Lawyers often lament: “I’ve been on LinkedIn for years, but I’ve never experienced any benefit from it.” What most mean is: “I’ve never gotten any work from it.” Lack of LinkedIn success is due to two factors. The first is lack of understanding of the platform’s tools. The second, more important factor is lack of understanding of its purpose.
Many lawyers aspire for connections, with the “500+” designation considered a benchmark for success. But LinkedIn isn’t about building connections, it’s about building relationships. Don’t get me wrong — connections are important, but only as a means to an end. The “end” is creating meaningful, lasting relationships with your connections. And this requires more than simply extending and accepting invitations.
As in all facets of life, the best way to build relationships is to give of oneself. You give your wisdom, and your connections give their time and attention. Over time, as you produce and share great content, you’ll be thought of as a resource, not a connection. So what’s the best way to expand your reach and your relationships on LinkedIn? Start posting articles using LinkedIn Pulse.
1. The content you post is searchable by keyword, so it’s an effective way of demonstrating your expertise on specific topics and industries. Use Pulse to showcase your knowledge.
2. Popular content — determined by number of views — gets featured on LinkedIn’s newsfeed. This can dramatically expand the reach of your content, raising your profile among a wider audience.
3. Posts become part of your LinkedIn profile, so anyone who checks you out will have access to your content.
4. You own the copyright on your content, not LinkedIn, so you can repurpose and repost your content elsewhere.
5. Your connections and followers (people can “follow” you even if you’re not connected) are able to “like” and comment on your content, so publishing is a great way to engage with your audiences.
The Mechanics in Five Steps
Ready to give LinkedIn Publisher a try? Good news — it’s easy.
1. Find the “publish a post” pencil in a box near the top of your LinkedIn homepage. Click it. This will launch the publishing platform.
2. Write something interesting and authoritative, or post content that you’ve previously published elsewhere (around 500 words is ideal).
3. Come up with a good headline (this is critical — study headlines from other popular posts).
4. Choose a good photo to pair with your post (also important — look for the little camera icon in the tool bar).
5. Proofread, post and monitor the response you get. Remember, focus on quality over quantity. Every time you post, every connection in your network will receive a notification. Publish too often, or publish mediocre content, and people may start tuning you out.