In the topsy-turvy social network space, LinkedIn has emerged as the most trusted platform for doing business. Are you successfully using LinkedIn to get more clients? Follow these steps.
LinkedIn is the world’s largest online professional network, with 875 million members across more than 200 countries. Its mission is to connect professionals and business owners worldwide, allowing them to grow their networks and become more successful. Understanding how to effectively use LinkedIn to attract more clients can help you take advantage of all the benefits this powerful online networking tool has to offer lawyers and law firms.
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The Benefits of Using LinkedIn
According to the Pew Research Center, 7 of every 10 Americans are social media users. Therefore, it is no surprise that social media has become an essential method through which businesses attract and retain clients. Among nine key social media platforms, including Facebook and Instagram, LinkedIn has been ranked as the most trusted platform in the Digital Trust Benchmark Report for five years in a row. Given this data, lawyers and law firms can benefit greatly from marketing their services on LinkedIn. Learning how to use LinkedIn effectively will enable you to grow your client base.
Tips for Using LinkedIn to Get More Clients
The key to using LinkedIn effectively is to view it as a place to build trust and long-term relationships. This requires a commitment to building a network over time and consistently creating and sharing valuable content.
Follow these specific steps to find success for your law practice on LinkedIn.
1. Create a Relevant Profile
When creating your profile, keep your client top of mind so you can effectively communicate how you may assist them. Your profile should include all the following key elements to ensure it is complete and relevant to your target audience:
- A compelling banner and headline that instantly communicates who you are.
- A summary that succinctly communicates what you do and how you can deliver value by solving a problem for your clients.
- Relevant keywords that will help users find you.
- A friendly and professional headshot photo that gives your profile a human touch.
- Positive reviews and testimonials to establish trust and credibility.
2. Build Your Network
Building your network takes time and needs to be worked on consistently over the long term. There are several ways to do this:
Start With Your Existing Contacts
Begin by inviting your existing contacts to connect with you by importing them from another account, such as your email. Once you have these connections established, they will likely lead to additional connections.
Send Connection Requests to New People You Meet
You may meet new people in person or online at a conference, a business meeting or a social event. Send them a connection request on LinkedIn, and include a note to personalize the request and increase your chances of receiving a response.
Search for Other Users to Connect With
LinkedIn allows you to search for other users by job title, company, industry, location and several other criteria. Regularly use the search tool to find individuals within your target audience. The right sidebar titled “People Also Viewed” is another excellent tool to help you find second- and third-degree connections with whom you can connect. Whenever you send a connection request to someone you do not know personally, send them a friendly note that briefly explains who you are and why you want to connect.
Reach Out to Those Who View Your Profile
LinkedIn shows you other users who have viewed your profile, providing a good opportunity to connect with individuals interested in your skills or the services your law firm offers. Reach out to those people with a connection request along with a short, friendly note introducing yourself.
Join LinkedIn Groups
LinkedIn Groups allow professionals in the same industry or with similar interests to connect and share their information. Joining one or several LinkedIn Groups is a great way to make new connections and expand your network. You may want to search for groups associated with your state or local bar association, the American Bar Association or your legal specialization. You may even want to start your own LinkedIn Group for your law firm, to which you can invite members and gain access to more clients.
Keep in mind that your goal is to develop long-term, trusting relationships. Whenever someone accepts your connection, sending them a personal thank-you note containing a link to your website in your signature is a good idea. Avoid engaging in self-promotion immediately upon connecting with someone. Instead, focus on getting to know them and allowing them to get to know you and the value you can provide.
3. Create and Share Valuable Content
Creating and sharing useful and engaging content with your target audience is one of the best ways to establish your reputation as an industry expert and thought leader. Regularly generating new and unique content will make you more likely to gain followers and expand your network over time. If you use an outside marketing agency, be sure to choose one that specializes in the law so that they understand how to create legally accurate and ethically compliant content for social media.
You can post articles directly on LinkedIn or summarize content from your company blog or website in a post to drive traffic there. LinkedIn also allows you to share photos and videos in your posts to make your content more engaging. LinkedIn analytics is a valuable tool for measuring and monitoring the effectiveness of your marketing efforts on the platform.
4. Actively Engage With Other Users
Networking and communication are two-way streets, meaning that it is important to work on building relationships with other users by taking notice of what they post on LinkedIn. You might comment on a post created by a connection to congratulate them on a professional accomplishment, or you might react to an article posted by a company you follow, using it as an opportunity to start or participate in a discussion about a topic of interest. There are endless opportunities to actively engage with other users on LinkedIn, and the more you do so, the more visible your profile will become.
5. Use LinkedIn Advertising
LinkedIn ads can help you promote your brand, increase traffic to your website, acquire leads and generate conversions. Various ad types are available on LinkedIn, including sponsored content, individualized messaging, and ads personalized to your specific audience. Once you create an ad on the platform, you can assess and monitor your ad performance using the LinkedIn Campaign Manager.
Bonus Tip: How to Approach New Connections on LinkedIn
When reaching out for the first time, sending a friendly, personalized message along with your connection request is important. Introduce yourself by briefly telling them about your services and how you solve your clients’ problems or pain points. Be sure to do this without engaging in self-promotion or sales-type language. It is also a good idea to look at the person’s LinkedIn profile for something you have in common or can ask them about in your message. By making a positive impression and showing an interest in who they are, you will provide a reason for that person to accept your connection request and positively respond to you.
Start Expanding Your Network on LinkedIn Today
While many lawyers and law firms have a LinkedIn profile, few take full advantage of this powerful social media platform’s many benefits for attracting and retaining clients. If you are ready to start expanding your network on LinkedIn, begin by creating and improving your profile. Next, you will need to dedicate time to building your network, developing and sharing content, and engaging with other users on the platform on a regular basis.
Success in expanding your network and attracting clients on LinkedIn takes time, and it is vital to focus on building trust and relationships over the long term through consistent effort.
Getting Clients: For Lawyers Starting Out or Starting Over
BY MERRILYN ASTIN TARLTON
The biggest obstacle to marketing your law practice (besides more time!) is knowing where to start. Getting Clients makes that the easiest part, with straightforward and knowledgeable guidelines, worksheets and the necessary sense of humor.
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