A couple of years ago there was a widely popular meme circulating about LinkedIn for lawyers. It accurately depicts the discord between what prospective clients actually want to know, and the bland resume stats most lawyers actually put on their profiles. It is time for lawyers to pay more attention about their profiles, and think outside of the box. A recent study has shown that LinkedIn is the primary source that prospective clients go to when they want to learn about an attorney they are considering hiring.
There are five things every lawyer should include in their profile to attract clients:
- A Killer Headshot. When people go online, they tend to look at photos first. It is worth spending big bucks on a professional looking shot that has personality. Avoid using cliché backdrops, and shoot in locations with visual interest. If someone has an office with personal photos, maybe pictures of their family, it is hard to go wrong with that. Pictures should also be relatively recent.
- Updates. One of the great ways to indirectly attract clients is through networking referrals. For example, if you are a real estate, criminal, divorce, personal injury, or trusts and estates lawyer, you should actively network with everyone you went to law school with and have ever worked with. If people know a lawyer of any kind or have one in the family, they will probably turn to them for a referral if they find themselves in one of these common situations requiring counsel. Networking with people in niche practice areas different than your own can be particularly helpful. By posting regular updates, you can keep your name and practice area fresh in the minds of all your connections, since the updates show in their newsfeed. Post often, but not too often or you risk alienating people.
- Customized Website Links. You should include a link to your website, blog, and any other Internet pages on your profile. LinkedIn uses a default URL for your profile page with a long string of random characters. This can be changed by signing in to edit your public profile. You can change it to your law firm’s name to boost SEO.
- Answers. This is a very underutilized feature on LinkedIn. This allows lawyers to answer people’s questions and can communicate responsiveness to client’s concerns. (Remember the meme? Clients want to know if you will answer their calls and generally be responsive).
- Publications. Although you don’t want to go full on listing your resume (yawn), you still want to maintain high credibility. Listing your publications at the bottom of your page is a great way to drop a credibility footnote on a profile that has an overall more personable feel.
Finally, make sure that you review your privacy settings and ensure that they are set to public, so that all your hard work does not go to waste. You should review the privacy setting for each aspect of your profile, as they work independently of one another on LinkedIn.