When you think of Social Media accounts, which one comes to mind in terms of business and networking? Some may say Facebook, but I’d bet that many of you refer to LinkedIn when you want to take a more serious approach to interacting professionally online. LinkedIn is a great social tool in your law firm marketing tool belt – one that you may or may not be utilizing to its full potential.
I recently came across an article from Social Media Examiner that covered “5 Ways to Generate More Business From LinkedIn.” You may have seen these basic steps before as they are pretty standard in terms of building business online using Social Media, but the article gives examples of each strategy concerning the LinkedIn networking world.
Here is a summary as it relates to your law practice:
- Let Prospects Easily Find You. This is all about the first step for setting up your LinkedIn – your Profile page. You want to make sure you have an optimized profile so that potential clients can find you. First of all – who is your ideal client? Is it someone who needs an estate plan? Then you want to make sure you use keywords in your profile that will come up when they search for an estate planning attorney. For instance “estate planning attorney” or “trusts and estates lawyer” is going to bring more searchers directly to you than “attorney” alone.
- Give Prospects a Reason to Connect With You. So you came up in the search – great! But so did about 20 other people. Uh oh …now what? Now you have to get the searcher’s attention, and you want to do this by having a keyword-rich headline to draw them in. Saying “I practice law” isn’t going to cut it. The above-mentioned article shows some examples, such as using your location (city/state) and a few practice-specific keywords about what you do. Also – your profile picture! Make sure you include a professional headshot. Profiles without photos scream “spam!” and “not trustworthy!” You want your profile to reflect the professional image that you embody. (Psst …if you shoot video with us here in Kansas City, we throw in a professional headshot photo shoot for free. Just sayin.)
- Give Prospects a Reason to Take Action. The potential client has found you in their search, selected your profile, and now you want them to take action and contact you about doing business. Enter the Summary section: the first section they will see. Client-specific keywords are a must here, so cater to the client and explain what you can do for them. Many people get confused on this area and use it more like a resume – great for job searching, but not the best approach for building or marketing your practice. The article bluntly explains, “Nobody really cares about you. People only care about what you can do for them.” Harsh? Maybe. True? Probably. At the end of your summary, do not forget to add a call to action. This is very important! Direct them on how to get in contact with you, whether it is your email/website/phone number or other means of communication.
- Grow Your Network So Prospects Can Find You. Small network = small opportunity. Big network = big opportunity. Simple enough, right? You have to grow your LinkedIn network in order for others to search for you, because you won’t come up in just anyone’s search. There has to be some sort of connection at the 1st, 2nd, or 3rd level in LinkedIn. Set aside some time to reach out to others, and as invitations to connect come in you will probably want to accept most of them unless they seem suspicious or phony. Joining LinkedIn Groups is another great way to expand your network.
- Follow Up With New Connections. Just as follow-up is important when someone calls you directly or walks into your office, it is also necessary when connecting on LinkedIn. Send them a message thanking them for the connection and offer them something in return, be it an invitation to an upcoming workshop or seminar, a helpful white-paper download, or even an appointment for a call to discuss their needs.
So take a look at your LinkedIn profile and use these steps to help add value to your law practice and build your business online. And if you don’t have a LinkedIn account, now is the time to set one up! Hop online to get started on your free account.