LinkedIn is where your clients, business associates, referral sources, and prospective clients are networking. Media Post reports nine out of ten (88%) business executives use LinkedIn ‘often’ or ‘very often' and 73% said LinkedIn is their favorite network for social networking. As of September 2014, there were more than 47,700 profiles on Linked In with the words ‘General Counsel’ in their current title. Another 7,700 profiles have the words “Chief Legal Officer” in their current title. The business development benefits of LinkedIn are numerous, including:
- Find who you know that can introduce you to who you want to know.
- Demonstrate the depth of your knowledge, relationships, clout and experience through the quality of the people in your network.
- Use it as an unobtrusive way to stay in touch with people in your network.
- Stay informed of important career changes for people in your network.
- Share your knowledge and expertise with potential clients outside of your network.
- See who has viewed your profile to provide you with a potential early warning of clients considering you for their projects.
1. Create or Optimize Your Profile:
If you don't already have a LinkedIn profile, the site does a great job of guiding you thru the process of completing a new profile.
Create your new account by adding basic info: name, job title, company. Then follow the prompts to choose to add email contacts, follow "Influencers", Companies or Group, or skip these steps and go straight to editing your profile.
Start editing your profile by answering the question prompts in the blue box, like in the picture below. This will take you thru your education, previous employment, skills, and job descriptions. It will also ask you to add a photo. Please contact the Marketing Department if you do not have a copy of your professional photo from our website.
If you already have a profile, optimize it. LinkedIn guides you thru improving your profile with the click of a button – you will find a prompted series of questions in a blue box at the top of your home page. This will ask you to fill in a series of questions where it finds missing or incomplete information in your profile.
Make sure your headshot is high quality, with good lighting and ultra-sharp focus. LinkedIn is not the place to run a casual snapshot. You not only are representing yourself, but the firm as well. Your personal page is (or should be) connected to the firm, so you want to make sure it reflects the most professional image possible. If you have a professional photo that is displayed on the firm’s website, ask to use that photo on your linked In profile.
When you add your employment information, your profile's Professional Headline will automatically default to your current job title. You can edit your headline to be more descriptive of your practice, or specific areas of expertise, but don't make it hard to understand. This headline is listed with your name everywhere you appear on LinkedIn, so make sure it describes you and includes the company. Example: "Senior Intellectual Property, Copyright and Trademark Attorney" rather than "Attorney” or “Partner”.
Use the summary as a place to answer a simple question — Why do you do what you do? Why should someone hire you? Think of your summary as the human element of who you are, the backstory to everything you’ve done so far.
A new feature of LinkedIn is the Add Sections tool— a way to modify your profile with additional details about your qualifications from other online sources. You have the ability to add content from Twitter, and WordPress, etc. Give your LinkedIn viewers a well-rounded sense of your digital presence.
Want to know how to use Linked In to capture new clients? E-mail Eric Dewey at email@example.com.