I recently shared ‘The 10 Laws of LinkedIn’ blog based on recent ‘Quill uncovers’ webinars on the same subject featuring Yvonne Boateng, Sahar Farooqi and Stuart Kaye. Here’s what I learned about LinkedIn in our last webinar about how to get the very best out of the LinkedIn professional social media platform.
LinkedIn is straight-and-simple where business happens. While other social media sites do have a role to play in your business development plans, for most businesses, LinkedIn is the number one site for promoting your brand, connecting with prospective clients, generating leads for your business and recruiting staff.
The problem is not all law firms and legal professionals on LinkedIn are using it successfully. In fact, some are failing on a major scale. So how to take some baby steps to improve?
Here are five tips on how legal professional can use LinkedIn better and make the most of the marketing and networking opportunities available.
LinkedIn Tip #1: Amplify your network
It takes years of consistent effort to build a strong profile and grow your connections. But, without an audience, your LinkedIn activity is pointless, Sahar pointed out. If you’ve been in a business meeting or attended an event, seek out the other attendees and send a personalised connection request. If you don’t action it straight away, you’ll have forgotten by tomorrow!
LinkedIn Tip #2: Get your content, timing and follow-ups right
The adage ‘content is king’ applies to LinkedIn. Begin with baby steps – engage with prominent people in your niche by liking and commenting on their posts. This is a great strategy for two reasons: (1) it’s valuable research into what content works and what doesn’t, to inform your own content plan later, and (2) you’re putting your name in front of a much wider audience than your connections alone.
When you’re ready to step things up a level and post content that’s yours, lead with generosity. Share your valuable knowledge and experiences, and even your day. While there is a recommended way to construct a quality post, don’t be too formulaic. And use hashtags to be part of trending conversations.
A word of warning: once your content’s posted, it’s live for perpetuity. Maintain client confidentiality always.
As with lots in life, timing matters. There are certain times and days of the week that have greater patterns of engagement – early in the morning on Wednesday and Thursday, for instance. The LinkedIn algorithm’s important too – there’s a two-hour window to gain a strong reaction then LinkedIn will reward by prioritising your post. It’s worth noting that the algorithm acts in favour of premium account members. If you’re considering paid-for options, this is one of the benefits.
Equating LinkedIn to an old-school networking event, your initial conversations occur publicly but the follow-up chats happen privately. To convert attention into leads, engage with your prospects and clients within the normal forum then switch to direct messaging to continue in a private capacity. This is the monetising aspect of LinkedIn. And it works!
LinkedIn Tip #3: Use videos as they’re big on LinkedIn
It’s estimated that video content commands three times more consumption than content without video. To cite another proverb, ‘variety is the spice of life’ so keep things fresh by using video – if not your own, share other people’s videos. As a sign of the times, though, keep your videos shorter than 90 seconds or your audience’s attention will waver and use subtitles to cater for muted sound settings.
There’s still a place on LinkedIn for static images, however. With algorithms changing regularly, videos won’t be flavour of the month forever.
LinkedIn Tip #4: Remain authentic
Anyone can spot a fake, especially in our sector. When drafting your content for LinkedIn, be human and true to yourself. While a blueprint for constructing the perfect post is all well and good, it’s more important to write authentically and deeply about subjects that are meaningful to you and your connections.
Just like its more informal counterparts, LinkedIn provides a window into your world. If you spend longer using personal social media channels, level up and use LinkedIn equally. You get as much out of LinkedIn as you put into it. As Sahar pointed out, it’s still a place to talk about your personal life, albeit with a professional slant on it, and engagement of these types of honest, from-the-heart posts tends to skyrocket.
LinkedIn Tip #5: Utilise LinkedIn for recruitment
There are 750 million+ members on LinkedIn. When looking for new staff, you’re bound to find your ideal match. Whether you use LinkedIn’s dedicated recruiting solutions, advanced search filters and personalised InMail system, or simply post something out on your personal profile and company page, you can reach out quickly to potential candidates and find your next great hire in next-to-no time.
Taking inspiration from Stuart Kaye, his office Spaniels, Barney and Chloe, took centre stage in a recent recruitment post. Follow suit and be creative. You don’t have to go down the traditional routes when growing your team.
So, to summarise:
Find, connect/follow your “ideal client” who fit, engage with and share valuable content, lead with generosity, refresh your profile and keep it up to date, be consistent when sharing, and be open to new ways to engaging like video.
About the author
Julian Bryan, Managing Director at Quill
Julian Bryan has been Managing Director of Quill since 2012. Julian brings a passion for the legal industry as well as 36 years of software experience, the strength of commercial thinking, a successful track record of managing change and executing strategy, and the ability to motivate a diverse organisation. Julian’s ultimate goal is for Quill to gain widespread recognition as an ethical, responsible provider of transformative, future-proofed software and outsourced services to the legal sector…read full bio.