5 ways to effectively use LinkedIn for networking
With over 500 million registered users – two new users every second – you know LinkedIn is an extremely powerful platform for building business relationships. Here are some steps you can take that will improve your profile and put your firm on the map as well:
Line up your profile with your law firm’s brand
When someone finds your LinkedIn profile, you’ll want them to make several important observations:
Your profile photograph is professional and good quality.
Your cover photo is consistent with the branding of your law firm.
Your biography matches the message conveyed by your firm.
You’ve featured the services your law firm offers, along with your own specialised knowledge.
Your unique offerings in your area of expertise will illustrate why potential clients should believe in you, and help attract a key audience to you as well as your law firm.
Boost the impact of your professional headline
The 120 characters of text directly below your name can do more than simply list your job title. Instead, you should be using this space reserved for your professional headline to grab a visitor’s attention. For example, don’t say ‘Partner’ or ‘Owner’ when you can say something more descriptive, such as ‘Employment Solicitor in *city name* | Expert in Settlement Agreements | Partner at *firm’s name* | Specialist for Senior-level Employees.’ By effectively describing the type of solicitor you are, the locations you serve and the kind of work you do, you’re much more likely to attract more ideal clients to you as well as your firm.
Customise Your Web Address
When you first create your profile, LinkedIn automatically generates a standard web address, but there’s a way to edit this to include your name (or a version that’s as close to it as possible). How to do it:
Hover your cursor over ‘profile’ at the top of your homepage.
Choose ‘edit profile.’
Move the cursor over the URL link beneath your profile picture, click ‘settings’ and make your changes.
Tailoring the web address to your profile will instantly improve your credibility, and a personalised address will look more professional on your business card or email signature.
Make the Right Connections
Who you connect with on LinkedIn is a personal choice. While some people will connect with as many people as possible to grow their network quickly, others take a more systematic approach and only connect with those who they know personally or through business. But whichever method you decide to follow, keep in mind that connecting with like-minded professionals (whether you know them personally or not) is a type of networking and a great way to grow your contact list. Once you’ve connected, be sure and observe LinkedIn etiquette regarding things like endorsing them for relevant skills, sending unsolicited InMails and sharing only professionally relevant information.
Share Suitable Updates
LinkedIn is about sharing, be it information about what you’re working on, your firm’s latest blog post or relevant legal news, but don’t just stick to updates involving law. Aim for a mix of updates and don’t forget to share useful information with your community and comment on the updates that your connections have posted. LinkedIn is much more than just a broadcast platform, and merely promoting yourself won’t likely get you recognised as a thought leader or effectively promote your firm’s brand.