In a recent client meeting, a law firm partner announced he was skeptical about the importance of LinkedIn for lawyers. He wanted to know how posting to LinkedIn was going to build his personal brand or help the firm build their profile within the market. This is not an uncommon concern. Many successful professionals wanting to take their practice to the next level fear that online marketing feels inauthentic or, worse, like they’re taking on a used-car salesman persona.
In our decade of marketing and branding experience with law firms and attorneys – and as a team with multiple attorneys ourselves – we understand the skepticism. So, is LinkedIn worth it for lawyers? Here are three reasons we answer with an enthusiastic “yes,” as well as some tips for leveraging LinkedIn to build your brand and business without sacrificing your valuable (and billable) time.
Your Prospects and Clients Are On LinkedIn...and They're Using It To Vet Lawyers and Law Firms
In the same way you would attend a networking or industry event where you know your prospects will be offline, you also want to be where they are online. As LinkedIn is the number one social platform for business, chances are your prospects and clients are there. The numbers back this up:
- 61 million LinkedIn users are senior level influencers, and 40 are in decision-making positions.1
- 74% of those on LinkedIn use it to research companies and people.2
- It can take anywhere from 8 to 20 touch points before someone knows you and understands your area of expertise well enough to feel comfortable doing business with you.3
- LinkedIn is the most-used social media platform among Fortune 500 companies.1
- 65% of B2B companies have acquired a customer through LinkedIn.4
Your LinkedIn Profile Is A Top Google Search Result For Your Name...That You Control
Have you Googled yourself recently? Your LinkedIn profile is likely one of your highest search results, often appearing in your top one or two search results, just below your firm bio. And, unlike much of the other content that may appear in your Google search results – such as news mentions or old Facebook photos – you actually get to write and fully control the content that shows up on your LinkedIn profile.
(Out of curiosity, I Googled my name followed by my company when writing this post and found that LinkedIn was actually my first search result.)
So, what does your LinkedIn profile say about you? Your headline or past job entries probably at least indicate that you’re an attorney. Well, what kind of attorney? Do you practice commercial litigation, represent nonprofits, or execute wills? What does that mean to your clients? Do you save mid-size manufacturing companies money and time through proactive mediation? Do you catch contract issues before they cost a company millions of dollars?
And what kinds of things are you sharing publicly? Are you communicating your focus areas by sharing relevant articles, legal updates, recent client wins, or firm news?
Clearly showcasing your expertise as a lawyer on your LinkedIn profile and the value you provide to clients helps your prospects and clients understand exactly what you do and when to think of you.
LinkedIn Allows You To Stay Top Of Mind With Your Network - Without Wasting Billable Hours
To many, the mere mention of social media induces a cringe (after all – who has the time?). But LinkedIn effectively aggregates your business contacts in a single online networking event: one that you can attend any time it is convenient for you.
The best news is that you don’t need to spend hours (or even one) each week on LinkedIn to reap its benefits. One of the most effective ways to engage with others on LinkedIn is to share information by sending out a post. Posts are updates you share with your LinkedIn Connections. If one of your Connections likes, comments on, or shares your post, then their networks may also see your post, amplifying its original reach many times over. At Mountaintop, we regularly share content that gets anywhere between 800 to 8,000 views – and the only investment we make are the original few minutes spent to craft our lead-in.
What Content Should Lawyers Share On LinkedIn?
Finding content to share doesn’t have to be difficult. Have you seen an interesting article that you think will be relevant to your clients and professional contacts lately? Did your firm recently welcome a new litigation partner that expands your capabilities? Do you have a recent client victory to talk about? Did you or a team member present or contribute to an community or industry-related event? Share your positive, compelling professional updates on LinkedIn. These small efforts can reap big rewards in the long run.
Here are a few examples from Mountaintop team member feeds for inspiration:
The Bottom Line: Leveraging LinkedIn Will Help You Make It Rain
We understand that to the uninitiated getting active on LinkedIn might not be high on your business development to-do list. But it is actually an important tool for lawyers to maximize their business development time and efforts. Customizing your profile to reflect your personal brand, controlling your reputation and online content, and being able to reach hundreds of contacts with a simple keystroke when you share a post are just a few of its many benefits. Investing a few minutes a day – or even a week – to engage on LinkedIn will help brand you among your network as the go-to lawyer in your area of expertise and remain top-of-mind in a crowded marketplace.
Not Sure Where To Start?
Check out Mountaintop’s online course, “Make It Rain: LinkedIn For Personal Branding & Business Growth” to learn how to optimize your profile and leverage LinkedIn for business development, or let our LinkedIn experts craft your strategic profile.
Questions? We’re happy to help. Contact us.
About the Author
Claire Holmes helps successful professionals and companies tell their stories online. As a Marketing Consultant with Mountaintop Consulting, she partners with clients on developing compelling, authentic marketing strategies for firms, teams, and individuals. Learn more about Claire here.
1LinkedIn Marketing Solutions Blog
3U.S. Department of Commerce