94% of attorneys have profiles on the most popular business-oriented networking website, LinkedIn. In addition to being helpful for keeping in touch with existing business contacts, the website is also increasingly becoming the first point of contact after two professionals meet in the real world. More often people say “add me on LinkedIn,” or run to do that on a smartphone rather than asking for a business card. While the majority of attorneys and firms understand the pros of having a presence on the site, many lawyers still aren’t sure how to make the most out of all the benefits and opportunities LinkedIn has to offer, especially with their already busy workloads. Using the following tips, lawyers, and the marketing professionals they employ, will effectively use LinkedIn, without taking too much time out of their workdays.
Define your objectives
As is the case with any marketing strategy, it’s important to take a planned approach to LinkedIn. Are you joining the site to attract clients? Promote original content? Make connections in your practice area? All of the above? There are several ways LinkedIn can come in handy and support your individual and firm business development strategies, and setting objectives only helps you and your firm stay focused in reaching them.
Update your profile
Make sure your profile is up to date with an engaging summary that highlights specific, client-centric achievements rather than simply bragging and boasting. Also, consider adding a photo to personalize your profile. According to LinkedIn, profiles with photos are 14 times more likely to be viewed than a profile without a photo. A compelling profile only serves to amplify your professional reputation.
Build and maintain your network
LinkedIn is brimming with professional opportunities that can help you make meaningful connections with contacts in your industry. Keep in touch with people you’ve already met, and join groups to cultivate other potentially valuable professional relationships.
Share updates with your connections on a regular basis. These can be about your practice, or simply comments on relevant news stories or cases that can start a conversation. Similar to Facebook statuses, these updates help boost your visibility and keep your brand fresh in the minds of your connections. Also, don’t forget to comment on and interact with your connections’ posts as well, which helps to maintain and solidify existing contacts.
Having an active presence on LinkedIn is yet another great way to expand your circle of contacts, as well as brand yourself and/or your firm online. Through law firm strategic planning, which sets integrated marketing goals, lawyers can use LinkedIn as a great platform builder to complement other aspects of the law firm strategic plan.