Law Quill | #027 - How To Use LinkedIn To Gain More Clients

#027 – How To Use LinkedIn To Gain More Clients

LinkedIn is the MOST amazing place that law firms and small business owners can gain more clients. Listen while I give you 7 incredible tips (and some secret ninja hacks) to gain a larger network and more clients through LinkedIn!

TRANSCRIPT

The Legal Marketing Lounge

Hi, I’m Annette Choti, an attorney of 20 years that created Law Quill, a marketing agency for small and solo law firms. Join me to learn how to grow your law firm through digital marketing strategies, SEO, social media, and more. Let’s get that law firm reviewers more online visibility, a larger digital footprint, tons of organic traffic, and more clients. I’m so excited. You’re here, click that subscribe button and join me in the legal marketing lounge.

Hello, welcome back. I am super excited that you are here. And I decided to do an episode that I get a lot of questions about. We’re just jumping right in here, aren’t we? There’s no long introduction. We’re just rubber hits the road, we’re going to get some stuff done today. And hopefully you learned some things that are going to really help you to grow your law firm online.

Using LinkedIn to Get More Clients

And one of the very best ways you can do this is LinkedIn. Now, if you’re not on LinkedIn, then you may not be aware of how amazing this social media platform is. And it really is a social media platform. It’s like Facebook, but without the cat videos and political argument arguments, frankly. So if you want to connect with amazing business owners, other law firms just a really high quality network. LinkedIn is for you, it is absolutely my happy place. I love it. It is interesting. Also, before I get into the nitty gritty of today, which is about how to use LinkedIn to get more clients, I want to tell you that as of the summer of 2021, Google has actually said that they are looking at the content you are putting on LinkedIn as part of their SEO analysis for who you are as a law firm. So it is always better to put content on your own website, you know that you’ve heard me preach that, I absolutely do not recommend that you put long articles on LinkedIn, almost no one reads them. And the truth is, if you’re going to spend the amount of time crafting something that is valuable to an audience, you want to get rewarded for that by having people come to your website and your real estate, instead of leaving people on LinkedIn.

That said, the content that you do right for LinkedIn can impact your SEO. So it’s important to still use keywords and things like that while you are writing your content. But sparingly, you can still write and be personal on LinkedIn, for sure. And before we get into the nitty gritty of how to actually use LinkedIn to get more clients, I’m going to sell you on it just a little bit more, if you’ll indulge me, this is literally the world’s largest professional social network. It boasts over 645 million users worldwide that might even be more now. And it does drive traffic to your website. And of course, it allows very busy professionals just like you to connect with other very busy professionals in the same or related markets. I’m not going to talk today about how to create a LinkedIn profile, or how to optimize a LinkedIn profile. That’s the subject for another podcast.

And I actually have a lot of content on local comm on the blog that can tell you how to do that. But we’re gonna jump in today from the assumption that you have put some effort into your LinkedIn profile into all of the different sections of the profile, and then also that you have a cover image and a profile picture, and all the things those things are really important because LinkedIn is built for business, and the users are there to grow a professional network. So it is important to present yourself in a professional light. The members on LinkedIn have become more and more savvy regarding presentation So while you don’t necessarily need professional pictures, or anything like that, you do want to put absolutely your best foot forward on LinkedIn because it is a very effective platform to get new clients.

Seven Tips for LinkedIn Engagement

Now with all of that out of the way, let’s get down to the seven tips that I’m going to give you to use LinkedIn to increase your clients. When you are using LinkedIn, though, I need you to think long term, these are not quick get rich quick schemes. They are long term efforts, your success is going to come from engaging actively with a network that is a quality network, it is going to come from creating and sharing content regularly to make an impact on LinkedIn, to see an increase in client connections, and then eventually actual clients, you are going to have to set some goals, you’re going to have to make sure that your profile is on point. And you are going to have to interact consistently with the platform. It’s a commitment that you’re going to have to make.

But I genuinely believe that if you make the commitment to spend time on LinkedIn and develop business connections and friendships, that it will serve you very well.

#1 Complete Your Profile

The first tip is to complete your profile. I talked a little bit about this before. And because it really is so important, I’m going to dig a little bit deeper.

