LinkedIn is a unique platform. Built for professionals, it’s halfway between a social media platform and a professional contact list. Businesses use it as the phonebook of resumes, and professionals use it to keep in touch and look up employers. At the same time, many professional companies bring in clients through LinkedIn because potential customers will look up to the firm and partners before deciding.
For law firms, LinkedIn is the social networking channel for lawyers. According to ABA, LinkedIn continues to be the leading platform in the legal profession. In addition, around 88% of attorneys maintain a personal LinkedIn presence for professional reasons, and it’s no surprise the percentage is this high. A thoroughly optimized LinkedIn profile can bring you a great deal of benefits, including:
- Establishing your online presence in the leading platform for lawyers.
- Improving your professional and firm’s visibility.
- Connecting you to other professionals and, most importantly, potential clients.
- Managing your reputation.
- Recruiting top talent.
- Interacting with the most extensive net of professionals in the legal profession.
- Acquiring clients and retaining them.
A best practice is to think of LinkedIn as an extension of your resume and overall business. It would help if you created a LinkedIn profile prospects want to see. They’re looking for law firms; more specifically, they have an issue at hand and need a problem-solver. In addition, they want to know their case would be in the hands of the very best.
Attorneys opting in on this powerful channel should present themselves as available, reliable, and problem-solving-oriented. With that said, let’s dive into how and why your firm should get started with LinkedIn.
How LinkedIn Helps Prospects and Attorneys in the Legal Profession
When a person or business is looking to hire a lawyer, they’ll do extensive research. Few people today find a name and trust them with their case. The reason is that the stakes are high for prospects with a legal issue, and they’re probably enduring a great deal of pressure and stress. With that, users will begin by searching for questions, answers, and similar cases. Once they more or less know what they are looking for and decide to keep your firm as one of their top options, their customer journey begins with your firm.
The customer journey today is not linear. Not all prospects have the same journey; some will jump from your website to other external pages or vice versa. They’ll go from other external pages to specific pages on your site.
To paint the picture, let’s say Bob is a potential client looking for a family law firm, and he already knows what he needs; he’s just looking for the best attorney to handle his case. Bob might go from your website to the FAQs section and then jump to an attorney’s profile and investigate their education and additional information. Once Bob is in the attorney’s profile, they can click on the lawyer’s LinkedIn. Here, Bob can look into that specific attorney, the skills, achievements, posts, activities, etc. As we said before, think of this channel as an extension of your resume.
With this example, it’s clear that customers aren’t linear; Bob and other prospects will jump from one page to another if deemed necessary. As a consequence of this, the best practice is to cover your LinkedIn base.
The Best Practices to Build the Best Attorney Profile in LinkedIn
LinkedIn is the most powerful social network in the legal profession. Interestingly, your audience of future clients is not the entirety of your audience. You may notice that other groups take an interest in your content. Another business, for example, might investigate your firm and the lawyers therein in preparation to form a business partnership. In reality, the possibilities are pretty much endless in this channel. However, there are unwritten rules that’ll help you amp up your profile. Here are the best LinkedIn practices:
1. Ensure you have a quality profile picture.
The LinkedIn photo is incredibly important. This is your first impression. Make sure your image is recent, high-quality, and has a light background to ensure a solid first impression. As another best practice, avoid group photos at all costs. Remember, prospects are looking for your information.
2. Make use of the profile background image.
Although some users leave their profile background blank, don’t be afraid to market yourself here! This is one of the first things prospects will notice. Therefore, as a rule of thumb, try to include the most vital information here: practice areas, external links, and contact information.
3. List your experience in detail.
Do you want to make sure you’re attracting the right people? By listing your previous experiences, you can highlight what you do now and ensure you’re speaking to the right audience. People who are quickly going through your profile should be able to find out the relevant experience you’ve had and how that’ll help their case.
4. Follow ABA’s Rule 7.4.
This is important to note. Lawyers who want to position themselves as specialists on LinkedIn (and other channels) should abide by ABA’s Rule 7.4:
- A lawyer cannot state they’re a specialist unless the lawyer has been certified a specialist by state authority, District of Columbia, or the American Bar Association.
5. Connect your contact list.
Want to get started with connecting with your immediate contact list now? That’s possible! LinkedIn allows you to import your contact list.
6. Start following other professionals.
Want to connect with other professionals outside your contact list? That’s also possible! LinkedIn has three different types of connections:
- 1st-degree connections: These are people you directly connected with, e.g., from your contact list.
- 2nd-degree connections: These are people connected to your 1st-degree connection. You can also connect with them by clicking on their page and sending them a request.
- 3rd-degree connections: These are people connected to your 2nd-degree connection. You can also reach out to them and connect.
Writing Impactful Content that Your Audience Will Value
People do business with people. When doing business with others, we want to see how much of an expert they are, and one-way attorneys can position themselves as so is through the added value of content.
So how do you create a LinkedIn content strategy that appeals to your audience? In LinkedIn, it’s not just the word count that matters. It’s the readability and valuable tips that count. LinkedIn is meant to be by professionals, for professionals. Some professionals might have more time in their hands to read while others are on the go and seek to read short content pieces.
Instead of focusing on long articles, focus on shorter, compact pieces that deliver information quickly. Feel free to separate articles into easy-to-digest paragraphs with eye-catching and informative headers. Answer questions with both bullet-points and expounded answer meanings. If you’re writing a pillar page, break it up into categories and subtopics. Write in simple terms but use them to convey complex concepts. Remember, you’re appealing to professionals and clients on their level, so make the content packed with valuable information and easy to consume.
In need of content inspiration now? Grab some inspiration from our content list below:
- Relevant updates in your practice area, e.g., change in policies.
- What to bring and expect from the first attorney-client meeting.
- How your payment system works, e.g., the contingency fee.
- What cases do you handle? Add a case study.
- Your firm’s history, e.g., how long have you been in business?
- How long does the X process take?
Although these are generally legal topics, feel free to take what works for you and adjust accordingly. If you are in a specific practice area(s), look into FAQs (frequently asked questions) you get and create content around those questions. This will educate prospects even before they step into your office, save you time, and help position you as an expert.
Ensure your Law Firm’s LinkedIn Branding Stands Out
LinkedIn focuses on placing you as your own product. When used correctly, LinkedIn can bring clients to your door. It can also be the make or break between prospects picking your firm versus your competitors.
Your profile must be one people want to look at, and this is possible by optimizing your profile, actively connecting with others, and interacting with your ideal clients. However, we understand that doing so requires a great deal of time and dedication. If you would like to explore your law firm’s content strategy further, ask more questions, or help you get started, let’s have a chat. We can help you brand your personality, craft content, and overall work smarter with a stronger audience focus.