With over 722 million users worldwide, LinkedIn’s social network reigns supreme for professional networking. Any lawyer who hopes to attract new clients and be known as a thought leader in their practice area can benefit from having a strong presence on LinkedIn. Success for a lawyer depends on conveying to prospects and clients that you’re at the top of your practice area and LinkedIn can help you do just that.
The first and most important step to ensure that your profile is optimized for the platform is to fill out each section completely. The more information you add, the more powerful, robust and complete your profile is. Here are some tips and best practices to help you improve your LinkedIn profile and reach All-Star status:
1. Know your audience.
Are you most interested in finding new professional opportunities for yourself, or promoting your practice within your firm? Perhaps you’re hoping to better position yourself as a thought leader in the legal space so that you can speak at conferences or on podcasts. Whatever you’re trying to accomplish, think through who you’re hoping to reach to help you with those goals. From there, you can better tailor your profile so it speaks to your target audience.
2. Add a background photo to make your profile stand out.
Your LinkedIn background banner photo should reinforce who you are and visually support the written portions of your profile. Some people skip this step, but a compelling picture can add a lot to your profile.
Remember, LinkedIn is all about branding. With the right messaging, both visual and text, you can create a better impression to clients, prospects and referral sources.
3. Add a professional headshot photo.
LinkedIn reveals that professionals using a quality headshot photo are 14 times more likely to get found on the platform. If you don’t have one or choose not to use one, you’re likely missing opportunities.
4. Make your headline more than just a job title.
There’s no rule that says the description at the top of your profile page has to be just a job title. In 120 characters or less, use your headline to give prospects an idea of who you are, what you do and what you bring to the table. Try to make it catchy without being gimmicky, and be clear about the legal specialties and expertise you offer.
5. Tell people how to reach you.
Add plenty of contact info. You can include your work phone number, but also add items like social handles, a link to your personal blog, and your firm’s website. The easier you make it for people to get a hold of you, the more likely they are to do so.
6. Use the summary portion as an elevator pitch.
You’ve likely perfected your professional “elevator pitch” over the years. LinkedIn offers a place for you to share this information on your profile. You can also add other content to create a more robust summary. Be creative and consider including a brief video or presentation, along with photos and links to other sites.
7. Highlight your expertise.
This tip seems like common sense, and LinkedIn is designed to showcase professional experience, yet many people skip adding this information. Be clear and concise, as you would be on a resume, but be sure to include any experience that is relevant to potential clients. In today’s digital world, where pretty much anyone can post anything online, it’s more important than ever to establish credibility. Highlighting your past accomplishments and areas of expertise is one way to do that.
The summary section of your profile is likely to be the most lengthy, so follow these best practices: break up text with bullets and basic formatting, so that it’s easier to read; include keywords and phrases to better help you be found online, and (of course) carefully proofread and correct any spelling or grammatical errors.
8. Leverage testimonials.
Let your network speak on your behalf! LinkedIn offers the opportunity to feature endorsements and recommendations, and you should take full advantage of these. Ask past clients or colleagues to write a brief review of your work together, or endorse you for particular specialties. It’s best if you can return the favor, so be considerate about who you ask to help in this area.
9. Make sure you can be found.
You can customize your LinkedIn url to a shorter and more accurate link. This makes it easier to add to your email signature or business cards, as well as more natural for people to remember.
10. Engage and build relationships.
Did you know that there are currently over 2 million active groups on LinkedIn? There is something for everyone, which makes it easy to converse with people in your industry, share content, and learn new things. Join relevant groups and share insights or links to interesting content (including some of your own).
Remember that the goal is not to simply self-promote but to build new relationships and provide thought leadership. While you’re at it, why not create blog posts through LinkedIn Publisher, or start discussions by posting compelling articles on your profile page? There are lots of different ways to be active on LinkedIn and doing so will ensure you’re top-of-mind when people need your services.
When used properly, lawyers can grow their practice using LinkedIn. But with all of the lawyers trying to get noticed on LinkedIn, it’s important to craft a professional and marketable LinkedIn profile. Taking the time to optimize your profile and engage with others will help you stand out from the crowd and garner attention from your target audience.
Contact us today to discover how we can help you achieve greater success through your LinkedIn marketing efforts.
Updated and Republished from Jan 2, 2019.