LinkedIn: Worked Out
Why LinkedIn? Because that is where your clients are. Those using Facebook are there for friends and family. When they’re on LinkedIn they’re thinking business, so engage with them at that level.
Unlike Facebook, LinkedIn users will not be on the network continuously and it requires some more patience, but the rewards are well worth it.
The advantages of LinkedIn for lawyers have been explained in our recent post on the subject, which you can view here.
As we noted, LinkedIn has a far higher conversion rate than Facebook, which Hubspot has estimated at 2.74 per cent, compared to 0.77 per cent for Facebook.
>> It permits your marketing online to be organic which provides a natural lead-in for potential clients. Check the names of key individuals and see the number of “LinkedIn” front page links displayed.
>> It provides a free status update on the number of connections or followers you can reach, rather than using the paid systems of networks like Facebook where you must pay to reach your followers. That is a huge advantage.
One of the secrets to developing high engagement with LinkedIn members is through the profile page.
How to Rank for the Profile View
Click the top right hand corner once you’ve been to the “Who’s Viewed Your Profile”
Go to the top of the menu where there are a number of things across the top, the second called ‘Profile’. The third is ‘Who Viewed My Profile’, which is probably the most popular page on LinkedIn.
This information is totally unique to LinkedIn and extremely popular and the ‘secret sauce’ for LinkedIn. You can check not only who is viewing you, but see the trend aand other insights from your page and posts.
Make your profile attractive
It’s the most important thing you can do to make your page viewable and popular. But then how do you compel those who are searching for you to actually make contact and – potentially – become new clients?
There’s no point in doing everything else unless you’re profile is good. Everything will revolve around your profile as the centerpiece of your ‘engagement tactics’.
So what do you need to do?
Your Elevator Pitch
Underneath your name is the ‘professional headline’. This headline is your ‘elevator pitch’ You need to make it compelling and attention-grabbing.
Remember too that most people aren’t going to read a great deal further. Attention-time is limited online and you have seconds. So the headline needs to be as good as you can make it.
There’s a trap here, though because LinkedIn doesn’t ask you for a headline at all. In fact you’re headline will be automatically updated when you change your “experience”, or change your firm or experience in any way.
Although you can opt out of this there is little thought given to it because most people don’t notice either the auto update or the ability to opt out.
The ‘headline’ will frequently or usually in most cases be the job title – for instance, “Managing partner Jones & Co”. This, however, is hardly a compelling, benefit-laden headline.
But even the job description can be made more compelling.
Write a Decent Headline
If you have a headline that’s no good you can change it.
Click ‘Profile’ at the top and you will be in ‘edit’ mode. Check the pen symbol below it and it opens a small box which lets you type in a proper headline.
You need at least two things in the headline.
First, put in some benefit that makes your “offer” – what are you offering the searcher? You need to think about that and look for the key benefit you can provide. Don’t over complicate or over-think, however and don’t offer a whole bunch of things. Think of one (or two) compelling benefits that you offer.
Second, put in the keywords. This is a highly keyword-sensitive area. You can’t put keywords into your firm name and it offends against LinkedIn’s rules. But you can put in keywords that will let searchers find your firm if you are smart about it.
Make a list of the word that will best suit what you do.
Make a ‘top 10’ list of the key things that best suit what you do. If you can get around 3 to 5 of those words in the headline then you’re doing well.
There are 120 characters to play with, including spaces – ensure the headline is good and has the most impact. The first 90 characters are the most important, because often in LinkedIn it is just the first 90 characters that you will see.
Have a good profile picture
It’s simple enough, but combined with the other elements of developing your profile it will ensure you’re on top of the LinkedIn game and more so if you add our next element too.
Remember too that around 85 per cent of LinkedIn users are on free accounts. They don’t see everything and so having those key elements is important.
Key Element: Border your picture
A border around your profile picture will also do wonders for the impact you have. Why is that?
A border will simply create greater presence about your picture and generate more interest and no-one knows that more than LinkedIn business consultant Mark Williams – check his picture:
Key Element 2: Your Description
This is your “professional headline” and you want to use it to good effect.
