In these unprecedented times it is essential to maintain an optimal online profile. Especially on the most popular B2B platform for all professionals, LinkedIn. Whether an attorney (or other high-end professional) is currently looking for a new position or realizes that the social media is a platform where many potential clients will go to review your bona fides, there are numerous ways attorneys can enhance their LinkedIn profile. Everyone has their strengths; it is up to the attorney to exemplify them.
According to Forbes Article, when professionals meet one another in person, a first impression is created within the first seven seconds. The same holds true online. That is not a lot of time to work with and therefore, it’s imperative that an attorney’s profile captures attention immediately. When people look at a LinkedIn profile, they instantly see The LinkedIn Big Three: The Picture, The Header, and The Description.
The profile picture should be current, professional, and as flattering as possible. The photo should offer the professional image the attorney wants to forward. The header can help enhance their image or that of their firm.
While many attorneys have a professional quality picture and biography, they often make the mistake of using the generic header. This is a missed opportunity. The header can highlight the firm or show an image that may connect with the viewer, such as yachting or golfing.
When it comes to the description, the first three or four words carry the greatest weight. What is the attorneys practice area? What awards or recognition have they received? Have they been quoted or published in the media? All of these things will help create a positive first impression that garners enough interest, to merit reading further.
The bio needs to be concise, straight to the point, and have content that captures, holds, and retains the attention of the reader. This is a direct reflection of their professional brand; who are they, and who are they not? Who are they marketing themselves to be?
The ‘About’ section is where a detailed description of their work experience, skillsets and what they bring to the table for potential employers and clients. This is not a place to be humble. Listing significant accomplishments will never be frowned upon, as that is the specific purpose of the LinkedIn platform.
Additionally, attorneys should keep in mind, the Pareto Principle aka 80/20 rule. Eighty percent (or more) of the ‘About’ element should be career related, and 20 percent can show than the attorney is more than “just another suit.” A couple pictures of family, pets, hobbies etc. can again, help make a connection with viewers.
Attorneys should provide a detailed chronology of their most marketable positions and career accomplishments. They need not list every position they’ve held, just those they feel would be most relevant to the viewers they want to attract.
Of course, clients and employers will find long gaps of missing job history odd, so some positions may be listed with little or no description other than title. Then, chronicle those entries. The key for attorneys is to consider what a complete stranger would find most impressive and relevant to what they are seeking.
The same guidelines go for the ‘Education’ and ‘Volunteer Experience’ portions. Attorneys should polish the two with relative and essential information, but not leave out too much so as to undermine themselves. No matter the profession, dedication to studies and self-sacrifice to help others never goes unnoticed. Neither will create an adverse impression on a profile.
The final component of the LinkedIn profile is not written by the user, but rather by other people. The ‘Skills & Endorsements’ section can make the difference between a client browsing a profile or contacting their new attorney. An attorney saying, they are great at what they do is common. No one goes on LinkedIn and says “Hire me. I’m mediocre!” So, having other people tout an attorney’s legal prowess is exponentially more credible to strangers.
Endorsements are good because in a quick moment, readers can see how many people think highly of the attorney’s skills. Testimonials are stronger. Word of mouth is a timeless and extremely effective marketing strategy. Testimonials are letting other people be your word of mouth and sometimes. are the final evidence needed to incite the viewer to initiate contact – which is always the end goal.
An often-overlooked strategy for using LinkedIn is engagement. Posting content and engaging with others. There are two types of content posted on LinkedIn: original content and curated content.
Original content is when someone writes about anything of proficiency that can demonstrate their business acumen and professional competence. Attorneys seeking to offer original content should write about subject matter that reflects expertise in their niche.
Curated content is when attorneys share articles, videos or other content originated by someone else. Attorneys should repost curated content on subjects that will be of value to their network or the professionals whom they would like to add to their network. Posting curated content by itself or with a single sentence comment like “This is a good article” is a waste of time. Attorneys need to make sure they include some thoughtful insights about what they shared. That way, even though they didn’t personally write it, they’re offering thought-provoking content that demonstrates their knowledge about the subject matter.
Another way lawyers can build their LinkedIn presence is by engaging with others. Liking, commenting, and appreciating others’ posts can build online rapport. The same holds true with congratulating people on new roles, work anniversaries and especially when they have been quoted or recognized by the media or professional organizations.
There are myriad ways to improve one’s interactions with the platform, from joining appropriate and applicable groups, to conversing through the Messaging feature, to adding thoughts in major everyday news headlines.
LinkedIn has established itself as the go-to social media platform for B2B and high-end professionals. The key for lawyers, is knowing how to use it effectively. In order to do so, they need to make they have an effective profile, and that they post valuable content and engage with others.