LinkedIn is by far the most popular social media platform among lawyers. According to the ABA’s Legal Technology Report, as many as 90% of US lawyers maintain a presence on LinkedIn. Facebook comes in second, with only 39% of respondents claiming to be present there.
But being present is not the same thing as making it work for you. LinkedIn has the power to connect you with a potential employer, talent, and client. You just need to know how to harness this power to your advantage.
Not sure yet? We’ve summoned the assistance of dry facts and numbers to persuade you.
How will LinkedIn make you more competitive?
“For most of my career, I didn’t give much thought to building a professional brand. My focus was on practicing law and building a reputation as a trusted legal advisor. Don’t make my mistake.”
Clients will find you
Not the other way around. The more you make yourself visible online, the greater the chance of your potential clients approaching you without any effort on your part. If you regularly appear in their LinkedIn feed sharing your legal expertise, they’ll subconsciously perceive you as a legal expert and will have no reason to go to someone else. What’s more, they’ll likely recommend you to their colleagues and friends as you’ll “own” the concept of legal services in their minds.
Your industry authority will grow exponentially
Unlike Facebook, LinkedIn shows every post you like. This means that every time someone from your network likes your post, it will be seen not only by your followers, but by the followers of this person. This gives you just the right tool to reach out to the audience you want and build your professional brand organically.
You’ll build the team of your dream
If you have an opening, LinkedIn makes it amazingly easy to see the company or the candidate, the perks of the position, and the comparison of skill sets required. Scanning prospects on Linkedin is a perfect and quick pre-interview candidate research method.
You’ll find your dream job
It takes one click to apply for a job on LinkedIn. All you have to do is to keep your profile updated. What’s even better is that sometimes your dream job will find you without you trying. Hiring managers are always looking for true professionals to join their teams. To have a filled out profile is half victory.
You’ll be visible even outside LinkedIn
A solid LinkedIn profile with many connections and followers will increase your imprint and credibility for Google or other search engines which can in turn promote your page higher in their search results. Also, LinkedIn increases the opportunity for your content to be shared beyond the platform itself and attract media attention.
15 steps to making LinkedIn work for you or your firm
“With a little practice and determination, I was able to increase my LinkedIn connections by 1326% and my post views by 500%. ”
Loio talked to Lisa Lang, the General Counsel for Kentucky State University, about her way to success on LinkedIn. The first thing she told us was that “building a professional brand is something all lawyers need to do. It is not about creating a false media persona. It is about highlighting who you are, what you stand for, and how you stand out.”
By applying the right strategy, Lang managed to build quite a following on social media, which translated into growing visibility outside LinkedIn.
She said: “In October 2019, I started using LinkedIn to do just that [to build a professional brand]. With a little practice and determination, I was able to increase my LinkedIn connections by 1326% and my post views by 500%. When I increased my professional visibility on LinkedIn, the offers came rolling in to appear on podcasts, to write for legal publications, and to speak to a variety of audiences.”
Lang added: “What did I do? I showed up as an authentic person in my posts and comments. I let my values and personality shine through. I treated LinkedIn as an opportunity to build substantive professional relationships and I gave my audience a reason to read my posts and connect with me. I gave my audience something of value. What did I not do? I didn’t try to be someone I was not. I didn’t fixate on vanity metrics like connection number and post views. I didn’t make overt sales pitches. If I can do it, anyone can do it. What are you waiting for?”
Lisa Lang is right. You can do it. You can take an online course on becoming a LinkedIn guru, e.g. LinkedIn Essentials. Or you can start with taking these exact steps
1. Make your personal profile shine
Fill in all possible fields in your profile, but indicate only the jobs you think are relevant or that make you proud (nobody has to know about your first job as a dishwasher). If you don’t have that much work experience, then bring on everything you’ve got. Still, remember to keep your profile clean and easy to read.
2. Get recommendations from your favorite colleagues
Getting social proof makes your profile more lively and valued. Get your colleagues or your favorite boss to leave their feedback on your page. Ask them to focus on things that matter to you (for instance, your leadership skills or communication) so that your profile visitors could see you from the right angle.
3. Showcase your licenses and certificates
Coupled with recommendations, this will help you be perceived as a highly trained professional.
4. Post regularly
Subscribe to experienced LinkedIn influencers like Colin Levy, Robert Ambrogi,
and Lisa Lang, among others, determine what attracts you to their posts and try to use it in your storytelling. It’s important to learn from the best. Then define the topics you’d feel genuinely happy to share, create and stick to your posting schedule.
It’s possible you won’t feel like Shakespeare every time you post something. But practice makes perfect. Eventually, you’ll find your voice. Just be persistent.
5. Tell relatable work stories
Sharing your success and failures, being honest and lively is always a good strategy. People like people. They also love to recognize themselves in the stories they read.
No matter what you think of your job, you definitely have hundreds of little anecdotes or achievements that other people might find interesting. Use these stories to build human connections.
6. Provide useful tips
Write professional advice and useful insights that may help your peers. You may be surprised how information and tips that seem obvious to you might find many thankful readers (and potential clients!).
7. Share testimonials from existing clients
Many of us are too shy to ask, but asking a happy client to write a short testimonial on your LinkedIn page is nothing to be ashamed of. Don’t forget to tag people when you write a testimonial for somebody else — they usually like to share everything they’re tagged in.
8. Do a little research based on a popular topic and share it
Is there something that you felt curious about legal-wise? Take some time and research it. You can also ask your network’s opinion and then compare your research results. Make a decent post explaining your findings and tag some people who helped you along the way. You’ll be surprised how much a simple research insight can be appreciated by your readers.
9. Show you are human
Don’t be afraid to show people your human side. This approach creates empathy and connection, which are much more effective at building trustworthy relationships with your audience than dry legalese.
10. Check your inbox
You may be doing a great job promoting your profile on LinkedIn. But you will lose many potential clients and quality connections if you fail to check your inbox regularly and respond to requests. Also, don’t forget to allow everyone to send you messages in your page settings.
For law firms
11. Create a business page
If you’re a law firm partner, create a business page if you still don’t have one. Starting an ad campaign or engaging potential clients to your firm is easier when you have a business page.
12. Fill in all the information on your business page
Name, tagline, logo, firm description, URL of the website if you have one, location, hashtags — filling out all this information is important to get prioritized in LinkedIn’s search results.
13. Have any discounts or special offers? Tell your audience about them!
Discounts show that you are active on LinkedIn and engage more potential clients to reach out. If you don’t have any, discuss the issue with your colleagues and come up with something (discounts are not the only thing you can refer to; free consults work, too) you can show off on your business page.
14. Master LinkedIn ads
The best news of the day: you don’t need to be a digital marketer to launch ads on LinkedIn! Go to the Advertise section in the upper right corner, create an account for your firm, create a campaign group, then a campaign inside it. Decide on your final goal and start a campaign. If you want your audience to get to know about your firm you can set a Brand awareness objective. If you want to engage people with your content or make them follow your firm, you should pick an Engagement goal. You can read more about the objectives here.
15. Use Groups if you don’t have an ad budget
No budget — no problem. You can promote your firm by using free tools like Groups. Search for groups, join them, target the restricted ones because they often collect the best audiences, share your content or job openings in their feed, and see whether you’ll get results.
To your success!