For a start, put in who you are with the “lawyer”, “attorney” descriptor and any other titles you hold. You need to think about the people you are going to connect with.
Key Element 3: Your Profile
Make sure that you also expand your profile with your background details and include a free and simple request for people to connect with you, like this:
Key Tools To Boost Your Audience
Although LinkedIn stopped people developing the sort of software that abounds on Facebook, there are still some things that can be done to help develop more profile views online.
One key tool is Prophet, a Chrome plugin that lets you look at a profile and it will display the email address of the person viewed. While it won’t always work, it works enough to make it a worthwhile device.
Another is Autopilot, which lets you get before a targeted audience and market yourself more effectively.
Why is this important? When people view a profile they are frequently ‘viewed back’.
Viewing back those who viewed your profile is one way of achieving success in being able to get in touch with those seeing your profile.
Sending them a message or, if you have a paid account you can send them an inmail. Inmail rewards conversions.
If you forward an inmail and get a response, even if it’s negative, you receive a credit, which is an anti-spam tool used by the network.
In the free LinkedIn account you will see the last five people who viewed your profile, but considerably more in a professional account.
The profile should be prompting some action on the part of the users – prompting a visit to your site at least. One of the key features that many people are unaware of is the ability to add a link into the top of your story it will become an active link – or a ‘tappable’ link on a mobile device, although not on desktop.
Remember that around half of all LinkedIn visitors are coming via mobile sites so having an active link is invaluable.
Create Your Own Group
Why would you want to create your own group?
It is very quick and easy to do, but you need to think about your target market and you may also require a geographical limitation.
Make the group sound interesting and professional and through it you will generate connections that will in turn become potential clients and business contacts.
You start your group by hovering over “interests” at the top of the page and follow the links, until you have this form appear:
It’s all self explanatory and you should ideally get a logo for the group to give it some additional identity.
Check Fiverr for a cheap logo creator if need be.
Once formed, ensure there is some content on the page to give it some interest. You can easily find topical articles from your local online news source and then add a brief intro and ask people what they think about a relevant topic.
Create interest and use relevant, interesting content.
How to Get Your Leads
You should aim to get up to 1000 leads – not a big ask for a network with 400 million users.
To find them you can use the built-in search function that LinkedIn has. Click the “Advanced” link beside the search bar and look for the group you’re targeting.
These filters let you get exactly the group you’re looking for, particularly also using the location filter.
You can narrow down the search by title, location, industry and get the contacts you want, as below:
Once you have your contacts, you can have them put into a spread sheet with the URLs and start connecting with those on the list.
You now need to ensure your profile details are appropriate for the group you’re contacting.
For instance, if you’re looking for potential sources of business from bankruptcy law, financing or property law, you may want to target CFOs in different companies.
But think of from their point of view. Why would they want to contact you?
Therefore, your connection invitation needs to be specific enough to arouse their interest, such as:
Financing and Bankruptcy Law Specialist
You’re not just marketing, but also making a very specific impression on who and what you are in a manner that can entice their interest to connect with you.
Being able to get your message across correctly is the next mission.
You only have a couple of sentences to say who and what you are and to ask to connect, so every word counts.
Hi (name), I came across your profile on LinkedIn and thought we might both benefit from connecting with each other. If you’re open to it, I’d love to connect. Thanks, (your name).
To make it even more effective, check their profile and mention something that is pertinent so that your connection resonates more effectively.
You may, for instance, mention that they live close by and a connection would be a good idea for both of you.
You will need to complete LinkedIn’s connection form, which is as below:
LinkedIn will ask you for the user’s email address in order to let you send the request. You probably don’t know it.
Instead, pick the “friend” option which doesn’t require that you enter the email address and then add your message to the text box.
You may feel strange doing that, but the potential connection never sees it. The information is for LinkedIn’s purposes only.
You need to move slowly but steadily with this in order to avoid having your account shown as spam, but following this process will garner major responses if done the way we’ve outlined and your account will be safe.
Like anything, you don’t abuse the system but make sensible and reasonable requests for connections.
Closely monitor the responses so you’re getting a 50 per cent or greater response. This may mean tweaking and personalizing your messages, which is exactly what you should do.
Steady, slowly, effectively your contact list will climb.
