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As the world’s largest professional social network, LinkedIn boasts over 645 million users worldwide. LinkedIn channels drive more traffic to blogs and websites than other social media platforms, and it allows busy professionals to connect with other business-focused users. Although you may have already claimed a LinkedIn profile for yourself or your law firm, consider the following steps to increase your client base with LinkedIn.
Why Use LinkedIn?
Unlike many other social media platforms, LinkedIn is built for business, and its users are there to establish and grow their professional footing. Typically, its members interact on the site to make connections, absorb content and search for job-related solutions. Since a recent report announced that lawyers affirm it as the most effective platform for gathering new clients, LinkedIn may be the first and best place for law firms to concentrate their marketing efforts.
7 Tips for Using LinkedIn to Increase Clients
When using LinkedIn, think long-term. Success comes from engaging with the network, plus creating and sharing content regularly. To make an impact on LinkedIn and see an increase in client connections, law firms and lawyers must set goals, create a compelling profile, and interact consistently with the platform.
Complete Your Profile
Many professionals start by claiming a profile on LinkedIn, but unfortunately, they stop there. In order to benefit from this popular professional platform, individuals need to move past the default settings and fully complete their LinkedIn profile. This involves steps such as:
- Include a banner and compelling headline
- Insert relevant keywords
- Optimize your summary
- Use a powerful headshot photo
- Add details that spotlight your personality
- Ask for and publish testimonials
Build Your Network
Once your profile is polished, start building your network. Building a network takes time, so block out regular time for it on your calendar. Start by inviting individuals within your target audience to connect with you. LinkedIn makes invitations easy, allowing you to search by location, job title, company name, industry, school and more. The simplest way to begin building your LinkedIn network is to import the email addresses of people you already know, and when inviting new contacts, keep in mind your state’s professional guidelines.
A LinkedIn network is constructed in three layers of connections:
- First-degree connections: Those that you have directly contacted with a LinkedIn invitation. You are able to connect with other LinkedIn members if they send you an invitation, or if you click the connect button on their profile. After connecting, you can send private messages to first-degree connections, receive their latest updates, and access their full profile.
- Second-degree connections: Those who have a direct connection to your first-degree connections. You can invite a second-degree connection to become one of your first-degree connections by clicking a connect button on their profile.
- Third-degree connections: Those who are directly connected to your second-degree connections. Depending on their privacy settings, you may be able to invite a third-degree connection to join your network.
Once someone becomes your new connection, reach out and send a personal thank you message, without self-promotion other than a link to your website in the signature. A weekly “reach-out” message can also help you strengthen your initial connections. Think of it like a casual, friendly networking session, not an opportunity to advertise you or your law firm.
Publish and Share Content
Creating and publishing an article on your LinkedIn profile is like writing a blog post, and your first-degree connections will see your post announced in their news feed. LinkedIn articles can consist of fresh, unique content, but some lawyers use the space to summarize content from their website, aiming to drive traffic there. Writing quality content is an ideal way to gain a reputation as a thought leader, and ideally, your material will be passed around and shared. Along with text, you can imbed photos, videos, slides and various links.
Join LinkedIn Groups
Extend your reach and grow your network by joining LinkedIn groups, and you can participate in a maximum of 100 groups. To get started, try using the LinkedIn search box for your state and local bar associations, specialty legal groups and the American Bar Association. After interacting with LinkedIn groups, you may wish to start one for your law firm. Once started by following the instructions on the groups page, you can invite members to the group, label it as public or private, and moderate its discussions.
Be Active in Discussions
Besides posting status and profile updates, you can increase your level of engagement by commenting on posts, articles and various discussions within your network. When you offer comments on various posts or articles, your comments may appear in the news feed of your connections, and also will be visible by some people outside your network. Bottom line: whenever you offer comments, it makes you more visible and has the potential to increase your reach. Try commenting on some of the following:
- Posts by connections in your first degree network
- Posts by companies you follow
- Posts with hashtags you follow
- Posts commented on by your first-degree connections
- Posts by influencers that you follow
- Ads that surface in your new feed
- Articles by people within your first-degree network
- Articles by influencers you follow
Use LinkedIn ProFinder
After being a member of LinkedIn, you may receive an invitation to be part of LinkedIn ProFinder, which matches professionals with clients who need specific services. ProFinder tends to favor accounts with a full profile, published content and several recommendations.
Professionals who join LinkedIn ProFinder can receive proposals from clients who need their services. To add yourself to ProFinder, you need to complete an application and a simple onboarding process.
Advertise on LinkedIn
LinkedIn offers unique advertising that is unavailable on other platforms, through its strategic industry and audience targeting system. Your advertising choices include sponsored content, text ads and message ads. Custom targeting allows you to share your brand to a laser-focused audience. LinkedIn advertising can help you:
- Increase traffic to your website
- Promote your brand
- Enhance engagement
- Acquire leads
- Realize more conversions
- Gain job applicants
Once you have created an ad campaign, you click the launch campaign button, and wait for LinkedIn to compare your ad with their ad guidelines. When your campaign is approved, it will run on your desired schedule, and you can gauge your ad performance by looking at your ad campaign manager.
How Law Quill Can Help
Your law firm can promote its brand and grow its practice using LinkedIn, but there are some steps to take to make the growth happen. First, your profile needs to move beyond the default settings and stand out as much as possible with details and recommendations. After completing a compelling profile, start inviting your contacts to join and connect with you on LinkedIn. Setting aside regular time to interact with groups and engage in discussions will increase your visibility and grow your reach on the platform. Consider submitting quality, shareable content that establishes you and your law firm as thought leaders. Finally, use LinkedIn as a way to drive traffic to your website, where you can deepen the connections and transform fellow LinkedIn members into new clients.
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