Legal professionals, do any of the following tasks sit on your ‘To-Do list’ today?
- Keep informed on topical legal related news
- Develop a new professional relationship
- Nurture an existing relationship with a client
- Network with other legal professionals
- Build/maintain your online presence
If the answer to any of the above is yes, then your answer is LinkedIn.
What is it?
LinkedIn, the social networking site for business professionals, sets itself apart from the standard social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter by being designed specifically for the professional community.
With an extensive variety of features, over 467 million members and a large proportion of those member’s active key decision makers, LinkedIn is more than just a ‘sit and scroll’ kind of social media platform. Essentially, LinkedIn is a tool for business.
Why Use it?
As a legal professional, you have various routes you can explore on LinkedIn which ultimately support your day to day marketing tasks. You can potentially increase your client base from your LinkedIn. For example, if you were looking to get more people to search for ‘criminal lawyer Mississauga‘ to find your legal services by advertising on LinkedIn, you may be able to achieve this goal through networking and building online connections.
Once you have an active account you are free to connect with a vast number of other members, which is more than enough reason to become active on LinkedIn. It is here that professional relationships can be started or ongoing relationships can be nurtured. Starting with ‘people you may know’ you can expand your connections from old school friends to client prospects. Minimal time and minimal cost. A truly cost effective networking venture.
LinkedIn supports a timeline based format which shows both your ‘connections’ and ‘interests’ posts. Once you build your network with relevant connections you will have a timeline occupied with appropriate posts, news items and blogs helping you keep up to date with current trends in the legal sector.
How to use it?
Once you’re up and running on LinkedIn you should be looking to optimise your presence.
Firstly, it’s important to keep your LinkedIn profile current, with up-to-date information and regular posts.
Whilst it may not sound ‘cutting-edge’, you should have a professional image of yourself on your profile as this is the first point of call for any other members who you may network with. It’s documented that if there’s an image on your profile you’re 7 times more likely to have your page viewed.
Secondly, your LinkedIn profile should have a tagline. Short and sharp is ideal. This allows possible viewers of your profile to gage an understanding of who you are before they connect with you.
Where possible you should also be looking to enhance your profile by listing the following information;
- Publications you may have authored
- Projects you may have worked on
- Honours and Awards
- Organisations you have been a part of
- Recommendations from your connections
This additional information provides a potential viewer of your profile with a more complete outlook on who you are.
Once this information has been updated you’re ready to go. Connect with a variety of people using the advanced search options, grow your network by joining legal related groups and create new viable clients by nurturing your new relationships.
One area of LinkedIn that you should be looking to use is LinkedIn groups. There are numerous legal associated groups that can assist in your daily news updates and networking endeavours. Simply discover groups under the ‘interests’ tab and request to join any that may interest you.
By joining these industry related groups, you gain the ability to add real value for prospects and your network. Active participation, whether reading or conversing within LinkedIn groups could potentially benefit you in different ways, from gaining ideas, opinions and best practices to giving you greater exposure in front of your target market.
LinkedIn groups are a powerful medium for reaching specific professional groups – including the legal sector. Once you’ve joined, start by building your familiarity within a group by commenting on other user’s posts. From there, start your own threads and begin sharing your own relevant posts, becoming established within that group in order to help generate traffic to your personal page.
Your presence within these groups instantly gives you the possibility of expanding your reach and visibility within the legal sector. This should be something you are looking to implement if you wish to grow your network to its full potential. Additionally, if your line of work is relating to say, legal practice management and legal finance, then you can also benefit from looking into sites like www.ilfm.org.uk or similar others. Once you are on the LinkedIn platform, you can not only share knowledge, but also can acquire information like the latter.
User Generated Content
Tying into LinkedIn groups is content production – another venture to consider undertaking when looking to improve both your online visibility and credibility. Having an online presence is becoming increasingly competitive with more and more active social media users fighting for their voice to be heard. Professionally generated content is one way to set yourself apart from other members.
The role of user generated content is set to grow even further in 2017. It’s now time to consider writing and publishing useful content. Share your expertise and show that you care about the successfulness of your clients by offering helpful, valuable content.
Case studies, informative blog posts and general opinions on the news are all valid outlets for your content. The production of these types of content aid in developing trust amongst your readers and yourself. Furthermore, CTA’s (call to actions) placed within your content provide a further practicality to your content by giving readers a link to landing pages on your website/personal LinkedIn profile. Such landing pages can be designed by professional companies like Linear (https://lineardesign.com/services/landing-page-design/) so your profile can be pushed to the top of the pile, as well as receiving as much traffic as possible.
Fundamentally, content production can help towards positioning yourself as an industry expert amongst the views of your potential clients. Make your content captivating and your readers will be flocking to your personal webpages in no time!
LinkedIn also offers the option of ‘paid promotion’ through its native advertising. There are various forms of LinkedIn advertising.
Sponsored content – A method of placing highly targeted content ads in front of relevant audiences.
Display ads – A way of attracting and engaging audiences from high-traffic LinkedIn pages.
InMail – Enabling you to send direct messages to targeted audiences.
These adverts can help towards raising awareness, generating a stronger network and drive leads to conversion. Paid promotion is a resourceful way of further expanding your visibility online, however, including a CTA (call to action) is imperative here, ensuring the viewers of your content have a clear direction to go in.
It’s true that paid promotion is an option and not a necessity. Simply, being active on LinkedIn allows you to increase your visibility to your target market and by featuring testimonials and recommendations from your connections you are enhancing your credibility. However, using the native advertising system will certainly give you a push in the right direction when trying to increase the size of your network and boost their activity towards your landing pages.
LinkedIn holds an array of benefits for a legal professional but it’s up to you to develop an active account. Providing your content is regularly updated, LinkedIn allows for cost effective networking, frequent news updates and the potential acquisition of new clients via the various features on offer. Make sure you’re not missing out.
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