LinkedIn for Lawyers: Do I Have To?

by JD Supra Perspectives
Contact

According to the 2016 American Bar Association Technology Report:

Taking control of your online presence is a necessity, and there are few better ways to do so than social media. Used carefully, social media can give your firm a voice, amplify your professional reputation, and help drive new business.

Yet many attorneys and other professional service providers continue to avoid this reality. Social media and content marketing are the new reality but excuses and resistance to change still abound. With so many different social media platforms let’s narrow the focus of this conversation to the #1 platform for business – LinkedIn.

74% of those on LinkedIn use it to research companies and people.

According to Forbes, LinkedIn drives 64% of all social media visits to company websites. And 74% of those on LinkedIn use it to research companies and people. Do you really want to offer an incomplete LinkedIn profile when others come to check you out? Yet Forbes also tells us that over 50% of the LinkedIn profiles are not completed or optimized.

When professionals say they do not have time for LinkedIn the reality is it does not have to consume a great deal of time. In fact, once your profile is truly optimized you can spend 10-minutes on most days to be a part of the conversation and to let your other connections know you are in the game and also noticing their posts and articles.

Take a Moment to Learn the Ease of LinkedIn

To begin, simply scroll down through your feed that appears on the Home page when you sign in to LinkedIn. This is also the location of your status update page. Make a few comments to some of the posts from your connections or simply click on “Like” and they will know you read their post and took the time to notice it.

Posting original content on your status update page is part of the process but this can be just a few sentences in which you post about a meeting or event you went to, or an article you read with a comment and a link to it. Whenever you publish a blog be certain to repurpose it by posting on LinkedIn and attaching a link to it. 

You can post fresh content, such as an article, to your profile page and also to your status updates. This is a free way to continue to demonstrate and enhance your expertise on a topic. Yes, business actually happens from LinkedIn.

...it can take between 8 to 20 touch points before someone knows you well enough to want to do business with you.

According to the U.S. Department of Commerce it can take between 8 to 20 touch points before someone knows you well enough, understands the depth of your knowledge in a particular area, and feels comfortable enough to want to do business with you.

So after your next meeting, speaking opportunity, networking event, this free tool we call LinkedIn can assist you in making numerous touch points demonstrating your knowledge, expertise, and ability to connect and care. Be certain to add new connections after every meeting you attend. Stay top of mind by connecting with your clients, prospective clients and referral sources.

What Is All This Talk About Optimizing Your Profile?

LinkedIn is the go-to social media for business. In fact, Forbes’ research tells us that most individuals will go to LinkedIn before going to your firm or company website.

Optimizing your LinkedIn Profile helps others find and learn about you. To optimize your profile start by looking at the following two areas (below) in your profile. There is more to be considered than what is included in this article but this is a great place to start to connect and get noticed on LinkedIn.

...most individuals will go to LinkedIn before going to your firm or company website.

1. Let’s start by creating a clear Profile Headline (120 character limit) which appears under your name. Do not be generic, rather be specific. Try, “Resolving complex business litigation disputes,” rather than “Litigation attorney”, or consider “Forensic accountant who makes it happen in court” rather than “Accountant.”

Do not use the name of your business or firm in your headline. Consider incorporating key search words in your headline and also in your profile. LinkedIn automatically provides the name of your company and your education on the next line under your Profile Headline.

2. Your Profile Summary comes next (2,000 character limit). A well-branded Profile Summary helps distinguish you from the competition and allows viewers to get a deeper understanding of what you do, how you do it, and why you do it. Generic descriptions just don’t work well on LinkedIn. Emphasize your professional skills.

  • Avoid the use of “I.” After a few times of seeing that word it begins to sound like “me, me, me and then there is me!” Instead of saying, “I am a forensic accountant. I help companies…” Consider, “As a forensic accountant, we assist companies….”  You might also consider writing in the third person such as, “As an attorney who successfully closes M&A transactions, Stacy spends time honing in on each client’s business goals before any transaction begins.”
  • Include key words that clearly describe what you do so that LinkedIn and search engines can connect those searching for your area of practice, experience and expertise. LinkedIn has over 500 million users and therefore is one of the largest search engines in and of itself. And you, as a LinkedIn user, get the enhancement of LinkedIn when folks are searching the web. For most of us, the first thing that comes up under our names on a Google search are several LinkedIn connections, posts, article and the like. This is powerful stuff.
  • Modify your Summary from any other online bios or profiles just a bit. Search engines will discount your Summary if it is taken literally from your website bio since that information is already online.

Engage in the LinkedIn Community

Once you have completed the steps above you may want to polish and complete your profile. We will not delve into the details of these next steps but the following aspects of your profile page should be easier to finish once your Headline and Summary are completed.

  • Be sure to upload a professional high resolution color photo.
  • Establish credibility with recommendations.
  • Manage your endorsements.
  • Use the Media section to link to content on your website and blogs. Post presentations, articles and other content on your profile page. It provides the reader with a sense of the depth of your expertise and your distinctions.
  • List education, projects, certifications, volunteering/causes, honors and awards. Use logos, colorful images and photos.
  • Join a few targeted LinkedIn groups.

Conclusion; Or, Can I still Ignore LinkedIn?

