The Ultimate Guide to LinkedIn for Lawyers
Clever use of LinkedIn will help both you and your company to gain more business contacts and, in time, more business. Here’s our ultimate guide to setting up your profile and getting a head-start on networking.
As a general rule, we would recommend that you are professional and friendly at all times on social media. You will notice that is a recurring theme throughout all of our social media guides!
Short on time? Use these links to skip forward through this article:
- Why should you use LinkedIn?
- Optimising your LinkedIn Profile
- Networking on LinkedIn
- Round-up: Top LinkedIn Tips
Generating Business on LinkedIn for Law Firms
LinkedIn is an online space for professionals to network, share ideas and promote their ventures. It’s also an ideal channel for lawyers to promote themselves as thought leaders in their respective areas. If you only have time to work on one personal profile, LinkedIn should be it.
Why should lawyers use LinkedIn?
- More and more, business networking is happening online
- There are more than 200 million users from over 200 countries; over 11 million UK professionals. Think how many potential clients!
- An individual online presence (as well as a company presence) makes your law firm more appealing to clients
- People now predominantly research services online, and having active social media profiles will improve your law firm’s online visibility
- Build word of mouth reputation
- Increase website traffic and achieve better search engine rankings
- Keep up-to-date with relevant news
- Scope out competition or potential business partnerships
- Develop business relationships
The sum of all of this means one thing: generating business online.
Optimising Your LinkedIn Profile
If you don’t already have a profile, LinkedIn will prompt you through the steps you need to take to complete this. There are a few things you can do beyond this to help your profile really stand out:
- Profile photo: have a photo of your face, your whole face and nothing but your face! Your profile picture should reflect how you want clients to see you. Wear both the clothing and the facial expression that you would to greet clients when they come into your business – professional and friendly (and suitably recent).
- Accurate company name: using the search bar at the centre top of the page, find your company and make sure you use exactly the same name in your ‘experience’ section. This helps with search engine rankings as well as networking, and LinkedIn will automatically pull the company logo onto your profile. While you’re doing this, make sure you hit the yellow “Follow” button at the top right of the company page. If your law firm doesn’t have a LinkedIn company page yet, get in touch to find out how we can help.
- Headline: LinkedIn will offer to automatically pull your headline from your current work. We recommend going off piste, and writing your own headline. This is the main information LinkedIn uses to pull up profiles in its search function, so use clear and concise language to explain what you actually do. Think of the terms that you would expect your potential customers to be searching for – “solicitor”, “employment lawyer” and other industry specific terms are key.
- Be concise: you will find that most people will scan read your LinkedIn page. Make sure they get the most important information by keeping it brief, and focusing on services, skills and expertise. A great tip is to use a word processor (like MS Word) to write up each section using bullet points, which can be copied and pasted into your profile. This also means you can spell check your profile before publishing it.
Networking on LinkedIn for Solicitors
Once you’re up and running, you will want to add contacts and take part in the conversation. As you become more comfortable with the platform, you will begin to join groups and follow companies too. Having a look at your peers’ pages is a great way to find relevant groups to join, and company updates are always great to share.
REMEMBER! Everything you share online is in ink, so remain friendly and professional at all times.
- Adding new contacts: LinkedIn will automatically pull in your email contacts (and, if you use the app, your phone contacts too). Once you’re connected with the people you know, it’s time to start networking. To add a new connection, click the “connect” button on their page. LinkedIn frowns on connecting with people who you don’t know in real life, but everyone does it. Just be careful to include personal messages with your invites where possible.
- Interacting with contacts: news and updates that people share will appear on your home page. Under each update, there are options to “like”, “comment” and “share” – if you see something interesting, get involved! Just remember to keep your tone professional and friendly, as comments can been seen by lots of people.
- Sharing company updates: if you see an update from the company on your homepage, “liking” it is a great way to direct your contacts to both the company page and the website. A good tip is to check back with the page once a week to see if there are any you’ve missed.
- Sharing your own updates: Use the “share an update” bar to compose any updates. Including links will automatically pull and image from the page. Best times to share are 7am-9am; lunch or early evening (5-7pm). Think about when people might be online – break times throughout the day and commuting times are usually busy on social media too.
- Recommendations: LinkedIn encourages users to recommend people that they have worked with. If you recommend someone, they’ll often provide a recommendation back. Then any visitors to your page will have greater trust in you and your company. LinkedIn also values profiles with recommendations and endorsements in search.
- Endorsements: Similar to recommendations, but easier. You can endorse a contact with just one click. While a recommendation is more valuable, endorsements are quicker to build up, and have similar effects on your profile as recommendations.
For help growing you legal network on LinkedIn, contact us for a chat today.
Top Tips: LinkedIn for Lawyers
- Make it client-focussed
- Write in first person
- Make your summary comprehensive, but easy to understand
- Add keywords to headline, background info, skills & expertise
- Complete as much as possible – aim for 100% completeness
- Add some other interests, awards, honours, associations etc
- Add website URL
- Add company Twitter account and/or personal Twitter
- Add contact details
Sharing news relevant to your industry and specialisms through social media, as well as professional updates, will help to place you as a thought leader in your sphere. Like any other way of keeping in touch with current and potential clients, social media is all about putting on your best business face. Avoid bad language and potentially offensive topics, and follow the number one rule: keep it professional and friendly.
Expert social media marketing for law firms
If this all seems a bit much, we’re happy to provide further training, or even do some of the work for you. Drop us a line for more information: click here to get in touch.