Having a LinkedIn presence is essential to our careers, but not participating in a meaningful way works against lawyers.
The good news is legal recruiters laid out practical and actionable tips for lawyers who wants to improve their LinkedIn presence and experience on today’s CLE Webinar, “Creating And Navigating A Rockstar LinkedIn Presence.”
By taking a few simple steps and several minutes of time, lawyers can go from 0 to 60 and reinforce their brand and networks.
What searchers see
Your name, photo and headline are the first things that appear in searches, said Randi Rosenblatt (Upward Stride).
She recommended that your LinkedIn photo be a professional headshot if possible. If not, modern smartphones’ cameras have improved and a clean background will work. A casual photo or one with friends can send the wrong message.
“Your headline should be as descriptive as possible and indicate what problems you solve,” advised Rosenblatt. Add a personal touch only if you are comfortable with it.
Rosenblatt suggested that attorneys look around for headlines and see what might fit for them. “Take it, modify it, make it your own.”
The about section is “your pitch” and should be written in the first person. “Make it more personal than your resume. Why do you do what you do?” asked Rosenblatt. “See what defines you.”
Your experience, as well as your education, should be listed in reverse chronological order. Experience should include what you do and a blurb about the organization. Ensure that your dates are accurate and match up with your formal resume.
Own your work and connections
Amy Goldstein (Grayson Allen) said that LinkedIn is both a virtual resume and “a Rolodex of sorts.”
LinkedIn Groups will give you content that you might be interested in and opportunities to further network, said Goldstein.
Lawyers should use the accomplishments area to highlight any articles they have written. Rosenblatt suggested pinning them under the “Featured” section, which shows more prominently on a profile.
Licenses and certifications, as well as volunteer experiences, give searchers the full sense of who you are. Bar association membership should go in volunteer experience, per both panelists, but evaluate where it fits best.
LinkedIn caps the number of visible connections to 500. Anything more will register as 500+ connections. Anything less will show the exact number of connections a person has. Getting to 500 connections and above should be the goal. Goldstein recommended reaching out to law school classmates or former colleagues to build your network.
When connecting, add a message so it’s easier for the connection to remember who you are, advised Rosenblatt. So, for instance, if you wanted to connect with Rosenblatt, it would make sense to write a note that you attended her CLE on improving your LinkedIn presence so she would know how you crossed paths.
Connecting gives you access to people’s connections; following is when you serve as a fan. This occurs when people have exceeded their number of available connections or if it’s someone you admire but don’t know personally. You can hide your connections if you prefer to keep them private.
Not all engagement is created equal
According to Rosenblatt, LinkedIn is responsible for 80% of all business-to-business social media leads. As such, engaging in a meaningful way is critical for success.
Posting two to three times a week on LinkedIn is considered a best practice, but avoid posting on Monday; Tuesdays through Fridays are about equal with engagement. The audiences are different on the weekend, said Rosenblatt. Because LinkedIn is based on an algorithm, there is no single best time to post. Similarly, the more comments and likes a post receives, the more it will show in a newsfeed.
Hashtags make your content more discoverable and gives you a further reach, Rosenblatt said. She encouraged attendees to research hashtags first to see how many posts use particular ones. Hashtags should be used sparingly and strategically, with three to five hashtags being the “magic number.”
Rosenblatt recommended that attorneys put time on the calendar each day to engage on LinkedIn.
Judges should connect however they feel comfortable. “You can utilize LinkedIn however you find useful.”
Rosenblatt advised lawyers to look at how other firms use their LinkedIn pages and promote their content, particularly with regard to attorney advertising. Likewise, it is a public platform so attorneys should be mindful of what content they promote, especially political posts.
“Keeping an eye on trends is a great way to be on top of it and have the best presentation,” added Goldstein.