Well, you can claim a profile on LinkedIn, you need to actually invest some time. Further than just the default settings, you can go to Canva, which is a free tool and create your banner. If you have been awarded any substantial awards, if your law firm has any accolades. If you’ve been featured in Forbes magazine, those are great things to put on your banner, so that someone can see that automatically. They don’t have to search through your profile to find that include, obviously, all of the branding of your law firm, but anything that makes you stand out if that’s your logo, or if it’s your tagline. Or if it’s the fact that you’ve been featured in some sort of substantial magazine or publication, or received an award or accolade, try to incorporate that into your banner. And you can do all of that for free on Canva.

You should also use relevant keywords within the description of your law practice, this is going to help people find you. Because if you are an estate planning attorney, you want to make sure that if you are specializing in special needs families, that you’re putting that into the description on your profile, those are key words that are going to help people find you and your law firm.

You also need to ask for some testimonials from your clients. But you can also ask from your colleagues, you can just ask a colleague to leave you a testimonial there. And then in turn, you can actually take those testimonials and put them on your website if the person agrees to that. So it’s just another way to showcase your expertise and your authority. Okay, so you tell me, Annette, I’ve built out a profile and it is gorgeous. It looks fantastic.

#2 Build Your Network

Okay, step two, build your network. Once your profile is posted, you need to start building your network. This takes time. My suggestion to you is to block out regular time on your calendar every week to do this. Start by inviting individuals within your target audience to connect with you. It used to be that you could request connections up to 100 a day, which was fantastic.

But LinkedIn felt for whatever reason that it was becoming too spammy. People were taking advantage of these numbers of requests that they were allowed. So LinkedIn went nuclear. And now you can only request 100 connections a week. So make sure that they are good, but make sure to use those up because a lot of people have 1000s and 1000s of connections I do but that is because it was easier for us to get connections before this new rule was put into place.

So if you only have 100 a week, make sure you take full advantage of those. And make sure that they are the right audience that you are trying to connect with, or network, or colleagues or whatever it is.

Sending these invitations is very easy. You can search by location, job title, industry, like lawyers, or other subsections of lawyers, estate planning, attorneys, etc. The company name the law firm name, the school that they went to, maybe you want to connect with alumni from your university, it makes it very easy to find these people and then connect with people. It’s important to note that there’s a little button also on people’s profiles that say follow.

Sometimes if you’ve reached too many connections for a week, and you can’t ask for someone to be your connection. Or if they have certain limitations put in place that they have put on their own profile. Typically, that happens when they get into the 10s of 1000s of connections, you can still follow someone so you can still see their content, you can still actually post on their posts, but you are considered a second degree or third degree connection, you’re not actually connected to them, but you can follow them. And that’s good too, because you can still follow what they are saying and their content that is on LinkedIn.

The simplest way to begin building your LinkedIn network is import the email addresses of people you already know, people that are on your email lists for your law firm, any other emails of friends or colleagues that you might have, I want to talk for just a minute about the differences of connections on LinkedIn, because I just talked about second and third degree connections, and you may not have any idea what I’m talking about.

First Degree Connection

First degree connection is someone that you have directly contacted, and they have accepted your invitation request or vice versa. You can connect with this person, you can message this person at any time, it’s a private message, you will receive their updates and access to their full profile. So it’s similar to if you have a friend on Facebook, a second degree connection, or those people on LinkedIn that have a direct connection to your first degree connections.

Second Degree Connection

Okay, let me break that down. It’s a friend of a friend is what it is. So a second degree connection means that you and that person have either one or more mutual people in common. That makes it a little bit easier. If you’re reaching out to someone on LinkedIn to connect with them. You can say, hey, we both know Bob. And it would be great to be part of your network and follow your content, or whatever you want to say. Having a second degree connection does not give you full access to their profile at all or the ability to message them directly. But it does give you kind of an in that you can say to them, we have this mutual connection.

Third Degree Connection

A third degree connection are those people who are connected somehow to your second degree connections. So your second degree connections are not people that you have a personal connection with on LinkedIn. But these third degree connections are people that somehow through your second degree connection are connected to you. Third degree connections are still closer to you then, you know, Bill Gates, maybe, or some celebrity, just think of Kevin Bacon, and the six degrees of separation. So this is like a third degree of separation from Kevin Bacon. In which case, in this scenario, you are Kevin Bacon. So if that makes sense to you if you know you know, right, but the point is, is that these third degree connections, you can still ask for them to connect with you.