Using Groups Effectively
Once you have your group set up – which you’ve already done – you can then invite your connections to join.
Send them a message telling them about it and why it would be great for them to be part of it.
Not all will join, obviously, but many will.
As you post more interesting and regular content you will find others doing the same. The group will become more active and interesting, requiring less effort on your part.
Soon members will be joining via the wider network and you can re-request that your contacts join some time later as well.
If you want to speed up the process you can also do one or more of the following:
- Advertising – You can use LinkedIn Ads to promote your group. You can target similar to your hit list people to bring in new members who may end up being leads as well.
- Group partnerships – Find similar groups in your industry, and offer to do a cross-promotion. You’ll tell your members about their group, and they’ll do the same for you.
- Posting statuses – When you post a status on your LinkedIn account, it will be shown to people you’re connected with. It gives your new connections (from your hit list) another opportunity to join the group.
Key Tip: Remember you’re not here promoting yourself overtly and aggressively. It will turn people off fast if you do. You’re here to build your authority and a relationship with your contacts and network.
Messaging Contacts. Don’t burden your contacts with constant messaging. However, there are different messages you can easily send, including:
Resource suggestions: Send details about an article or resource of mutual interest;
Discussion suggestion: Send information about a discussion that is of interest (or potential interest) to them.
Joining groups permits message sharing also, although you are restricted to sending a limited number of messages a month – currently 15 – and there is a short wait period.
You need to locate good LinkedIn groups that are relevant to your niche. You have millions of groups to choose from and legal groups abound in every niche imaginable. Similarly, for clients seeking advice in specific areas there are groups. Find them and target them with your content.
There are bad groups and heavily self-promoting posts that you need to avoid. A good moderator will remove spammy content from groups, but they exist and you should avoid them.
As with anything in the social media but particularly with LinkedIn, you need to treat your contacts and the way you use messages with respect and provide useful, relevant information for them. Providing blatant sales pitches and the like will simply result in resentment and a poor response.
Receiving uninvited requests to connect can be irritating, particularly if they ome from people you’ve never heard of before. It is also a poor way to start a business relationship.
The best way to develop a relationship is to send a message first and develop a conversation which can then lead to a connection, or at least a suggestion to suggest. Even if no business develops initially, you have a new connection for updates when posts are published and you’re developing trust. The connection is key.
Careful Connections. Choose carefully who you are going to connect with. There’s a trap in just going for the numbers and building your connection for the sake of it. You need to be discriminatory because some will not be of interest to your pracctice or business, but you can forward a message like: “Hi, I see you viewed my profile. If I can be of assistance let me know. In the meantime, let’s connect.”
Another key tip is to ask them a question after looking at their profile and there may will be aspects of their profile that will be particular interest and let you develop a meaningful communication.
You can check those who are following others and send a targeted message that might say something like: “I see you’re connected to. .. I am practicing in a similar area and am away of X’s work”.
Or you can refer to one of their recommendations and refer to it. Checking recommendations is important and valuable.
You can connect with people in groups, who after all are your target audience. You will then receive a notification when you publish on the network. Just ensure they are active members so that you receive the notifications
When anyone comments or shares content you can click ‘connect’ by hovering over their name. Send them a message as either a ‘friend’ or as an ‘I don’t know you’ contact, openly asking if you can add them to your growing network and thanking them for their comment. You should also say you’re a lawyer who has expertise in a particular area.
LinkedIn permits content to achieve organic reach so that a good number of your expanding network will see your posts and potentially permit engagement and involvement with your firm.
Like Facebook there is a LinkedIn feed and your contacts can see content that has been shared. To share you need to click on ‘Home’ in the top bar and ‘share an update’.
You can enter a link, text or image, which you should do for added impact, and by doing so you enhance your authority in your niche and help your network focus more on your posts.
Developing authority in your niche will be greatly assisted by adding these elements, as well as by linking to useful, relevant content that will lead to increased attention and engagement.
See who others are recommending and what people have written for others, which gives you important insight into what they’re valuing in someone else and lets you know what’s important for them.
Check by going to the search bar and putting in the name. If you go down the profile you will see the recommendations. Click on it and it opens up and shows what you’ve written.
