LinkedIn is a powerful tool for attorneys and law firms who are looking to make new connections, generate leads, and build their brand. Think of it as your law firm's online business card; it is frequently a potential client's first impression of you and your practice. But to be effective, it must be used properly. Try these recommendations to maximize your LinkedIn account:
Keep your brand consistent. Make sure your name and title are in line with your website. Not only is this is how people are going to find you, it’s how they begin to recognize your brand.
Incorporating a photo humanizes your profile, and makes you appear more approachable. The right photo will also help you make the right impression and maximize the number of people who view your profile. Be sure to use an up-to-date professional image. Because profile photos appear as small thumbnails on LinkedIn, your photo should be a headshot. But just because it is professional don’t forget to smile, it adds warmth and makes potential clients more likely to reach out.
Don’t stop with your headshot, LinkedIn now offers its members the ability to add a background image; they call it a cover photo. People are drawn to pages with photos so add a firm photo or something else relevant and eye catching.
This is your business card so include all of your contact information. Add your phone number, address, website address, Twitter account, etc. You can include up to 3 websites to the websites section. Each label is customizable so be specific in your descriptions. Further down on your LinkedIn page it says, “Advice for contacting (your name here).” Be sure to include the best way for potential clients to contact you, i.e. cell phone, work phone, etc.
Include a concise summary about yourself and your practice with everything a potential client needs to know about you. This should be written in the first person. And remember, less is more so keep it short.
Be sure to complete your entire profile. The “Add a section to your profile” feature is located just underneath the contact information box near the top of the page. It suggests any categories that you may be missing and/or that could improve your profile.
Also, keep your skills section up to date. Put the most important skills at the top of your list. Make sure that your skills reflect what your potential clients are searching for in an attorney. You can list up to 50 skills so don’t be shy.
Endorsements are for the various skills that you’ve listed in the skills section of your profile. They show up on your connections’ profiles asking them if they wish to endorse you for that particular skill. Endorsements are similar to “likes” on Facebook but don’t hold nearly as much weight.
You can upload relevant media to your profile; documents, photos, links, and videos. Consider adding firm videos, firm photos, certificates, etc. to give a better overall picture of who you are and your law firm’s brand.
Instead of having a generic URL, click the edit button to the right of your URL (underneath your photo) and follow the instructions to create a URL with your name or firm name. This will make your profile easier to find, and boost your overall Google presence.
Explore and customize your privacy settings. Do you care if the public, or opposing counsel, can see all of your LinkedIn connections? If yes, then hide your connections.
Include a few of your interests outside of work. Some people will contact you because they share a common interest or activity. It also shows more of who you are as a person.
Join and participate in LinkedIn groups. By responding to discussions, or starting discussions that are relevant to your field you make yourself known as an expert by adding value. Not only will this give you a name in your community, but it will drive people to your website.
You should be posting on your profile in the mornings Monday through Friday. Updates should be about your professional accomplishments, successes, upcoming events, speaking engagements, and/or interesting articles relevant to your field of practice. Avoid controversial or negative statements and don’t over-post.
LinkedIn is all about connections. But that doesn’t mean you need to accept connection requests from everyone. Look for people who will help your practice grow. One reason to keep adding connections is that every time you post an update, you show up in your connections’ news feeds, keeping you in their eye.
LinkedIn Company Page
If you have your own firm, you should also create a company page. It will help you to be found in LinkedIn company page searches and Google searches like them too.
We hope you can use these recommendations. LinkedIn is an invaluable addition to your law firm’s marketing strategy. Use it to make new connections, attract clients and distribute valuable content and watch your law firm grow.