Consultant and former Big Law partner, Judy Selby, offers keen insights, strategies and best practices for using LinkedIn for business development and building relationships based on her years of successfully using the platform. The discussion is particularly useful if you’re looking to further your career or go down a new career path.
After 25 years of legal practice, Judy went from AmLaw 100 partner to principal of her own thriving consulting company. To make this move, she developed an action plan to successfully leverage her legal experience, rebrand, and build an international network and reputation. By consistently following this plan, she was able to seamlessly transition from Big Law to her exciting new career.
How has your LInkedIn strategy evolved over the years?
You can’t just decide to jump on LinkedIn after you decide to rebrand yourself or switch careers. A slower approach with LinkedIn is more effective. First, focus on your image and what you’re saying about yourself. Everything from a professional headshot to a compelling bio is important for an effective LinkedIn page.
Personal social media pages are opportunities to present yourself in the way you want the world to see you. The upgraded LinkedIn membership allows you to utilize analytics to see who is engaging with you and reading your content. It also lets you look at other people without them knowing you’re viewing their profile.
Once you have a great profile, see who to follow and who to connect with. Before you start posting you should just watch and understand what your network is interested in – what topics they’re reading about and what types of content gets the most engagement. Then, you can begin to engage by liking posts, replying with thoughtful comments, or even sending personalized invitations to connect. Ease into LinkedIn slowly, take in feedback, and continue to connect with key people in order to grow your network.
You must be consistent on social media if you’re using it to build a network, rebrand yourself, or generate business. You can’t expect LinkedIn to work for you if you don’t commit to posting content regularly.
Is there a difference between how you use Twitter and LinkedIn?
On LinkedIn you should be much more selective with what you share and post – avoid oversharing. However, Twitter’s feed works differently which means that you can post more without spamming your followers. People are also more relaxed and colloquial on Twitter which may change the type of content you share.
In terms of building connections, LinkedIn is more useful. By posting original content and engaging with connections you can build deeper, more valuable relationships. LinkedIn is also good for developing “social proof” by being connected with and associated with other key influencers in your industry.
Advice for Lawyers on LinkedIn
LinkedIn connections can lead to great in-person relationships that may have never otherwise occurred. The platform helps facilitate both business development and rebranding.
If you’re a lawyer at a large law firm you must be wary of conflicts of interest and consider your company before you start posting. Overall, keep your content fresh and thought provoking without being controversial.
As a lawyer, you’re an expert in your practice area and LinkedIn is a great place to showcase this knowledge and discuss trends within the industries you represent. Being a voice behind issues and topics gets you known as a thought leader within your network.
You can also curate and engage with other people’s content which helps to further build relationships when you don’t have the time to write an original piece.
LinkedIn Groups are another opportunity to share your content and connect with more individuals in related industries.
Make LinkedIn a habit in your daily routine: start with just ten minutes in the morning and ten minutes in the evening.