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LinkedIn Do’s and Don’ts for Lawyers

Andrew Adams

Lawyers often say they don’t need LinkedIn because they enjoy a robust referral pipeline, or more often, they don’t have time for it. However, the data shows that potential clients are using LinkedIn to search for and vet attorneys.

In a survey, 68% of LinkedIn users said they were likely to use the professional social media platform to find a lawyer. Meanwhile, 94% of the survey respondents said they use LinkedIn to research an attorney referral. Given that the How People Use LinkedIn to Hire Attorneys survey was done in 2016, we can only imagine that those numbers have increased as more people joined the networking platform (830 million now compared to 450 million 6 years ago).

The #1 lesson for lawyers about LinkedIn is:

If you’re not on LinkedIn, you’re missing opportunities.

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There are a lot of things lawyers can do with LinkedIn as part of a legal marketing strategy, but it can feel overwhelming. This brings us to our #2 LinkedIn lesson for lawyers:

You don’t need to do everything, but you must do something.

All those potential clients, referral sources, and even news reporters use Google to find attorneys nearby. LinkedIn is spoon-feeding those opportunities to lawyers who are on the platform, as LinkedIn profiles often rank higher than law firm websites in search results. Eighty-one percent of law firms and 88% of lawyers reported using LinkedIn in the American Bar Association’s 2020 Legal Technology Survey Report.

So what should you be doing on LinkedIn to get hold of those opportunities?

Must Do:

  • Complete your profile with a photo and banner photo, a descriptive headline, and a customized URL.

  • Use the “About” section on your profile to tell your story; share your passions and why you like doing what you do. If you have an elevator speech, this is a great place for it. The content should be different than your law firm’s website bio.

  • Spend at least an hour a week (small increments each day) accepting connection requests and going through your feed. Comment on, like, and share content you find engaging.

  • Create a page for your law firm or connect to it if it already exists, and reshare firm content regularly.

  • Follow hashtags to curate your feed based on your interests.

  • Be helpful with your posts by sharing legal developments or resources for your target audience; showcase your expertise, but don’t give legal advice.

  • If you blog or write articles, or even record videos, post them.

Good to Do:

  • Be conversational and personable in your profile and interactions. Save the legalese and formality for letters to opposing counsel.

  • Join LinkedIn Groups and add to the conversation by sharing relevant content that is not promotional.

  • Regularly look at your 1st level connections for people to reach out to with an invite to go out for coffee, or to share something you think they’ll find helpful.

  • Follow industry organizations and conference pages to create connections before attending an event.

If You Can, Do:

  • Use an employee advocacy or automation service.

  • Look at 2nd level connections in search of opportunities for introductions from your 1st level connections.

  • Hire a professional digital marketing expert to set up and manage your firm’s LinkedIn page.

  • Use the LinkedIn Newsletters feature.

  • Curate your feed using the bell feature to ensure you’re seeing content that is relevant to you and your target audience.

Don’t:

  • Join LinkedIn Premium. There are plenty of benefits to the free version.

  • Ask someone on your staff to run your LinkedIn profile.

  • Feel pressure to post about holidays, real or otherwise. That just adds to the noise and doesn’t have value.

  • Create a profile that is incomplete or never updated. Better to not be on LinkedIn at all than to look like you don’t know what you’re doing, or don’t care.

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