With half a billion users and two new users joining every second, LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network and the digital business card of the 21st century that enables all lawyers to achieve more. Embracing and actively using LinkedIn provides incredible opportunities for lawyers to build their brand (and their organization’s), to learn, and to develop deeper relationships with others. Here are my top LinkedIn tips for lawyers.
1. Build A Powerful Profile
The foundation for any impactful LinkedIn presence is your LinkedIn profile. Invest the time and effort to build and continually update your LinkedIn profile. Be sure to have a professional headshot photo, a nice background photo, and a compelling headline—especially since those items will be featured prominently when profiles are viewed via a mobile phone. Complete your profile in its entirety and gain ideas on how to best construct your profile by viewing the profiles of LinkedIn power users.
2. Network With Others
Do not be shy in connecting with others on LinkedIn. Connect with fellow lawyers at your law firm or legal department, law school classmates, lawyers you meet at events/conferences/CLEs, clients and potential clients, former work colleagues, etc. Also do not feel that you need to accept a LinkedIn invite from everyone—especially from someone whose LinkedIn profile seems to be suspicious.
3. Mine LinkedIn Data
LinkedIn is a treasure trove of news, information, and data that helps us learn and embrace a growth mindset. Since I am connected with many lawyers and business professionals on LinkedIn and I am part of several LinkedIn Groups, I have real-time access to content on legal topics that are important to my practice and key information about the information technology industry that positions me to provide more impactful legal counsel to my business clients. LinkedIn also enables you to gain valuable insight and background information about other lawyers and business professionals that you may work with as part of your practice.
4. Actively Evangelize
By posting and sharing meaningful content that provides value to others, LinkedIn is a terrific medium to showcase your legal expertise and promote your organization. You can even measure the impact of your posts and shares by monitoring the number of views and likes.
5. Be Current
Make sure that the information you post and share is current and relevant. LinkedIn professionals are less inclined to consider you a thought leader or view/like your posts and shares if they contain dated content.
6. Visual is Key
When you post and share information on LinkedIn, consider incorporating pictures and videos (and video capability is a more recent LinkedIn feature) since such information is more likely to be viewed and liked by others. Such visuals should be high-quality in nature so they can be easily viewed by others.
7. Thoughtful Cadence
Be mindful about how often you post and share content on LinkedIn. If you post and share information with too much frequency, others may ignore you or decide to unfollow you. While I will like many posts and shares, I generally do not post and share more than two items on LinkedIn per week. In my opinion Twitter is the more suitable preferred social medium platform for more constant and rapid posting/sharing of information.
8. Everyone Can Be an Author
Many lawyers are excellent writers and LinkedIn allows you to publish your own articles. Consider writing on subjects that may be top of mind to members of your network and legal organization. Also avoid writing legal treatises by keeping your articles concise and clear.
9. Use SlideShare
SlideShare is a great feature that is underutilized by lawyers as it allows you to share your presentations on LinkedIn. Lawyers are constantly delivering presentations via PowerPoint (or other technology), so consider uploading the slides from your next presentation or panel discussion at a legal conference, seminar, event or CLE on SlideShare.
10. Be Smart
Please use excellent judgment on LinkedIn and assume that whatever you post and share can find its way to the front page of The Wall Street Journal. When using LinkedIn be positive, use proper spelling and grammar, comply with your organization’s social media guidelines, adhere to local legal ethics requirements, embrace proper cybersecurity practices, always avoid sharing any confidential information, and be nice and respectful to everyone.
Best of luck using LinkedIn to achieve more!