If you go to the recommendations section and click on ‘given’ you will see the things that are important to you. It permits you to customize invitations and other information about people.
Autopilot will let you filter searches by doing an advanced search looking for a specific sort of person based on their work, location expertise etc.
Autopilot will let you go to a link above your “Relationships” filter asking if you want to view those profiles that are ‘shared connections’ – that is, connections shared with someone else who is in a similar or even competitive market to your own.
If you say ‘Yes’, you can go through these relationships individually by letting Autopilot open them up and permitting you to check the profile of the people who are connected. You are checking the profiles of those connected not to you, but to your (potential, or actual) competitor. You have the mutual connection already, thus permitting you to be “viewed back” whereupon you can mail them and make the contact.
Keyword searching and connections
Connections can be open or closed – check……….
Check whether connections are ‘open’ or closed. If you hover your mouse over the Network link which will show your list. You can then sort them and click the last name option to see the sort the list out alphabetically.
If you enter your search term or use a filter on the search function you can search companies, locations, recent activity etc. So if you wish to contact someone in a specific city you can do so.
Or you can use Advanced Search at the top to see all the filters you can use.
Enter any keyword into the search box or use one of the predefined filters (Tags, Companies, Locations, Industries, and Recent Activity) to display connections who, say, live in a greater metropolitan area of a certain city or work in a particular industry. You can also click the Advanced link at the top of the page to bring up all the filtering options.
The drop-down lists contain options only for your first-degree connections.
After clicking the Advanced link at the top of the page, you simply expand the Industry filter by clicking the triangle next to Industry and then clicking Internet. LinkedIn can show you who in your network matches that request!
At the top of the profile where it says 500+, showing ore than 500 connections.
Click on that and it takes you down into an advanced search of those of your connections only.
Connections can be closed in the settings and if open you can do a search and view their connections. If you were to do a keyword search you could locate specific people in the area – geographic or professional – and who you wish to locate.
Blog on LinkedIn
So blogging on the network makes it available for those who are small firm owners and others who want to start blogging and get their content online and using the network to do so can create enormous impact if used correctly.
Pulse was originally a publishing platform that was invitation-only and independent of LinkedIn. Now it is owned by LinkedIn and has articles from anyone publishing posts on LinkedIn, permitting access to a potentially huge audience.
Articles published on LinkedIn will not automatically go to Pulse, which picks up trending articles that are gaining popularity, which is something you can do for added impact and reach (as explained below).
Having content published on Pulse is like having your content published on a major blog in your area of specialty. A single article can generate huge traffic, signups to your newsletter and other engagement that is almost unobtainable elsewhere (short of paid traffic).
How Pulse Works. That first Pulse feature is really important because that’s how you really start to increase your follower count. Once you build up a decent number of followers that are interested in your niche, it will be a lot easier to hit the quality score threshold in the future and get picked up by Pulse.
When you publish a post, all of your followers get notified. Not all of them will be interested in the content but a good number will. Your ‘score’ will depend upon how many comments, likes and shares your post receives and so the organic reach of your posts increases.
Which Posts Most Appeal on LinkedIn?
Among the post types that have success on LinkedIn are lists or numbered points, ‘how to’ articles and those with images and subheads to make them more appealing, attractive and useful.
Article length should be at least 1500 words, which is a reasonable length for blog posts and longer than most, but therein lies both the chances of success and the value.
Of course your article may not be picked up by Pulse but it will still create value for your audience, increase the chances of better rankings (particularly if its sent to other social networks too) and it will place you in the right space to provide similar content in future, too.
How To Publish the Article To publish your article you need to click the link at the personal LinkedIn feed and format it there. The process is intuitive and simple.
You can now either save or publish the article. Timing of publication is important as work hours publication will give you a better chance of having Pulse pick uup the article. However monitor and record the response to articles for views and engagement to determine which times are best.
Don’t despair if the post is not picked up for the first few, quality pieces. The key is consistency and to ensure you’re producing quality material that is going to give you the best shot at reaching Pulse.
You’ll do it.
Let us know how you go. You can email LawFuel at [email protected] with questions or leave a comment.