Lawyers Should Love LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the most effective platform for LI networkbusiness development, networking, and professional development for attorneys. According to an In-House Counsel survey, “LinkedIn leads all other social networks in professional usage and perceived credibility….”

While LinkedIn may seem complicated to navigate, here are some ways to use profiles more effectively.

1 – Clean it up. Your photo should be a professional headshot. Keywords are also important; they should be used in your professional headline and your summary. They can be included in sentences and in bullet points, and should reflect what you think clients are looking for. If you’re not sure which keywords to use, think about the goals of your practice or firm, and determine who your target audience is. Also make sure that all the sections of your profile are complete so that you can be labeled an All-Star. 

2 – Your reputation matters. When people go to a LinkedIn profile, they look at what you’re currently doing that can help them, who you know in common, and form conclusions about the information you’re presenting. It’s best to appear neutral and avoid controversy. There are certain issues that can be divisive, even though you may be sincerely enthusiastic about them and think there is nothing wrong with your interests. For instance, if you are part of a gun rights group on LinkedIn, some potential clients and other connections might not have a positive view of guns, so their opinion on that issue might affect their overall view of you.

3 – Keep an eye on your connections. Sign up for email alerts so that you can find out what your contacts are doing. When they have gotten a promotion, moved to a new firm, won an award, or spoken at a conference, drop them a note to congratulate them. Letting your network know that you notice what they’re doing shows that you care about staying in touch, and it keeps your name in front of them.

4 – Be a groupie. Join groups that are active. Check to see if a group is not only large, but also has robust conversations, several comments, and frequent posts. If you want to look at a group’s statistics, click the gear icon on the top, then click “Group statistics.”

5 – Stay Fresh. It’s not enough to fill out your profile and walk away. Any time something new happens in your professional life, whether you’re making a presentation, hiring more people, adding clients, or have been quoted in an article, add it to your profile. If you make a change that you want your connections to know about, turn on the notification to your network.

LinkedIn can be your virtual partner. Set aside time to have “meetings” with it, and create a plan to connect with other people.I love LinkedIn, so feel free to connect with me there.

A version of this article first appeared at the Law Firm Consultants Network of Chicago