In recent weeks, I have been talking with attorneys and practice administrators to find pain points and difficulties. One concern I have heard repeatedly relates to marketing, which lawyers are not generally comfortable with. I’ve noticed that some attorneys don’t even have LinkedIn accounts and others have profiles that clearly suffer from neglect.
This post provides some advice and hints about the low-hanging fruit that is your LinkedIn profile, and includes two free resources: a profile guide and a professional background image.
It used to be that finding clients for a law practice was simple: Go to a few networking events, give and receive referrals, do great work, and the clients showed up. But times are changing.
In the course of talking to attorneys over the past few weeks, I have heard a fair amount of angst over the need to now go out and “market” the practice. It’s distasteful, it’s distracting, but it is absolutely necessary in the internet age.
For an attorney, the first step in marketing your services is making sure your LinkedIn profile is in good shape.
It’s About Connection
In 1958, McGraw Hill created a famous advertisement that illustrates the importance of making connections. Back in the 50s, people wanted connections but just did not have many ways to connect—that was the reality and people accepted it.
Today, people do not accept limitations on connections. They have hundreds of Facebook friends, they give and take advice from like-minded people who live thousands of miles away. They check out everyone with whom they are considering doing business, from the plumber, to the restauranteur, to, yes, the lawyer. (Watch this video of how McGraw-Hill’s famous ad plays out today.)
Can you imagine someone looking for a professional to handle their most important and most confidential matters who is not going to find out everything she can about the attorney she is thinking about hiring?
LinkedIn is the network for professionals. It has over 300 million users with two more joining every second, and every Fortune 500 company has executives who are members. When you hand out a business card, the first thing the person you hand it too will do when he wants to know more about you is look you up on LinkedIn. I just makes sense to pay a lot of attention to how you appear here.
Don’t forget Google gives a lot of weight to your LinkedIn profile. It really is a foundational piece of your online presence.
It’s An Easy Place To Start
Marketing is hard, but shaping up your LinkedIn profile is an easy way to make real marketing progress and get thinking about how to sell the value you provide. You can hire a high-priced consultant, of course, but all you really need is someone who can crop and upload photos (a child or grandchild will do). You can even do it yourself if you have some basic web know-how.
To get started, download this free guide to your LinkedIn profile. Then sit down with your daughter and have her walk you through it.
You can also grab this free background photo to help your profile stand out.
Once you have a good looking LinkedIn profile, just add a link to your email signature and voila, you have begun to market your practice!