With an estimated 1 billion users, LinkedIn has become a powerhouse social media platform for professionals. It is free (unless you pay $59.99 per month for LinkedIn Premium) and provides a massive, big blue ocean of networking opportunities for all its users. Nearly everyone I know is on the platform, but many don’t take full advantage of all that the platform has to offer. As with most things in life, you get out of it what you put into it. I have discovered that with a little bit of sweat equity on a consistent basis, you can reap big professional rewards by leveraging LinkedIn. It is such a convenient networking tool because right from your phone, you can post content, engage with your audience, and generally stay top-of-mind with your LinkedIn network. Here are five tips to help you take advantage of this ubiquitous platform:
1. Fully Complete Your Profile
Make sure you use a professional headshot and that you fill out all available fields in your profile. This is a key opportunity to share your full contact information and your website address (which can give you massive SEO benefits), as well as articles you have written, your areas of expertise, and other pertinent pieces of information. In your profile, you can insert keywords that will make your profile become more searchable by other users. Filling out all the fields in the profile section is easy, low-hanging fruit that too many people miss.
2. Be Social and Have Fun
LinkedIn is a social media platform for professionals, so make sure you are social and not just lurking. Be social by “liking” and commenting on other people’s posts. And although LinkedIn has a different, more professional feel than other social media platforms, you can still have fun with it. In fact, people appreciate that because it’s refreshing. For example, I post to LinkedIn the TikToks videos I have created, and they show off a different, silly side of me that makes me stand out, as evidenced by the engagement those posts receive. Don’t be afraid to stand out from the crowd by mixing things up. It humanizes you, and that creates connection.
3. Always Add Valuable Content
When you post, don’t make everything about you and all your successes, but rather, aim to share your knowledge and expertise with your audience. Share an idea that has helped your practice, a book that you found inspiring, a hard lesson learned, etc. By simply providing value (as you should in any networking you do), you will reap the rewards. The best engagement I receive comes from my posts that detail how I started my personal injury practice nearly 20 years ago from scratch and the lessons I have learned along the way from all the struggle. People appreciate this content because it is positive and inspirational.
4. Be Consistent
I decided at the start of this year that I would post to LinkedIn at least once per day, with no days off. A little more than halfway through the year, the streak is still alive, and many days I post multiple times. By sticking with it, I have received case referrals, speaking opportunities, requests from law students reaching out for help, and inquiries from attorneys asking if I am hiring. You don’t need to post every single day, but to see any results, you should post on a consistent basis. If you have nothing new to post, you can always share a post someone else made to your network that you found helpful. The writer of the post will appreciate the gesture, and your audience hopefully will appreciate the content. If you are too busy to create much content, you can always hire a marketing assistant to help you by monitoring your account and making sure there is plenty of activity.
5. Create a Large Audience
I personally aim to connect with as many attorneys as I can, but I don’t limit my LinkedIn network to attorneys only. I connect with friends, former classmates, former coworkers, and others whom I have met through the years, as well as those whom I have never met but who have grown wide audiences by being a thought leader. I want my online network to be robust, so I connect with as many people as possible. After all, you never know who may refer you your next case.
If you have other ideas about how to make the most of LinkedIn, please email me at cearley@earleylawgroup because I would love to hear from you. And be sure to connect with me on the platform, where you can easily find me.
Published in GPSolo eReport, Volume 13, Number 1, August 2023. © 2023 by the American Bar Association. Reproduced with permission. All rights reserved. This information or any portion thereof may not be copied or disseminated in any form or by any means or stored in an electronic database or retrieval system without the express written consent of the American Bar Association. The views expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the positions or policies of the American Bar Association or the Solo, Small Firm and General Practice Division.