We’ve all heard of LinkedIn and most of us will have a LinkedIn profile, but how many of us truly use it to its full effect? LinkedIn can be a marvellous tool for lawyers but can also entangle us in futile scrolling and time wasting. Here are five ways to make the most of this tool.
LinkedIn is a fantastic way to maintain and develop connections. Add friends and family but remember, this is primarily about business relationships. Connect with colleagues, clients, professional advisors and experts in your field; and don’t forget to send new connections a message to gently remind them where you met. Follow this up periodically with a short note either asking how they are if this is appropriate or, with a suggested article or piece of know-how that fits with their expertise. Give thoughtful and relevant comments to posts made by the members of your network; this goes much further than a ‘Like’.
New or potential clients are likely to look at your and your firm’s LinkedIn profiles so make sure it’s up-to-date and interesting. Don’t just copy your firm’s website wording; make it personal. If you’ve written an article, attended a training session or spoken at a conference, take time to update your profile with the details.
Bear in mind that people looking to move firms will check out your firm’s LinkedIn profile. Don’t underestimate social media when it comes to recruiting the top people. Advertise the great work you’ve been involved with and don’t forget to refer to your firm’s social events, health and wellbeing initiatives and charitable endeavours – employees (and clients!) want to know that you’re human.
4. Show off (modestly)
If you’ve completed a deal, been recognised in your field or your firm has won a new pitch or moved up in a legal directory’s rankings, shout about it (anonymously, if necessary). This is the perfect way to cross-sell your firm’s different specialisms, achievements and, if you work in a large firm, to keep abreast of what other departments are working on.
Articles and posts on LinkedIn can help keep you up-to-speed on key legal and commercial developments and market practice. Read them and then comment or ‘Share’. Even better, write a few of your own and post them on your LinkedIn profile. Don’t dismiss articles or posts by competing law firms or feel that you can’t ‘Like’ or comment on these – fostering relationships with lawyers at other firms could lead to business and career opportunities in the future.
Think about how you use LinkedIn, what you want to achieve and be disciplined. A flurry of activity every few months is no use to anyone; a few minutes each day or week is likely to be far more effective.