3 ways lawyers can use LinkedIn to further their networks

Female lawyer happily viewing tablet device

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 Form and curate meaningful connections

 Display thought leadership

 Seek out relevant groups

When the American Bar Association asked lawyers
why they use social media, 83% of respondents said they did so to further their career and improve networking. It should come as no surprise, then, that the survey also revealed that LinkedIn was the most popular social media platform for lawyers, with 87% reporting that they “had a presence” on the platform. 

In our decades of working with attorneys to improve their digital marketing, FindLaw has found that it’s common for lawyers to follow basic tips for their social media presence — by creating a profile, for example — and then do very little past that. In this post, we’ll share three of the most effective ways lawyers can turn LinkedIn into a powerful network-building and business development tool. 

1. Form and curate meaningful connections

Everyone wants to have a lot of friends. But is it better to have many surface-level friendships, or fewer friendships that are deeper and more authentic? That’s a question worth asking about LinkedIn. You could go ahead and connect with anyone and everyone to gain an impressive number of connections. But if you did that, chances are good you’d have a large collection of people who may not be all that interested in you and what you have to say (and vice versa). 

On the other hand, if you exercise some discernment and are intentional about whom you connect with — even if it doesn’t seem like all that many people at first — you will instead have an audience of people who are more likely to engage with you and the things you share. 

One footnote to this approach: It’s a good idea to connect with just about every client who has had a positive experience with you. That way, you keep the door open for repeat business and make it easier for them to refer you to friends and family members who have a legal need. Think of it as using digital legal marketing to power word-of-mouth.

2. Display thought leadership

LinkedIn is an excellent way to demonstrate that you know your stuff, and that’s what clients want to see. Once or twice a week, try to share an informative piece of content that your connections would find interesting or useful. It could be a news article that caught your interest, a link to a blog post on your website, or even a polite, thoughtful response to something someone else has posted. Whatever it is, it should further the impression of you as capable, professional, and knowledgeable in the eyes of anyone who sees it or reads it. Again, having a presence on LinkedIn is the bare minimum — consistent and strategic use of the platform is what works. 

While some gentle humor from time to time is appropriate because it creates a well-rounded impression of you, it’s probably best to keep personal news and activity to platforms where you have a personal profile. You don’t want to risk having your connections tune you out because your content is blurring the lines between business and pleasure.

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3. Seek out relevant groups

LinkedIn groups are a place for professionals in the same industry or with similar interests to provide insight, ask for input, and find new people with whom they can connect. Some are open to the public and some require approval to join.  

LinkedIn groups can be useful if you follow a few rules of thumb: 

  • If the title or theme of a group is too broad (“Law,” for example), the discussions may be too general to make participating a good use of your time. 
  • Look for groups with a geographic aspect, like “Criminal Defense Attorneys of Southern Florida” or “Kansas City Estate Planning Attorney Group.” A local focus often indicates that the group provides relevant connections and conversation. 
  • If you’ve found a group that sounds good, but no one has contributed in a while, then the group has probably gone dormant. It probably isn’t going to offer you what you are looking for. 

With these tips in mind, you should be able to expand your LinkedIn presence beyond merely having a profile, make the best use of the platform, and make it a useful tool for growing your practice. 

If you’re interested in more of what we’ve shared here, our complimentary playbook “The legal professional’s guide to LinkedIn” offers more tips and pointers. 

The legal professional’s guide to LinkedIn

In this guide, you’ll discover how to:

  • Craft your attorney profile to create attention
  • Connect with the right people
  • Make recommendations to colleagues

Download free guide

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