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The ‘In’ thing: LinkedIn for lawyers

The ‘In’ thing: LinkedIn for lawyers

By Nicola Weston

Social Media 

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As a lawyer, you’ll understand that a career in law is largely affected by your public perception and professional reputation. Have you heard the old saying, ‘you only get out what you put in’?

Reputation is the cornerstone of a lawyer’s practice and a firm’s identity. That’s why it’s imperative that you utilise every channel you can to manage your public perception. Whether you are looking for career opportunities or to enhance your online presence, look at LinkedIn as a vehicle to connect. Connect with people you would like to meet, people you can learn from, people who will serve as a source of referrals for you and people who may become clients.

In a nutshell: Benefits of LinkedIn for lawyers

Your virtual soapbox: With approximately 225 million users, LinkedIn is a professional platform to share content, nurture relationships and communicate to clients and peers alike.

Your reputation: Having a LinkedIn account boosts your chances in terms of search engine optimization. We all know that the majority of research is done online and since your LinkedIn account is likely to appear first on the search engines; it makes sense to control what your potential clients see first.

Your professional network: Think of your profile as your digital business card with added tools to access career opportunities, ‘connect’ and network with likeminded professionals and create a sense of belonging to a professional community.

Your news source: LinkedIn news feed offers updates on the latest developments, news articles and papers that impact your profession. All you have to do is become a member of groups that best suit your specialty or area of law. It’s also a good idea to follow your competitors to see how they are using it.

Using LinkedIn as a lawyer

LinkedIn gives you the ability to update your profile whenever you like, add professional connections, search for jobs in the ‘jobs’ section and display endorsements and recommendations of your skills and expertise. Regardless of whether you have a LinkedIn account or not, take 2 minutes right now to Google your name. The results might surprise you. LinkedIn accounts almost always appear first, above Facebook and Twitter accounts. We all know why that's a good thing.

Tips to get the most out of your personal page

  • Have a separate Gmail account for your account, (not your work email address); this way you have complete control over it.
  • Link your personal account to your firm’s ‘company page’ and connect with colleagues and management.
  • Ask for recommendations from colleagues, in particular when you finish at one workplace.
  • Keep updating your profile with awards, conferences you speak at, volunteering commitments and committees you are on.
  • Don’t be too noisy. For instance don’t post an update every hour as you will just dominate the news feed of your connections which could result in them choosing to hide your updates.
  • Be careful when adding connections. Try not to spam every contact in your email address book inviting them to connect.
  • Join groups to initiate discussions and post links to articles of interest prefaced with your own commentary. Both activities provide you with an opportunity to increase your visibility amongst your peers.
  • Also consider starting your own group in a niche where you are an expert.

Using LinkedIn for your law firm 

LinkedIn is not just for employees, it’s essential for companies looking to build community, attract talent, sell their services and engage in proactive reputation management.

Tips to get the most out of a company page

  • Create a company page with your firm’s name, email address, logo, banners, description and your firm’s specialities. Use the Google Keyword suggestion toolto find key phrases for your specialties.
  • Use the ‘Services’ tab to describe your services to prospective clients.
  • Underneath your services you will see the option to request recommendations or share with your other social networks. If done the right way, it’s a good idea to ask clients on LinkedIn if they’ll make a recommendation for your firm.
  • Ask your firm’s lawyers and other professionals to follow and add the ‘Company Page’ to their profiles.
  • You may post updates or share news, articles, media releases and video to the company page just as you post updates on your personal LinkedIn page.
  • If you sign up for a paid LinkedIn subscription, you can also post jobs in the ‘Careers’ section of your company page.
  • Make sure you regularly share content that your clients/ followers would be genuinely interested in.

Recently the LIV Young Lawyers Regional and Suburban Committee developed a networking group directory group to assist young lawyers with networking and to facilitate the referral of work across the state. Join the group here.

More links:

Q. What has been your experience using LinkedIn? Has it assisted you with employment opportunities, networking, referrals or business development?

Nicola Weston

LIV Social Media Coordinator

Email: socialmedia@liv.asn.au


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