Are you on LinkedIn? If not, perhaps you should be. Dispelling a myth that the site is “just for job seekers”, LinkedIn reports that only 15% of their members are actively seeking employment. The other 85% are there for other reasons, including searching for legal services. With over 400 million professionals signed up, LinkedIn for lawyers represents a massive opportunity to seek out and find legal work. So how do you get the most out it? Here are five LinkedIn tips for lawyers you can use to get the most out the professional networking site.
1. Include a Picture
LinkedIn profiles that have a photograph are more likely to be viewed than those without a photo. But you need the right photo to project the image you want potential clients to see. That means keeping it professional and current, and of yourself. No photos of your pet, your spouse, your kids, nor should you have photos of you at parties or on vacations, photos that have clearly cropped out others, and you should never ever have a selfie of you behind the wheel of your car. If you can, get a professional to take a proper headshot.
2. Add a Professional Headline
The headline is a critical part on your LinkedIn profile because it is what shows up in a LinkedIn search. Many people are tempted to put their job title and company as their headline, and that works in a lot of cases. A good LinkedIn tip for lawyers is to consider your area of practice and where you do business.
You may be proud to be a partner at the law firm of Smith & Doe, but not every prospect will necessarily be able to find you that way. A better idea is to present yourself as “a Cincinnati based attorney specializing in family law” or as “an experienced lawyer helping small businesses in Rhode Island find success.” The firm and title can come in your profile where you highlight your experience.
3. Get to the Point
One of the most important factors will be your biography and experience. But a lengthy list of transactions and court cases is not necessarily what you want to present. Major cases should be highlighted, but think brevity. Certainly, there is a balance to be struck. Your goal is to show that you have the knowledge, insight, and experience to get the job done, but overwhelming people with the minutia of every detail of your career will scare them off to your competitors, if it hasn’t just bored them.
Choosing a lawyer is a difficult experience for most people. They want someone they can relate to and who will explain the law and their options in terms they can understand. With more and more people turning to internet searches to find a lawyer, having the right profile write-up is essential.
4. Get Connected and Engaged
Depending on your type of practice, you’re going to want to get involved in LinkedIn and be active on it. One easy LinkedIn tip for lawyers is to join groups relevant to your practice and the region in which you practice, such as local business organizations or broader law associations. Once you’ve joined, monitor and contribute to the discussion. And of course, use your own profile to share updates and connect with clients and potential clients, where appropriate.
5. Post Just Often Enough
But when you do post, don’t go overboard. Cadence is your friend. And so is relevance. Updating your status or sharing content every three hours is not going to win you a lot of allies on LinkedIn. That might work on Twitter, but has the opposite effect on LinkedIn. Find a cadence that works for you. Perhaps an update or a share once a week or every so many days. Just keep it relevant to your practice and the type of clients you want to attract.
LinkedIn Works for Lawyers
It really only takes a few moments of your time to share and review content and these LinkedIn tips for lawyers will help to profile you as a lawyer in the know. Just make sure you have an open profile and methods for people to contact you. Being a hidden member is not going to help your client development efforts. You can build it, but they won’t come if they can’t find you. And with hundreds of millions of eyes scanning LinkedIn, you don’t want to be overlooked and miss out on your slice of that enormous pie.