LinkedIn Revisited—Still the Place to Be

Clear & Convincing Feature ArticleLinkedIn

In 2003, Reid Hoffman, after six months of back-end work, officially launched LinkedIn. Because he needed to build a user base of 1M people, he began with all 13 employees inviting a total of 112 users. Once they added the technology for users to upload their address books, there was more direct user-to-user marketing—an online form of word of mouth. LinkedIn’s success was made possible by following its own concept—networking.

Fast forward to 2017; LinkedIn is said to be one of the most powerful social networking tools available for lawyers. Statistics bear this out:

  • 80% of law firms maintain a LinkedIn presence (ABA 2016 Tech Report)
  • 74% of those on LinkedIn use it to research companies and people
  • LinkedIn drives 64% of all social media visits to websites

To be effective on LinkedIn, you need a plan.

Start by asking yourself what you want to accomplish with LinkedIn. Do you want to build your client base, cultivate relationships with particular businesses, search for a position in a law firm or a company, or establish your expertise in your area of practice? Next, decide what audience you want to attract. If your plan is to build your client base in your area of practice, your profile and publications should provide information prospective clients can use.

Your Profile

LinkedIn makes it easy to create a profile that will increase your visibility and help to place your brand in the legal community. If your profile has been up for a while, it may be time to update it. Perhaps you’ve added a new practice area, moved your office, or added staff.

The following techniques make your LinkedIn profile stand out:

  • Use a recent, professional photo. Wear professional attire, use a simple background, add a friendly look, and it’s good.
  • Create an interesting headline, your name plus adding a short statement about your practice can add information and draw the reader in for more.
  • Write your profile in first person as if you were talking to the client.
  • Add to your profile using LinkedIn sections.
  • Upload a video or a link to a podcast.
  • If you volunteer, add those community organizations.

Your profile should bring your personality to the forefront. If you are formal or the more casual type, your profile should reflect that. Be genuine and whatever you share will hit the mark. Now that you’ve updated your LinkedIn profile, stop by your SBM Member Directory profile to be sure it, too, is ready for prime time.

LinkedIn is about networking and building relationships. Join groups and check your home page for news about others in your network. Respond with a congratulatory note or information that can help them further a project. Taking a few minutes to scan your home page, respond to updates, and send comments can bring good results when done with your goals in mind. And, remember to include a link to your LinkedIn profile on your SBM Member Directory profile and on your website.

Roberta GubbinsRoberta Gubbins has served as the editor of the Ingham County Legal News. Since leaving the paper, she provides services as a ghostwriter editing articles, blogs, and e-blasts for lawyers and law firms. She is the editor of Briefs, the Ingham County Bar Association e-newsletter, and The Mentor, SBM Master Lawyers Section newsletter.

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