LinkedIn Tips for Lawyers
Why does a LinkedIn profile matter?
Online personal brand
For most lawyers, your LinkedIn profile will be your number one personal online brand and what comes up first in a Google search for your name. In a B2B expertise context, people work with people – not brands. Spend at least an hour or two writing up your profile and treat it as you would a job application or a tender submission – it’s just that important. While your LinkedIn profile may never win you work, it may cost you work without you ever knowing it.
Sharing content and thought leadership
LinkedIn is a fantastic way for lawyers to connect to new people and participate in an active community. It is also the best “free” medium to share your content and thought leadership. As a rule, people don’t know how good you are until they’ve engaged you. LinkedIn provides that opportunity to showcase your expertise through well-written content.
Okay, I’m convinced. How should I write up my LinkedIn profile?
Your headline should not be your title but what you do. If you are a criminal lawyer, don’t say ‘criminal lawyer’. If you search criminal lawyer there will be countless results and no way for you to stand out. Instead say, for example, ‘helping first offenders avoid criminal records.’
When describing your experience in the summary section of your profile, never write in the third person. For example, ‘Joe specialises in corporate acquisitions and has extensive experience in advising in restructuring, consolidation, and distributions.’
While the description above is informative, it is in no way distinctive or engaging. It would be better to say, ‘I have spent the last ten years specialising in taxation law because I am excited about helping businesses succeed.’ The point is to build rapport from the get-go, so invest time in writing your summary.
It is important that your descriptions won’t take too long to read, so avoid large paragraphs. Avoid copying and pasting descriptions and try including firm pages. It is especially important to include your current firm. If I want to contact you, you need to have easily accessible and up-to-date details for service inquiries.
What sort of photo should I use?
Your photo can be colour or black and white, but you absolutely must have one. Not having a photo is like going to a networking event with a paper bag over your head. Ideally, the photo should be the same quality as the one on your company website.
How do I measure the success of my LinkedIn profile?
Trust. The success of your LinkedIn profile is determined by the trust you build with your audience. The way you do that by providing genuine and educational content that the reader finds of value.
Engagement. It’s not about how many connections you have but how engaged those connections are with your content. When someone comments on your post, it is an opportunity to start a conversation. Take time out of your day to reply to people and acknowledge them for their thoughts.
What’s the best way to increase engagement?
- Define your audience. When you start posting, try to understand who you are trying to add to your community. Typically, the narrower the audience you have in mind the more relevant and interesting your content will be. It is important not to cast too wide a net, as this will result in your content being too generic and vanilla.
- Post useful content. If you understand your audience then you understand their problems and can prove your expertise in solving those problems.
- Don’t cold connect. Find someone you genuinely want to connect to then give them something of value, like sharing an article that is relevant to their industry or business. Ideally, the content should be good enough that they will want to connect to you.
How many times should I post in a week?
You don’t need to post every day, but it is important to find the time each week to post or comment at least once. It is also better to post occasionally than spam someone’s newsfeed with unpolished content.
What content should I be publishing?
Education is the new marketing but don’t bother unless you’re targeted. As an expert, you should be writing content that proves that, so you’ll need to ‘give away’ some Intellectual Property (IP). You’re not actually giving it away, you’re investing it in building a community.
Write content that you’re passionate about and that solves the issues that your community might be facing.