Networking is Overrated: Focus on Achievements

August 27th, 2017

In today’s NYT’s editorial section (https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/24/opinion/sunday/networking-connections-business.html?ref=opinion) Adam Grant writes, “Networking is overrated. Achievement is a magnet to mentors and a beacon to backers.” He notes that networking alone leads to “empty transactions” and not “rich relationships,” which bring the real rewards. He notes that it is important to first have an impressive track record and contribute something of value. He also states that self-promotion is distasteful and that we should promoting ideas instead of ourselves.

This is a wonderful message, but for attorneys, this can be especially difficult. Our relationships with our clients are confidential and private. I certainly could not publicize the approval of a green card for a particular client through USCIS (unless my client agreed). Attorneys do win awards and write articles, but the bulk of our valuable work is getting excellent results for our clients.

The basic rule that seems to have worked since time immemorial for all industries is to treat your clients like royalty, be honest, conscientious and caring and take great pride in your work. Also, it is important to develop deep relationships with professionals in complementary areas so networking still plays a valuable piece in one’s marketing campaign.

How should attorneys use LinkedIn in to promote their businesses? They should engage in less self-promotion and more discussion about ideas, law, policies and current events.