linkedin for lawyersLinkedIn can help solo lawyers increase their visibility and gain new clients

LinkedIn is a powerful online tool that helps professionals from all fields build their professional networks, raise visibility and build a personal brand.

LinkedIn for lawyers is an overlooked tool for many in the profession. Lawyers are known for being practical and discerning. So, while the idea of social media may not appeal in the general sense, there are some great benefits that those in the legal profession can appreciate.

Benefits to LinkedIn for lawyers

  • Strengthen current relationships
  • Build a stronger network
  • Rekindle old relationships
  • Stay up-to-date on key market topics
  • Build more leaders
  • Encourage more new inquires
  • Stimulate new business
  • Participate in niche groups

How to use LinkedIn effectively for your solo law practice or small law firm

First, you need to establish your purpose. Going into any social media without a purpose and plan leads to wasted effort and frustration. It’s the number one reason people think social media doesn’t work.

You will likely have more than one purpose in using LI. It could be to seek strategic alliances that help build your client base. It could be to help establish your expertise. It could be to help develop a web presence for you or your firm. You can also use it for searching for employment, gaining information about clients, the industry and even your competitors. Your purpose will change how you choose to use LI and will help ensure that you stay on track for your goals.

Once you know your purpose, it’s important to establish your audience. Who are you trying to reach with your LI profile and posts? If you are looking for a job, then your audience would be potential employers. If you’re looking to build a client base, then your target audience is people who need the legal services you provide.

Create and manage your profile

The next step to mastering LI as a lawyer is to create the perfect, useful profile. LI will be only as good to you as the effort you put into it. Building a solid profile includes:

  1. Filling out all of the basic info LI requires. Ensure your profile is 100% complete.
  2. Use keywords related to your field and expertise to help people find you on the networking site.
  3. List all professional associations to which you belong.
  4. Choose to add sections to your profile that support your purpose. Highlight your best features and include only relevant information.
  5. Be sure the title and professional headline that appear below your name are accurate and descriptive for your field of law.
  6. Include any other languages you speak or special training you have.
  7. Include your firm name in your profile for better search results.
  8. Take advantage of multimedia integration. PDFs and reports, videos and other multimedia go the extra mile in presenting who you are.

Once you have a complete profile, it’s time to build your network. Strategically plan your network, based on your purpose by first connecting with people you already know. Also be sure to advertise your LI profile link on business cards, e-mail signatures or even displayed in your office. Next, you can use LI groups to find new connections, again based on your purpose.

When sending connect invitations to people on LI, be sure to always include a personal message explaining who you are and why you want to connect.

Keep it going

Once you’re set up and connected with some people, it’s all about keeping your profile going and working for you and toward your purpose. You can use the update feature to share news, blog posts or statuses related to you and your field. You can participate regularly in groups to make new connections and establish your expertise. You should also try blogging on LI’s platform. These are all ways to increase your exposure and get more out of the site. In time, you will grow more comfortable with it and its benefits to you will continue to expand as well.

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