We began this article with a quote from the very conservative American Bar Association. It reminds us that we are way past the tipping point for the adoption of social media, especially LinkedIn. It is far from being considered a disruptive technology these days. LinkedIn was launched in 2003 and was adopted by the Innovators who were visionary and saw the possibilities of this technology. Next came the Early Adopters and by 2004 there were over a million users. By 2011 the Early Majority were on board. By 2013 this technology was adopted by the Late Majority. According to the laws of disruptive technologies only the Laggards, defined as critical thinkers who are more comfortable with tradition and the status quo, remain passive about using LinkedIn.

Ignoring social media at this stage would be akin to Late Adopters who avoided disruptive technologies such as email, company websites and branding. The future is now. Get connected through the use of the number one business social media in the world, LinkedIn.

*

[Merry Neitlich is managing partner of EM Consultants located in Irvine, CA. She can be reached at merry@EMconsults.org or 949-260- 0936.]

Written by:

JD Supra Perspectives
Contact
more
less

JD Supra Perspectives on:

Readers' Choice 2017
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:
Sign up using*

Already signed up? Log in here

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.
Custom Email Digest
Privacy Policy (Updated: October 8, 2015):
hide

JD Supra provides users with access to its legal industry publishing services (the "Service") through its website (the "Website") as well as through other sources. Our policies with regard to data collection and use of personal information of users of the Service, regardless of the manner in which users access the Service, and visitors to the Website are set forth in this statement ("Policy"). By using the Service, you signify your acceptance of this Policy.

Information Collection and Use by JD Supra

JD Supra collects users' names, companies, titles, e-mail address and industry. JD Supra also tracks the pages that users visit, logs IP addresses and aggregates non-personally identifiable user data and browser type. This data is gathered using cookies and other technologies.

The information and data collected is used to authenticate users and to send notifications relating to the Service, including email alerts to which users have subscribed; to manage the Service and Website, to improve the Service and to customize the user's experience. This information is also provided to the authors of the content to give them insight into their readership and help them to improve their content, so that it is most useful for our users.

JD Supra does not sell, rent or otherwise provide your details to third parties, other than to the authors of the content on JD Supra.

If you prefer not to enable cookies, you may change your browser settings to disable cookies; however, please note that rejecting cookies while visiting the Website may result in certain parts of the Website not operating correctly or as efficiently as if cookies were allowed.

Email Choice/Opt-out

Users who opt in to receive emails may choose to no longer receive e-mail updates and newsletters by selecting the "opt-out of future email" option in the email they receive from JD Supra or in their JD Supra account management screen.

Security

JD Supra takes reasonable precautions to insure that user information is kept private. We restrict access to user information to those individuals who reasonably need access to perform their job functions, such as our third party email service, customer service personnel and technical staff. However, please note that no method of transmitting or storing data is completely secure and we cannot guarantee the security of user information. Unauthorized entry or use, hardware or software failure, and other factors may compromise the security of user information at any time.

If you have reason to believe that your interaction with us is no longer secure, you must immediately notify us of the problem by contacting us at info@jdsupra.com. In the unlikely event that we believe that the security of your user information in our possession or control may have been compromised, we may seek to notify you of that development and, if so, will endeavor to do so as promptly as practicable under the circumstances.

Sharing and Disclosure of Information JD Supra Collects

Except as otherwise described in this privacy statement, JD Supra will not disclose personal information to any third party unless we believe that disclosure is necessary to: (1) comply with applicable laws; (2) respond to governmental inquiries or requests; (3) comply with valid legal process; (4) protect the rights, privacy, safety or property of JD Supra, users of the Service, Website visitors or the public; (5) permit us to pursue available remedies or limit the damages that we may sustain; and (6) enforce our Terms & Conditions of Use.

In the event there is a change in the corporate structure of JD Supra such as, but not limited to, merger, consolidation, sale, liquidation or transfer of substantial assets, JD Supra may, in its sole discretion, transfer, sell or assign information collected on and through the Service to one or more affiliated or unaffiliated third parties.

Links to Other Websites

This Website and the Service may contain links to other websites. The operator of such other websites may collect information about you, including through cookies or other technologies. If you are using the Service through the Website and link to another site, you will leave the Website and this Policy will not apply to your use of and activity on those other sites. We encourage you to read the legal notices posted on those sites, including their privacy policies. We shall have no responsibility or liability for your visitation to, and the data collection and use practices of, such other sites. This Policy applies solely to the information collected in connection with your use of this Website and does not apply to any practices conducted offline or in connection with any other websites.

Changes in Our Privacy Policy

We reserve the right to change this Policy at any time. Please refer to the date at the top of this page to determine when this Policy was last revised. Any changes to our privacy policy will become effective upon posting of the revised policy on the Website. By continuing to use the Service or Website following such changes, you will be deemed to have agreed to such changes. If you do not agree with the terms of this Policy, as it may be amended from time to time, in whole or part, please do not continue using the Service or the Website.

Contacting JD Supra

If you have any questions about this privacy statement, the practices of this site, your dealings with this Web site, or if you would like to change any of the information you have provided to us, please contact us at: info@jdsupra.com.

- hide
*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.