Leveraging LinkedIn to grow your law firm
For LinkedIn is one of the easiest and best ways to develop your professional image, reach out to potential clients and build your practice—but if you’re like most attorneys, you aren’t using it to its full potential.
Our complimentary playbook “The Legal Professional’s Guide to LinkedIn” explains in detail how you can use LinkedIn to enhance your business, but if you’re pressed for time, here are five ways you can quickly and easily start channeling the power of LinkedIn.
- Make sure your profile reflects you: It’s difficult for prospective legal clients to distinguish one attorney from another. Don’t make the mistake of filling out your profile with the basics (like where you went to law school) and leaving it at that. Clients assume you’re qualified. What they want to know is who you are and what it’s like to work with you. Therefore, it’s non-negotiable that your profile have a photo and a description in the headline that says something more than what area of law you practice. For example, don’t just say “estate planning,” say “Estate planning attorney helping Texas families prepare for the future.” These are small, one-time steps that will put you in a position to use LinkedIn effectively.
- Cultivate your audience: A follower count of 5,000 might look impressive, but it’s meaningless if those 5,000 people aren’t likely to interact with you. A follower count of 500 is more valuable if those people read your content, comment on your posts, and share your posts. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking “more is better” and go on a following spree. Rather, identify leaders in your local community and past or existing clients and follow them instead. They’re likely to follow you back, and when they do, you will be well on your slow-and-steady effort to build a relevant, engaged LinkedIn following. After all, you’re not here to shout into the void. You’re here to start and strengthen relationships.
- This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t follow interesting or authoritative sources who can help you become a more informed, engaged professional. Those accounts are an excellent feature of LinkedIn. Just keep the number you’re following in reasonable proportion to the number of personal and businesses accounts you connect with.
- Share, share, share: A recent study of LinkedIn users and their behavior showed that of LinkedIn’s 590 million total users and 250 million monthly active users, only 3 million share content weekly. That’s just over one percent of monthly users. So, 3 million users are receiving 9 billion impressions each week. That means there’s definitely market share up for grabs. Start with a goal of sharing one item per week. It can be something about your practice, an update on a relevant area of law, or even a news article that impacts your community. The critical factor is whether it (and what you say about it) will have value for the audience you’re trying to reach.
- Surveil the competition: LinkedIn is a rare opportunity for attorneys and law firms to see how their peers are marketing themselves. It’s perfectly fine to use LinkedIn for a professional degree of competitive intelligence. Take a look at what other law firms and lawyers in your area are saying about themselves, and make mental note of what you like and don’t like about those messages. This should help inform the way you hold yourself out to prospective clients.
- Evaluate your progress: At the one-, three- and six-month marks, take a moment to assess how much energy and time you’re putting into your LinkedIn profile and what you’re getting out of it. Ideally, posting to LinkedIn will be a recurring part of your regular workweek (so, not too much of an expenditure of resources), and your posts will be getting likes and comments. If you’re setting realistic goals, an honest assessment will help you decide if what you’re doing is paying off.
Lastly, while LinkedIn offers a “premium” version for free, it probably isn’t necessary or worthwhile. The free version should be enough for what you need LinkedIn to be, especially if you’re just starting to make use of it.
Once again, our complimentary playbook “The Legal Professional’s Guide to LinkedIn” explores how LinkedIn can work for you in greater depth. Hopefully, it will prove to be a useful tool for you.