What does LinkedIn mean to you as a lawyer?
- Just another social media platform?
- Your profile is terrible and hasn’t been update in ages?
- Something you occasionally look at?
- You are ace at sharing and have a big community?
No matter where you fall in the LinkedIn spectrum, you need to understand how it impacts your reputation and credibility. You need to know that it forms the first impression of you. It is the first place I will go to look up someone that has approached me to work with them in any way, Bad profile means I am likely to lean more towards no then yes when it comes to wanting to engage your services.
As a B2B network, there is nothing bigger with over 660 million users worldwide. So how do you as a lawyer or law firm tap into that massive network?
You should be active on LinkedIn if:
- You want to showcase your expertise in a certain field of law
- You want to build lasting relationships with referrers and suppliers
- You want to win new business
- You want to build your personal brand to win speaking & board opportunities
- You want to be seen as great at what you do
- You want to become a leader in your area of expertise or location
- You want to find a new role or get promoted
All very powerful reasons to use it but if your profile is looking a bit sad, then you severely ruin your chances of achieving any of the above. Before you start sharing content actively, writing articles or sprouting your wares, you need to make sure your profile is in tip-top shape.
Just like preparing for a case, you need to do your due diligence here too. Let’s start with how to prepare your LinkedIn to win.
- Use a header image – Whatever you do, ditch the blue default background. Ahhhh, it looks like you don’t care about your brand at all and to be honest, is just lazy. It takes minutes to change it. Your header image is prime real estate and is one of the first things someone sees on your profile – make it count. It should give them a snapshot of what you do in seconds.
- Profile pic with personality – it doesn’t have to be totally serious and boring. Take a look at mine as an example. It is colourful, has an interesting background, and shows my personality whilst still being professional and approachable. Images of your family, you out partying, your kids or selfies are not acceptable
- Use a headline not a title – if you have ever edited your profile you will notice that there is a section called ‘headline’ and that is what it is meant for. Not your job title which is what 95% of lawyers The headline should sell you and show how you benefit or solve problems for clients. Note mine is “Helping businesses put simple, consistent marketing in place, so you can focus on what you do best”
- Add a summary – Think of it like an elevator pitch or a chance to share how you help the people you work with. This could be focused on your overall career, the cases you have worked on, special awards or boards you are on, the industries & types of clients you have worked with, and your why as a starting point.
- Who do you want to attract? – How do you want to be seen? Be clear on who your ideal client is. Do you want to work with people in a certain industry or niche? Or it is simply about being a thought leader in your industry? Understanding that forms the basis for writing your profile.
- Fill out your work experience, in particular your current role – it amazes me how many law profiles I look at that don’t have the basics, starting with what they do 50+ hours a week. Think of like a resume however position this in a way that is client-focused and proves how you have helped previous clients. You have 2000 characters to establish credibility so use this real estate wisely. However, don’t have large chunks of text that make it hard to read. Add bullet points, symbols or emoji’s to make it more readable
- Optimise your profile for keywords – what do people type into LinkedIn when they are looking for someone with your expertise? That is a good place to start.
- Ask for recommendations – these are your social proof and just like testimonials on a website they speak for themselves. It takes minutes to send a personalised request for a recommendation. Start with past clients or colleagues and also ask suppliers, former colleagues, people in your business networks
- Add a Call to action – just like on all your marketing, you need to be clear as to what you want the next step to be. Do you want people to call you, book a time in your calendar, connect? Tell them! After all, they are not mind readers.
Now you are armed with the foundations for your profile you have no excuses to not having a LinkedIn profile that sparkles!
In the next LinkedIn for Lawyers blog I will be sharing tips on what to do once your profile is optimised.