It is easiest to start networking with people you already know. Here is a checklist of places to look for names to add to your list.
1. Old client files: Look through all your old client files to get the names of people you have worked with, even briefly, on a case or project.
2. Old prospect files: Do the same with old prospect files. That a person considered hiring you is strong evidence that he or she is a good contact.
3. Stacks of old business cards: You have been saving them all these years for a purpose. The time has come!
4. Phone directories from employers: Your current and former colleagues can be good referral sources.
5. School alumni directories: People you went to school with are often interested in meeting people and developing business contacts.
6. Colleagues: Other people who work for your firm can be great sources of referrals.
7. Affinity group directories: People you know from memberships in special-interest organizations can be good contacts, especially those in professional organizations.
8. Alliance partners: Put your contacts from these important organizations on your list.
9. Others serving your clients: Your clients' accountants, lawyers, investment bankers, and other professionals who serve them should be added to your list.
10. Friends and family: Some people aren't comfortable doing business with this group. If you are, add them to your list.