LinkedIn has become one of the most powerful platforms for businesses. Occasionally, you will hear a lawyer say that they use LinkedIn, but aren’t generating results they read about. In those instances, it’s worth digging into how they use the platform. Similar to a networking event, LinkedIn works best if you actively engage with people open to your services.
One great way to do that is through groups, but the etiquette on how to use those can be unclear. Let’s dig into the proper way to approach LinkedIn groups.
The Wrong Way
It’s been said that many lawyers use LinkedIn groups enthusiastically, but selfishly, and we’ve seen that to be true.
For one thing, joining a group without proper research is a waste of time. Who are the members, and why did they join? What are the primary interests and discussion topics? What value do members get out of the group? If you join without a thorough understanding of these answers, you’re unlikely to contribute in a way that adds value.
Secondly, many marketers and lawyers fill the group with self-promotion and links to their own content. Updating the group with firm news, events, or even blog posts isn’t viewed as helpful. Even if they position the content as helpful, it’s clear they’re more interested in promoting than helping, and that never goes over well.
The worst strategy you could take when it comes to LinkedIn groups is to join them without proper research, and then use them as a platform to advertise your own services.
The Right Way
Remember, LinkedIn is a social platform – so be social. If you properly research groups, you can engage in some great conversations and even make new friends. The key is not approaching groups as a promotional platform, but as an opportunity for serious, engaged dialogue and discussion of timely, pertinent topics.
Your participation can either waste your time and the members or it could build community and add value. Additionally, lawyers who use groups correctly can find clients and referral sources as well as connect with other lawyers.
To begin, we suggest first joining a group that pertains to interests outside of your professional realm. Use this group for “practice” in being supportive and engaging. Then, research and join a few groups that pertain to your industry. Before you post anything at all, spend some time reading and absorbing. Get to know the group. Chime in on discussions and start some of your own. This will help you build a reputation as a knowledgeable, helpful professional.
Only after you’ve created and nurtured that reputation within the group should you post anything even mildly promotional. Begin with content like white papers or podcasts that pertain to recently discussed topics and can actually help people.
For groups, as with most tactics on LinkedIn, you’ll get out what you put in. There is definitely a right way and a wrong way to approach groups, and members tend to see right through self-promotional posts. Try to give 15 minutes a week to maintain a personal, helpful presence on LinkedIn groups and see what it can do for your business. If you need help creating a stronger LinkedIn strategy in general, reach out to our experts or check out some of our past blogs on LinkedIn.