While there are many social media sites out there, when it comes to the top business networking site, that would be LinkedIn. With over 35 million users, LinkedIn has become a powerful resource for legal professionals on a local and global scale. Lawyers can network with colleagues and other industry folk, while promoting their practice to millions of potential clients all at the same time.
The beauty of LinkedIn is its simplicity. LinkedIn is basically a virtual resume that’s all about marketing yourself and your business—no need (or access) to upload extraneous vacation photos or post hourly comments or retweets (sorry, Twitter—you’re great for what you do). LinkedIn is quick, easy, and cuts to the chase of wanting to make contacts but not spend a lot of time doing so.
If its easy-to-use platform hasn’t sold you, and you’re not already on LinkedIn, here are some more reasons why you should be.
Establish Yourself Among Professionals and Clients
The old adage, “It’s not what you know, but who you know,” completely applies here. LinkedIn is a great way to network with existing associates and clients, but it also opens the flood gates to contacts that would be otherwise unreachable.
Let’s say you’re a personal injury lawyer who connects with a colleague who practices family law. As a direct connect, your profile is visible to your colleagues connects, and their connects, etc. This is an excellent way to expose your practice to other legal professionals and potential clients looking for someone who practices personal injury law.
Further, you’re likely to be contacted if you’re connected to someone who is connected; meaning, you come with a recommendation or referral, if you will. You can also link your LinkedIn profile to your blog, website and other social media pages; increasing your online visibility.
Build Industry Credibility
LinkedIn provides the capability for employers, coworkers, and clients (both past and present) to leave positive comments on your profile about your services and skills. This documents customer satisfaction and industry knowledge, and hangs a “star of approval” on your practice.
You can also post comments on an associate’s profile. This is important if you assisted an associate on a complex case, and helped to secure a favorable verdict.
Monitor Your Competition
Keep your friends close, and your enemies…alright, so your legal competition is not your enemy, but you should keep an eye on what they’re up to. By staying abreast of your competition’s activities, you can see things like who’s starting their own firm, who’s leaving a firm you may be interested in, etc.