Using LinkedIn to grow your law practice is one of the most sure-fire things any small (or larger) firm can do to create new work. Following some simple steps for the massive social network can pay huge dividends for a few minutes a day.
All of which is why we paid close attention to a Forbes article written by career firm co-founder William Arruda who pointed to the three, key steps that should be taken to not only remain relevant and interesting, but to attract new business too.
While the article wasn’t specifically written for lawyers, it is certainly an area that lawyers need to focus some (small amount) of time in the interests of developing a strong and growing client base.
We’ve written before about the usefulness of LinkedIn, including this article about a criminal barrister who grew his list using the nextwork.
1. Update your status.
Every day, let your peeps know what you’re up to using the LinkedIn “share an update” feature. Out of sight, out of mind applies to your status: if you’re invisible on LinkedIn, your name won’t come to mind when your network needs you. Not sure what to post? Go for anything that yields a “yes” to this question:
Will this be valuable to my target audience?
There are any number of things that you stumble upon or think about or learn daily – share them, and in doing so build your credibility and profile with your LinkedIn audience, thus also generating a growing interest in who and what you are.
2. Accept connection requests.
They build up if you don’t respond to them as they come in. Reserve some time each day to accept requests from people you’d like to include and to click “ignore” on those you don’t.
Not sure whether to accept or ignore? Establish your criteria in advance. I disagree with LinkedIn’s advice to only accept connection requests from people you know. That helps LinkedIn sell Premium memberships, but it does little to help you in building your network or getting noticed.
It’s important to consider how you interact and connect with your audience and to establish some protocols as to how you will grow your own network. For instance you can limit connections to your own legal field, or go far wider.
Just ensure they’re legitimate and up-to-date.
3. Acknowledge connections.
If you adjust your settings (under communications, then basics) you will receive email notifications when things are happening with people in your network. This includes birthdays, job changes, and work anniversaries. Because this is happening in real-time, you want to reach out to your connections right away to send your best wishes. If you receive these notifications as daily emails, this will help you get in the habit of sending acknowledgement every day. It won’t take a lot of time, and it will have an impact on your ability to nurture your network.
The author suggests a daily routine to accomplish the three key LinkedIn jobs, which he says takes nine minutes a day as part of a routine.
He suggests doing so at a regular time and getting into the habit – just like teeth cleaning.
The use of LinkedIn as a marketing tool for lawyers is virtually unparalleled in the online world and using it smartly by investing time and effort can pay major dividends.