You have probably heard the popular saying “Your network equals your net worth.” This is quite accurate. To grow your business network, whether you are a solo practitioner or a large law firm, LinkedIn is one of the most powerful social media platforms.
The key to building a powerful network on LinkedIn is to be strategic and selective about who you add into your network. You may not be aware of this, but LinkedIn allows you to update your settings in order to control who can connect with you directly on LinkedIn.
You can update your settings on LinkedIn by going to the communication tab and then click on Settings. You will then see an option for connection requests and you will have three options to pick from:
- Everyone on LinkedIn (which is LinkedIn’s recommended suggestion).
- Only people who know your email address or appear in your “imported contacts” list.
- Only people who appear in your “imported contacts” list.
Another interesting feature that LinkedIn has is that it allows you to grow your followers instead of your connections if you choose to do so. This option allows you to grow your number of followers without adding additional connections.
You can make this change by going to your profile to the privacy setting and then scrolling down to where it says Blocking and Hiding, and select the make follow primary option and enable that button to Yes.
Identify Specific People
If you are part of a Chamber of Commerce or any other local networking groups, you may want to search for people in your groups on LinkedIn and connect with them. You can do this by typing their name in the search box and requesting to connect with them. It is best to send everyone a personalized message when requesting a connection. Not everyone is going to remember where they met you, so it is nice to send a personal note.
The Find Nearby Option
Another great feature that you may not be aware of is the “find nearby option.”
If you are at a legal conference workshop or networking event, you can also turn on the LinkedIn Find Nearby option on your mobile device and it will enable you to see which LinkedIn users are within 100 feet of you. In order for this feature to work you must enable Bluetooth on your phone first.
The one downside of this feature is that it does not allow you to send a personalized message. Therefore, I recommend taking a screenshot and sending a personalized invitation when you have access to your desktop.
The Suggested Connections Option
As you add new people to your network, LinkedIn will also suggest other members that you may know. You have two ways to connect with these connections you can hit the Connect button, but the downside is that you will not be able to send a personalized message. The other option is you can click on their profile and request a connection to the other personal page, which will allow you to send a customized message.
Beware: LinkedIn does have restrictions on the amount of LinkedIn requests you can send within a short time period.
If you really want LinkedIn to work for your law firm, it is important to also engage with your audience on LinkedIn. You can boost your engagement by:
- Commenting on other people’s content or articles that they’ve been posted on LinkedIn.
- Joining specific industry-related groups, posting your own content in articles there, and providing valuable advice and feed back to other members of the group.
Furthermore, you can search for LinkedIn hashtags that will allow you to find articles and content that are relevant to your industry. If you find an article that you like, you can comment on it, like it or share it with your network.
Start or Join a Group
There are many legal industry groups on LinkedIn. You can choose to join local groups in your area or even join nationwide groups for the benefit of forming relationships with other attorneys nationwide that may lead to referrals or future partnerships.
Make sure you spend some time every week to work on your LinkedIn marketing and connections, and you will start seeing the benefits of building a powerful network. Dimple Dang