You can connect with anyone on LinkedIn if you find their profile. But depending on their privacy settings, you may or may not be able to invite a third degree connection to your network. So it is important to know that once someone becomes a new connection, it’s really important to reach out and send a personal thank you or a personal message. Hey, thanks for connecting with me, I look forward to reading your content. Please do not be spammy.

In this first interaction, we have all gotten those messages. If you are on LinkedIn for any period of time, a hot minute, you’ll accept a connection request. And immediately it’s how can I get you in this car today? Please don’t do that. Don’t have any self-promotion really, within the first or second interactions that you have with someone, a weekly reach out message could help you strengthen some of your initial connections, I’ll leave that up to you. It depends on how close you know these people how well you want to get to know them. But again, remember, LinkedIn is a social media platform. So it’s really important to develop strong connections, and you may not get a potential client right away. But you will get to you, you will get clients in the future, you will get referrals, you will get them, it just takes a little bit of time. If it’s done in an authentic and organic way. It’s more of a friendly networking session, and not really an opportunity to consistently advertise you and your law firm.

#3 Publish and Share Content

Tip number three, publish and share content. creating and publishing an article on LinkedIn is similar to writing a blog post, but much smaller. Your first degree connections will see that post announced in their newsfeed according to an algorithm that none of us can figure out. Hey, I’m being honest, LinkedIn articles or little mini posts usually consist of content that is relevant to your law firm or your life, we typically suggest that about three times a week, you need to be getting people back to your website, either through blog posts, or indicating the types of services that you have, showcasing yourself as an expert, basically, but a couple times a week, you can actually talk about yourself, you can talk about your heritage, you can talk about something that happened in your family of thought or revelation that you had recently. I

t is a social platform, and people do tend to engage with those posts a lot. So it is important to have those even though you may not get any clients from that, you will get a lot of likes and a lot of conversation, which again, helps keep you the top of mind for people and also helps keep you at the top of the algorithm. LinkedIn likes it when you post content that other people find valuable the way they know. That is they’re liking, sharing and commenting on it. Writing quality content for LinkedIn is really a great way to get a reputation as I’m going to say it a thought leader. Now that is that little phrase is a little overused.

But if you can put a new spin or unique take or at least consistent content regarding your particular practice area, you will be remembered by the rest of the LinkedIn community as the expert to go to for those particular legal services. Remember, the point of creating these posts is to not only showcase you as an expert, but also hopefully it gets shared to people outside your network. So they become part of your network. And then also that they go to your website, you want that as well.

You can embed photos, videos, slides, short little presentations. I mean, don’t do like a PowerPoint on there. But there are ways to visually capture the attention of people that are scrolling through their LinkedIn feed. And we definitely encourage people to do that.

#4 Join LinkedIn Groups

Tip number four, join LinkedIn groups. Now I can almost hear what some of you are saying. But LinkedIn groups are dead. Yep, some of them are. But if you want to extend and reach and grow your network, it is not going to hurt anything to join these LinkedIn groups. You can participate in a maximum of 100 groups. Let me tell you a little ninja strategy that I use for Law Quill. So this is just between you and me. I take the content that I write for Law Quill on LinkedIn, and then I copy it and I paste it into all of the legal marketing groups on LinkedIn that I I’m a member of, and this is allowed, by the way, I’m not doing this in a spammy way.

And I’m not doing it after someone has not asked me to do it. So just make sure of the rules of your group. But what’s interesting is because those LinkedIn groups are not particularly active, I am the only one in those groups that’s often posting anything. So I can hear your question, why would I take the time to post in groups that are not active? I’ll tell you why.

Because when a lawyer is interested in digital marketing, they will look at these groups on LinkedIn, and they will probably become members of this group. And once they do that, my content will be in their feed. And even if my content is not in their feed, because I posted every week for the last year, they can scroll through the content of that LinkedIn group, and see that it’s basically me talking there. So it’s almost as if the group is my group and a few other people who are taking the time to do it. That is showcasing my expertise. Now, it is very difficult to determine quantitatively what kind of ROI I’m getting from that. But it’s interesting, if I can just do a little aside here and give you a story.

