Why Lawyers Need to Take LinkedIn Seriously
Anna Bezuglova, Marketing Coordinator
LinkedIn as a tool stands on a league of its own. Distinctly work focused, it is a platform that when embraced fully by its user can be a powerful means to drive business and brand development.
If you want to build credibility and become a voice of authority in your field, you have an opportunity to do so now that has never been seen before.
Recent figures from LinkedIn show that of the 500 million total users, only 1% are actively sharing content on a monthly basis. Of that 1% – approx. 2% are doing it with any real consistency – that’s around 60,000 users globally, meaning now is a great time to really focus on standing out from the rest of the legal candidate pool.
So how exactly should lawyers optimise it in order to capitalise on its fullest potential?
1. Go beyond the online CV mentality and craft a stand out profile
For the modern-day lawyer – LinkedIn has an equally powerful role to play as the CV. As recruitment consultants, a common practice our team engage in is cross-checking the resumes we receive with a look on the candidates LinkedIn profile.
When done correctly, the LinkedIn profile adds more colour than the typically 2-page resume. It shows a greater level of detail to your experiences where there isn’t the room on the CV. But often, rather than gaining a greater sense of the attractive attributes of the candidate, the LinkedIn profile often leaves a lacklustre impression.
For example – under each role, you have the capacity to specifically state your motivations, contributions and outcomes in greater detail than merely the high-level overview within the CV.
Another important component of the profile is the profile choice – it doesn’t need to be a high-quality professional photo but having one there in the first place is a good start (people viewing your profile want to know you’re a real human), but you want to avoid photos that exhibit you in a unprofessional light i.e. selfies, too casual, blurry etc.
2. Share value to a target audience
Herein lies the distinct opportunity to stand out from any other lawyer in your field, given how relatively small the pool of users who are actually leveraging LinkedIn to its fullest potential.
All it takes is a consistent posting schedule of value-adding content that is relevant to your target audience. You’ll want to have clarity on exactly who it is you’re speaking to – yes, LinkedIn gives you access to virtually anyone, but to leverage the power of LinkedIn, it’s wise that you’re speaking to one particularly niche as not to dilute your message or confuse your audience. Once you’re clear about who it is you’re targeting, craft content with their unique problems and struggles in mind.
Some ideas for content include:
· Articles (only 1 million users currently have a published article on their profile)
· Share long-form posts that offer tips or solutions that your audience would value (this has the greatest chance of going ‘viral’)
· Share images – these have the highest level of engagement
Particularly if you’re interested in attracting a greater client base to your firm, LinkedIn is a great method of generating awareness for yourself without spending any dollars on advertising. As Gary Vaynerchuk says “attention is the most important asset” – so use the tool that will help you achieve it.
3. Access industry thought leaders, and build your network
Once you’ve optimised your LinkedIn profile, and have some content to showcase your passion for the work you do, find members from your target audience and invite them to connect. LinkedIn is one of the only tools out there that gives you access to an expansive network of professionals. CEOS, partners, HR professionals are all accessible to you from a click of a button.
Used properly and this is going to be a powerful tool to drive business development phone calls and meetings and have your name showcased in a positive light.
Another way of building your network is forgetting about the business card. LinkedIn is the best way to stay connected after meeting someone. Make it a practice that you connect with everyone you network with, and follow up with them by sending them a LinkedIn message you get home as a way to stay top of mind.
In the same vein, you can ‘follow’ thought leaders within your industry to gain inspiration and stay updated with the latest trends, and follow different firms to get informed about what’s roles are being recruited for.
Inspired to up your LinkedIn game but wanting guidance on how to move forward strategically? Sonder are offering a LinkedIn workshop for lawyers interested in harnessing the power of LinkedIn for their business development goals.
If you’d like to book in a time for profile assessment and recommendations specific to you, email firstname.lastname@example.org to book in a time.