Most every lawyer I know has a profile on LinkedIn, but few regularly use the platform. It is the quintessential social networking platform for professionals. Often, when you type a lawyer’s name into Google, their LinkedIn profile is first or second in the search results. Other professionals are often learning about you from you LinkedIn profile and what you post on the platform rather than from your firm’s website. This shouldn’t be surprising. How many of you have visited LinkedIn over the last month? Over that same time, how many have visited another firm’s website? I’m not suggesting not having a high caliber, eye-catching law firm website. By all means, do so. But understand, you’re likely going to get more eyes, and more importantly, more eyes of prospective clients, on LinkedIn than on your website. So how do you make the most of LinkedIn?
The answer is simple. Choose a broad topic you feel comfortable and have expertise writing about. It could be a practice area like cyber security. It could be a skill set like trying cases. It could be general business and professional advice, the motivational and inspirational kind. Once you choose a topic, post regularly about that topic. A post is limited to 1300 characters (articles can be much longer). Set aside time to post at least twice a week. Three times is better. Daily is best. You will develop a following, become seen as an expert and thought leader on the topic, and develop relationships with those in positions to refer you work.
About three years ago, I committed to posting daily on LinkedIn. Every day, including weekends and every holiday, I have posted about the practice of law. Though many of my posts are directed to young lawyers, many are directed to lawyers as a whole. Through these posts, I have developed a following among in house counsel, insurance professionals and business owners. I receive numerous inquiries about our firm and the work we do as well as requests to speak to voluntary bar associations, trade associations and law schools around the world. At the current time, I have over 37,000 followers worldwide. My posts have led to developing relationships with attorneys who can refer our firm cases, and many have reached out to me to do just that. Often, our firm chooses not to accept many of these matters, but the calls, e-mails and messages show that LinkedIn has provided our firm an oversized footprint in the legal community.
Another benefit of regularly posting on LinkedIn is that you’re at the forefront of the minds of prospective referral sources. It’s not simply having relationships with referral sources that matters. It’s being on their mind when a case hits their desk which they need to refer out. Regularly posting always keeps your name at the forefront of their minds and on the tips of their tongues when deciding to whom to refer a new matter.
LinkedIn, if used properly, can help you develop and deepen professional relationships. Take the time to evaluate whether you have the time and energy to do so, and if so, jump in with both feet. You won’t regret it.