Most of the people that sign up for an appointment with me on my calendar, say the same thing. At the end of my questionnaire, the very end of my questionnaire before they set the appointment, it says, How did you hear of me? How did you hear of Law Quill? And so many times? The answer is I’m not sure. When I get them in the meeting. It always piques my curiosity. And I say, so you don’t know exactly where you heard of me, you don’t remember. And they say to me, I don’t know, Annette, you’re on LinkedIn, you’ve got a podcast, I think my friend’s business coach talked about you, I don’t know, you’re kind of everywhere. And I said, bingo. That’s exactly where I wanted to be, is everywhere. I want when law firms think of digital marketing, I want them to think of Law Quill I want them to think of me, and you want your clients to do the same.

So if you are an estate planning attorney, go find the LinkedIn groups that are about estate planning and post in there. And don’t be upset if no one engages with you. And no one likes your comment or shares it or even comments on it, don’t worry, you are establishing and building a library of expertise within that LinkedIn group. So that’s my little ninja trick for you. Again, I need to say that it’s very important that you follow the rules and guidelines of any social media platform group, Facebook, LinkedIn, wherever you are, that is very important. You don’t want to seem spammy. And you don’t want to outstay your welcome in the sense that you’re being overbearing, so just keep all of those things in in mind and, and be a good neighbor in your, in your LinkedIn groups.

#5 Be Active in Discussions

The next tip is to be active in discussions. And these aren’t discussions in LinkedIn groups, these are discussions on your posts that you put out, and also your networks post. Besides posting your status and your profile updates, you can comment on other people’s posts, articles, discussions, anything with your network. And when you offer comments on posts, or articles or videos, or oh, goodness polls, it seems like the LinkedIn algorithm was very favorable for polls. And it seems like everyone has a poll on LinkedIn now. But when you engage on that content of your network in LinkedIn, you will be rewarded for it, because your comments will be seen and will be visible to people outside of your network. So if you comment on Bob’s post, Bob has a whole network of people that you are not connected to, but they will see your very insightful and witty response and they may click on your profile and then they may actually send you a connection request.

So the bottom line is you should be commenting on Often and trying to provide value in these comments, you shouldn’t be just saying great post awesome Post, thanks for sharing, that’s not providing any value, try to really think about how that post was valuable, or you connected to it. To provide some insight, instead of just a two or three word response, you should always post on connections in your first degree network, because that’s the easiest, they’re coming through your feed, you should look at companies and law firms that you’re following if you want to build a network of referrals.

Also, hashtags. Hashtags are a thing on LinkedIn. So you can actually set your LinkedIn up to follow certain hashtags. So whatever particular legal industry, you are in practice area, you can look at how many followers a certain hashtag has, and then follow those that are appropriate and comment on the people first, second, third degree connections, comment on those to continue to build your network.

Also, you want to comment on comments, if that makes sense. If there is a post on LinkedIn, and a second or third degree connection of that poster actually responded and engaged, you can engage with them. It’s just like a Facebook group at that point. So do that. Because then you can start engaging with people that are not in your network, consider following influencers. And frankly, influencers on LinkedIn are very different than influencers on Instagram.

Influencers on LinkedIn are very savvy business owners that provide a lot of value and information and insight to their audiences. When you post on an influencers, post, when you comment on an influencers post, especially if you’re one of the first ones, and especially if you provide some value. And especially if you attach a picture, or something that captures the attention of that influencer, they may directly respond to you. But even if they don’t, you will be capturing the attention of all of the other hundreds or maybe even 1000s of people that are following that particular post from that influencer. There are people who still write articles on LinkedIn. As you know, I am not a big fan of that, because I feel like that keeps your audience on LinkedIn when you really you want them to be on your own internet real estate. On your website, however, you can still engage in articles that have been written by people or influencers, both within and outside of your network. So I highly encourage you to do that.

#6 Use Sales Navigator

The next tip that I have for you, is to consider using Sales Navigator. Sales Navigator is absolutely amazing. It is just, you know, this one goes to 11. Right? This is incredible. The searches that you can do on LinkedIn are powerful, that is true. But the searches that you can do on Sales Navigator, which is the paid platform of, of LinkedIn, they’re incredible. You can find very detailed analysis to discover exactly who you’re looking for, to connect with. And here’s another little ninja trick.

When you use Sales Navigator, which I’m not sure how much it costs right now, I want to say it’s around $100 a month. But the prospecting that you can find on this is inexplicable on just how amazing it is. One of the tricks you can do is actually filter out anyone who has not posted on LinkedIn in the last 30 days. Meaning that you’re not going to spend the time to connect with people who are on LinkedIn but not active. So they’re not going to be a valuable source of growth for your own network.

