How Lawyers Can Stand Out on LinkedIn
LinkedIn is the social media hub for professionals and businesses. It’s home to 875 million members, 16.2% of whom are daily active users. Those numbers point to huge opportunity – and huge competition.
For lawyers to establish their LinkedIn presence, they have to set themselves apart. That’s achieved through the organic building of followers or through paid advertising.
Here are a few tips to grow your LinkedIn audience and get the maximum return on investment from the platform.
Determine Your Objective
People of all stripes use LinkedIn, but it has its roots as an online networking site for professionals. Before you start to build out your LinkedIn profile, consider the audience you want to attract. Are you looking to rustle up work or expand your connections with colleagues?
In some cases, the answer is both. You may want to build your relationships with colleagues so you’ll get referral work. If you provide legal services to a niche industry, you may use LinkedIn to raise your profile to businesses working in that industry. No matter whose interest you want to pique, you should have an image of your ideal audience in mind.
Consider Your Style
It’s typical for lawyers, big and small firms alike, to err on the side of objective professionalism in their online presence and other marketing materials. Indeed, that robust professionalism may be the culture of your local bar association. It may be what your jurisdiction’s legal marketing rules mandate.
Don’t be afraid, however, to buffer that professionalism with a personal touch. You can let your distinctive personality and unique attributes come through in a LinkedIn profile.
Writing in the first person may be a small touch that makes casual scrollers stop and read your profile. If you practice law in more than one language, writing a bilingual profile summary can help you to attract the wide audience you are qualified to serve.
Bolster Your Profile
LinkedIn is supposed to introduce you to the business community. In the early days of the platform, that was pretty much confined to a nice headshot and an online resume. Now LinkedIn has made it easier for you to give a mini-elevator pitch in the headline and about sections.
Use this opportunity to highlight why people should contact you. Since it requires an extra click to see the entirety of the about section, put the most vital information at the beginning. Write succinctly, eliminating extra words.
Your language should reflect that of your audience – if you’re talking to a niche crowd with a specific jargon that’s commonly used, you can use it as well. Ultimately, how you describe yourself should be relatable to your intended audience.
You can also make your profile more attractive with an appealing cover photo. Instead of pulling something from a stock database, or using a style that’s seen on every other legal marketing page, consider a picture that reflects you and your unique professional character.
Streamline Your Experience
In the legal industry, every accomplishment counts for something. But on LinkedIn, people only want to know what’s relevant. Typically that means listing your education and experience connected to the services you provide.
If you practice business law with a focus on mergers and acquisitions, you can include your early-career internship with the in-house lawyers at a credit repair agency. You might want to skip your summer job as a ski instructor.
Knowing your target audience can help you decide what to include in your LinkedIn profile and what to leave out. If you want to get more clients in the nonprofit space, it makes sense to include your own volunteer experience. At any time, work or personal experience you have that shows why someone might want to connect with you is valid to include.
Highlight Your Services
Many lawyers have similar education and professional qualifications. They are different from each other because of what they offer to do for clients. For many lawyers, especially in small firms, it is these bread-and-butter services that keep the doors open during slow periods.
If it’s consistent with your overall brand as a lawyer or law firm, be sure to highlight these bread-and-butter services. They may include notarizing documents, contract review, or providing expert opinions.
While you might want to avoid a laundry list of services if you have a solid base within a certain industry, sometimes it’s just what’s needed for you to stand out from the crowd.
Think About Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
LinkedIn recently introduced a new feature that lets you place an external link of your choice on your public profile. This can send visitors to your firm website or Martindale-Avvo profile, for example. This handy link brings up the concept of link juice, or improving search engine optimization (SEO).
Simply put, SEO can help you rank higher on Google. So if a potential client or professional contact is Googling lawyers who perform your type of services, better SEO means you appear higher in the search results. Traditionally, whenever an outside website links to your site, it improves your site’s credibility and SEO.
That would mean the LinkedIn profile link might help your SEO – but there’s a catch. The profile link is a no follow link, which means it’s specifically coded to tell Google not to count that link towards your site’s SEO value.
Nonetheless, it is important to think about SEO when you are developing your LinkedIn profile. Consider including search terms in your profile that match what people are looking for on Google. That way, your LinkedIn profile, your website, and your Martindale-Avvo profile can all appear in the search results.
If you’re not sure which website to include on LinkedIn, consider that your Martindale-Avvo profile helps connect you to qualified leads. So the more traffic you can send to your Martindale-Avvo profile, the better.
Consider Paid Advertising
One last way to improve your presence on LinkedIn is to run a paid advertising campaign. While it’s always important to flesh out your profile with a few thought leadership blog posts about timely legal issues, paid advertising can help ensure those posts are actually seen.
LinkedIn has step-by-step instructions for developing and running an ad campaign. You can give this a try to see if it helps you get the ROI you want from LinkedIn.
Reaching New Heights in Your Legal Career
LinkedIn is an important tool for lawyers to reach their target client base and network with colleagues. By following these tips, you can meet the goals you have for your practice.