LinkedIn really is the premier platform for lawyers and law firms looking to grow their business and build their brand. According to the American Bar Association’s 2020 Legal Technology Survey, nearly 76% of law firms and legal professionals use LinkedIn.
While LinkedIn for lawyers is one of the most powerful networking tools available, many lawyers are missing out on the opportunities LinkedIn has to offer. So, how can lawyers best leverage the power of LinkedIn?
Below are carefully crafted tips of “LinkedIn Best Practices” to help lawyers (and law firms): grow their business, increase their visibility, expand their reach, and build their brand.
Optimizing Your LinkedIn Profile.
The first step in leveraging LinkedIn and building your brand is to have a great profile. A good way to do this is to consider: “What do I want out of LinkedIn’s professional platform?” And…“What do I want others to know about me or my business?”
Your objective may be to gain new customers, grow your network, build your brand or find a new job. Whatever you’re in it for, LinkedIn is that space and community that gets you where you want to go. And your profile is where you need to start.
1. Personality and Authenticity
While LinkedIn lends itself as more of a professional networking tool, it is important to show authenticity and personality in your LinkedIn profile. People don’t just want to know about your professional background and experience, but they also want to know about who you are. Two ways to showcase your personality on LinkedIn include your “Profile Photo”/ “Header Image” and “About Section”.
Your LinkedIn profile picture and header image set the tone for how your target audience and professional contacts should think of you—it is your first impression online.
Tip: Another way to make a distinct impression on your profile is through LinkedIn’s new “cover story” feature. This new feature enables users to embed a 30-second, mini-introduction video into their profiles—offering another great way to stand out and personalize your brand.
2. Write a Compelling Headline
After your photo, your profile’s headline is the second thing that people see on LinkedIn. Currently, LinkedIn’s default setting is to populate your headline with your current employment details. However, letting LinkedIn choose your headline for you is a mistake!
With a customized headline, you’ll instantly distinguish yourself, give prospects a reason to click on your profile, and start building the case for your brand or business.
Tip: To boost the amount of searches your profile generates, include legal industry related keywords and search terms in your headline, e.g. ‘family lawyer’ or ‘personal injury attorney’.
3. Invest Time in Writing your Summary
Having a great LinkedIn summary is essential. It’s one of the most important areas of your entire LinkedIn profile. It is where you get to lay down a compelling first impression to potential clients and business connections, as well as showcase your professional history and personality.
Keep your summary clear and concise—make sure to include pertinent milestones, minimize buzzwords, and be sincere.
4. Use Skills, Endorsements, and Recommendations to Validate Your Expertise
LinkedIn recommendations are a great form of reference and credibility. Recommendations let other potential clients or connections know that other professionals value your work and are willing to put their name behind yours. Recommendations can significantly boost your profile, and are beneficial for network-building.
Tip: Just as important as it is to get LinkedIn recommendations, it is also equally important to give recommendations.
Overall LinkedIn Strategy.
LinkedIn is perhaps the most powerful tool when it comes to establishing yourself as a thought leader in the professional, legal realm. Done well, building your thought leadership can help you foster trust and credibility with customers, become a go-to voice in the legal industry, and open up amazing opportunities.
5. LinkedIn Articles and Posts
LinkedIn articles are a great tool to incorporate into your marketing efforts. They add an extra dimension to your profile account, showcase your experience and expertise, and demonstrate professional focus.
When you publish articles or content to your LinkedIn profile, it is important that you are the author of the content you share; and that the content you’re sharing is valuable to your target audience and communicates your brand narrative effectively.
Another benefit of LinkedIn articles or posts is that posts published on LinkedIn can easily be shared by your connections. Lastly, consider the SEO benefit to your law firm or partner website. Articles written on LinkedIn are indexed by Google, meaning that they will appear in search results for related keywords. By including a link to your website within your LinkedIn article content, you can create an extra stream of traffic to your website.
Not only is the type of the content you share important, but how you share this content is also essential to your overall LinkedIn strategy. It is good to be consistent in the topics you share and consistent in the cadence in which you share them.
7. Share Quality Content that is Valuable to your Audience
Great ways to build trust and professional connections on LinkedIn is through credibility and quality in the content you share. People do not want to be sold to. Providing valuable content – of meaningful interest – to your target audience not only helps to set you apart as a thought leader, but it also helps to build your personal brand and grow your overall audience.
Tip: People use hashtags on LinkedIn and other social sites to follow conversations and topics. Leveraging the most relevant and popular hashtags helps to better promote your account content and expand your reach. You can research the frequency of popular hashtags through LinkedIn’s search tool.