But you can really drill down and create very detailed CRM lists on Sales Navigator and then save them into lead lists. lead lists is for people account lists is for companies, law firms businesses. And what that means is when you to actually save a lead or an account, there is a separate feed that is happening in Sales Navigator that is separate from your LinkedIn feed that Sales Navigator feed is only going to show you the content that was published by your leads, which means that the people that you are most trying to connect with the people that are your most valuable leads are going to be right there in Sales Navigator feed.

So I highly recommend investing in Sales Navigator. Also it’s month to month. So you can try it out for a month. And if you end up not finding a lot of value in it, or you don’t have time for it, then you’re not in a long term contract for it. But again, I just highly recommend at least looking at it as a resource. It has been invaluable, frankly, for Law Quill for me and my company.

#7 Export Your Contacts

The very last tip I’m going to give you regarding how to get clients from LinkedIn is this. Once you have developed a substantial network, you can export your contacts or at any point it doesn’t have to be substantial, it could be at the very beginning, you can export these contacts into a CRM, and especially the ones where you believe they might be potential clients or great for networking, you can take what you have on LinkedIn, and put it into your CRM, so that you can keep track in a more detailed way of the conversations that you’re having with these people, the interactions, the communications, everything that relates to that particular client, potential client, networking partner referral source, whatever it is, that is an excellent strategy to connect with them. Even outside of LinkedIn, I’m not a huge fan of spamming people’s emails. But there’s nothing wrong with trying to connect with someone off of LinkedIn, on an email, if it is appropriate. So the last step, the last tip here is to go even deeper with these connections, and build an even greater connection, network friendships, all of the things, because at the end of the day, people do business with people. Right? I didn’t make that up.

But the truth is, is that if someone has provided you a lot of value, if you’ve connected with them, if you share some common interests, or they’ve commented on your posts, and you’ve developed some sort of communication with them, you are more likely to purchase from them, to hire them, or to refer people to them. So LinkedIn is an incredibly powerful way to not only build a network and establish authority, it’s also a great way to find and get potential clients. I want to say one more thing, as a bit of a footnote to all of these tips, which is this, you can have a LinkedIn profile that is your own personal LinkedIn profile.

And you can also have your law firms profile, it is very important that the emphasis and effort that you’re putting into LinkedIn is from your own personal profile on LinkedIn, it’s a little bit different than Facebook and Facebook, you want all of that to be on your law firms Facebook page, but in LinkedIn, because everyone is looking to grow their network of business connections, it’s a little bit different. And because people are doing business with people really your personal profile on LinkedIn is what is important. My suggestion is whatever you put on your profile, you also just copy and paste to your law firms LinkedIn profile, that’s that way it won’t be empty over there.

Also, if you have something really great that you’re putting on LinkedIn for your law firm, if you have other partners at your law firm, associates or even staff at your law firm, consider asking them to copy and paste it on theirs as well. Because then that content is working smarter and not harder for you. If the same piece of content that is going back to one of your blog posts is put on 10 Different LinkedIn pages then that means that the networks of those 10 Different people are all seeing it. So there’s a lot of value there. And you all 10 don’t have to recreate the wheel if you have someone making your social media content or, or if you are making your social media content for your law firm, encourage the people that are in your law firm to also use it so that it reaches their network as well. It’s really important.

Conclusion

So I hope that this gave you a lot of tips and tricks on how to use LinkedIn to your best advantage to gain more clients. And hopefully, I convinced you that LinkedIn is awesome, and that you need to be there all the time. It really is my happy place. I love it there. If you ever have any questions, you can, of course, reach out to me at annette@LawQuill.com. If you ever have any questions about social media, digital marketing, content creation, you can always go to the Law Quill blog. We have hundreds of articles there. And as always, thank you so much for joining me in the legal marketing lounge and Have you subscribed yet? I’m not sure if you have. Oh, and have you left a review? Oh, please leave me a review on iTunes, you know, that does something amazing for that algorithm as well. In the meantime, while you’re over there, subscribing and leaving, hopefully a good review. I’m off to go create even more content for my next podcast, and I will talk with you next time in the legal Marketing lounge.