Business Strategy, Social Media

Lawyers meeting one another and shaking hands
By Postali

When it comes to online marketing for attorneys, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Between building a website, blogging, and managing social media, it can be hard to understand where you should spend your efforts.

Law firm marketing agencies can help make sense of it all. In fact, many will promise to take all marketing activities off your plate so you can focus on your practice. While that may sound appealing to a busy lawyer, it’s important to understand that your firm’s marketing will be more successful if you make an effort to be as involved as you can.

Sure, a marketing specialist can help fill out your profile and make sure you have a professional photo, but the social media platform offers many additional opportunities to maximize your marketing efforts.

For many lawyers, LinkedIn remains an untapped opportunity. If you created your profile in law school and only passively scroll through your feed a few times a week, you’re not capitalizing on all of the features LinkedIn offers. Here are five ways that you can use LinkedIn to help build your practice and optimize your business operations.

The Keys to LinkedIn for Lawyers

1. Networking

Networking has long been a staple of business development for law firms. Whether you are a few years out of law school or a few years away from retirement, you’ve likely seen firsthand the importance of networking in the legal profession.

The truth is – the way we network is changing, and law firms who embrace this fact will be better off. LinkedIn provides an opportunity for attorneys to connect to one another and build relationships that can be mutually beneficial.

One of the best places to start is to be active in LinkedIn Groups. You can request to join groups that are related to your practice areas or location. Look for LinkedIn groups for attorneys who do similar work, your local bar associations, and your law school alumni. LinkedIn groups serve as a way for professionals to share information and insights and ask for help.

For many attorneys, building connections on LinkedIn can lead to referral relationships that generate new business.

Remember that networking etiquette is not just for events. It also applies to social media. LinkedIn functions as a professional community, so simply sending connection requests to attorneys you want to establish referral relationships with may not be the best approach. Many people don’t accept connection requests from people they don’t know.

Instead focus on building your network from existing contacts, such as classmates from law school and members of your local bar associations. When interacting with groups, remember that you’re not only using LinkedIn to benefit your practice. If you see another attorney post a question you can help answer, take the time to do so.

If you work for a large firm, make sure you understand your firm’s social media policy so you understand any guidelines on representing your firm on LinkedIn and other networks.

2. Reputation Management

As a legal marketing agency, we talk to attorneys every day about the importance of online reputation management. Potential clients will likely spend time researching your law firm before hiring you, so it’s important that you make a great first impression.

You may be a thought leader in your field and have great client satisfaction, but those things don’t matter unless you make the effort to highlight them. Social media remains one of the best ways for lawyers to manage their reputation, and LinkedIn sometimes gets overlooked.

LinkedIn allows attorneys to showcase expertise on a platform that people generally trust more than others. It’s also often the case that your LinkedIn profile will appear in Google search results if someone searches your name.

The first step is to ensure you have a profile for both your law firm as a business, as well as a personal account. Your photos should be professional and current, and profiles should be as detailed as possible.

We often recommend setting a calendar reminder every 4-6 months to check back on your profile and look for opportunities to update it. Have you received any awards or been invited to speaking engagements? It’s important to keep these up-to-date.

Additionally, LinkedIn provides its own publishing platform that you can use for articles. This is a great place to publish opinions and showcase your thought leadership in your practice area.

3. Talent Acquisition & Management

LinkedIn is an especially important platform for growing law firms, as it is one of the most effective means to find and attract talent. For recruiters and hiring managers, LinkedIn offers talent solutions that help you recruit the right candidates for your firm.

The biggest benefits to your law firm is efficiency. Whether you’re hiring for one secretary position or looking to add several new attorneys, LinkedIn allows you to expose your opportunity to the largest network of professionals. You can also use LinkedIn to search for candidates and filter by specific criteria, such as location or education.

LinkedIn can also be used to aid in your talent retention and satisfaction efforts. For a law firm of any size, employee satisfaction is directly tied to your bottom line. No matter how busy you are with your case load and taking care of clients, it’s important to measure and assess your firm’s culture, benefits, and employee satisfaction.

How does your law firm compare to other firms in the area? Is your salary competitive? Do you offer attractive benefits to younger attorneys? LinkedIn Talent Insights can help answer those questions so you can evaluate your firm’s value proposition accordingly. We also recommend reading job posting from other firms in your area so you can better understand how you compare.

4. Professional Development & Education

As an attorney, you know the importance of continuing education. When we talk to lawyers who want to run their own practice, we often hear the same feedback. Law school doesn’t always prepare you for the challenges you face running a business. While you may be a great attorney, you suddenly find yourself having to perform functions like recruiting, marketing, talent management, and budgeting your business.

LinkedIn is a great place to ensure that you’re engaging with content that will help with your professional development. LinkedIn Learning offers Business, Technology, and Creative trainings to help you during those moments when you have to wear multiple hats outside of practicing law.

5. SEO

Maintaining an active social media presence will benefit your law firm’s SEO strategy in a few ways. If you have a LinkedIn company page, it will likely be on the first page of Google when someone searches for your firm name. Ideally, you want to own and actively manage every website that shows on the first page of Google.

LinkedIn is also a great platform to share your law firm’s content. Sharing blog posts from your website will give your content more visibility, which could lead to valuable backlinks and an improved presence in organic search. The larger your LinkedIn network is, the more visibility you can drive for your content.

It’s important not to view LinkedIn strictly as a content marketing platform. A lawyer who does nothing except re-post blog articles from their own firm’s blog may not garner the right kind of engagement. You should view LinkedIn as a way to amplify your SEO and content marketing efforts, but don’t neglect the networking aspect of the platform.

We know you’re busy, but we encourage attorneys to view social media platforms like LinkedIn as a means to improving your law firm’s marketing. Think about what matters most to you. It may be SEO, furthering your marketing knowledge or building referral relationships. With your goals in mind, carve out some time each week to explore the ways social media can help.