to gain the trust and respect of your clients and colleagues is by demonstrating the quality of your work firsthand.
3. Be easy to work with.
If you provide your clients with great service, they’ll be more inclined to recommend your services to others. Be sure to respond promptly to their emails and voicemails. Offer to meet clients at times and locations that are convenient for them. And, of course, make sure that your clients know that you appreciate them and the work they’ve provided you.
Remember, your credibility is one of your most valuable assets as an attorney. Be honest, knowledgeable, and easy to work with. Your clients and colleagues will appreciate it and will be more likely to recommend your work to others.
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