LinkedIn networking works. Provided you follow the correct steps, that is. If you’re not using this powerful social media platform already – or joined but don’t know where to start – then our entry-level guide for law firms will make for indispensable reading.
In this guide, we’ll explain:
- What LinkedIn is and how it works
- Who uses it and how to reach them
- Which competitor platforms to look at
- Strategies to help you get started
Read on to harness the power of LinkedIn networking, gather more followers, and start seeding your brand reputation.
What is LinkedIn and should I be using it?
LinkedIn is a Business to Business (B2B) social media platform with a purpose. You can use it to find jobs, and customers, or forge partnerships with other firms in your sector for free (unless you want to run ad campaigns).
LinkedIn networking by numbers
- The platform boasts 740 million users spread across 200 global countries and territories
- Approximately 57% of users access it on a mobile device each month
- In the UK, 55.2% of members in the UK are aged 25-34 years old
Is LinkedIn networking worth it for law firms? Yes – because where else could you tap into an engaged audience of that size for free?
Do UK law firms use LinkedIn?
Yes, some of the country’s biggest law firms use LinkedIn social media networking to grow their brand presence, form new partnerships, and generate high-quality leads. This is good news because it proves the platform works. It’s bad news because it means the competition is intense.
Don’t worry though. Even by just doing ‘the basics’ you can reap great rewards from LinkedIn networking. So read on to find out how to get maximum value from your free membership.
So LinkedIn networking is my only option? That sounds quite limiting
LinkedIn isn’t unique. But it’s the most renowned and boasts the highest number of users. Should you explore some alternative options? Absolutely, because limiting your social media strategy to a single platform makes zero marketing sense.
- Facebook Groups – although not a networking platform, Facebook Groups lets you tap into niche communities in your industry
- Meetup – which is ideal if you want to join a community of like-minded professionals who enjoy creating and hosting events
- Opportunity – like LinkedIn, this lesser-known platform lets you network with others in your sector, generate leads, and grow your brand presence
This list isn’t definitive so we’d recommend researching other networking platforms to see if they suit your sector.
LinkedIn social media networking: proven strategies that work
Getting started on LinkedIn isn’t complicated and doesn’t require a wealth of expertise either. So, even if you’re not a black belt in social media, you’ll be able to attract followers and generate leads with relative ease.
Here are just a few of the steps you can take to enjoy LinkedIn networking success.
#1 Create and optimise your profile
Creating a profile is a must. This might sound obvious but LinkedIn is littered with empty and half-complete profiles that look less than professional and which are unlikely to attract attention.
With that in mind:
- Make sure you’ve taken care of the basics. Have you added a professional photo, work history, summary, and relevant skills?
- Optimise your profile by adding a striking headline which incorporates keywords that are relevant to your profession.
How do you know which keywords to use? Use terms relevant to your profession and industry to catch the attention of prospective partners and customers.
Also, remember that the content on your profile is searchable on Google. So try and think of your profile as a web page that you want to perform well in the rankings.
#2 Use social proof to prove your worth
Stating you’re the best divorce or family lawyers in town will only get you so far. That’s why supporting your claims with concrete social evidence is so important.
So how can you prove to partners and customers your firm is the real deal? Here are a few tips to help you get more from your LinkedIn networking.
- Contact clients who already endorsed you and ask them again
- Endorse others – who are then more likely to return the favour
- Request testimonials from existing happy clients
#3 Start connecting with people
Try not to discriminate too much. Being picky at this stage will only impede your networking efforts. That’s because, at this early stage, you need high volumes of followers who’ll react to, comment on, and share your content. Once you’ve established a strong presence you can begin pruning your network – removing those who don’t add value.
Instead, to begin with:
- Connect with random strangers from all walks of life – because they might just share your content with an ideal prospect
- Target specific thought leaders and influencers in your sector – which is a great way to establish credibility
- Join LinkedIn networking groups which usually host highly specific demographics, so you can niche your targeting
#4 Publish content frequently and in different formats
Publishing on LinkedIn is free and one of the best ways to attract attention and new followers. Creating content often (ideally once a day as a minimum) means the platform’s algorithm will recognise you and increase the chances of your posts being promoted in prospects’ feeds.
What content should you put out there? Publishing the same thing time and again will serve only to bore your audience – resulting in lower engagement at best and a drop in follower numbers at worst.
Here are some content ideas you can incorporate into your LinkedIn strategy right away…
A post needn’t be long and can be created quickly. So why not share something spontaneously with your network? You could comment on an industry trend, share an experience, or promote a charity your firm is involved in. Nothing is off-limits.
People prefer videos to posts and articles because they can passively consume content. Unsurprisingly videos get better engagement too and are more likely to be shared by your network.
Let’s face it, we love answering questions. It makes us feel valued. That’s why your LinkedIn content strategy should include polls – provided they make your prospects feel important.
You can also boost your LinkedIn networking strategy by writing industry-specific articles. The effect of this will be twofold: (1) you’ll establish yourselves as thought leaders and (2) you can backlink to your website – increasing digital footfall.
Direct message prospects and partners to start conversations
At some point, you’ll need to take the plunge. That’s what your LinkedIn networking strategy has been about: curating a feed of engaged followers, many of whom you’d like to convert into paying customers or value-adding partners.
To get maximum value from your messages:
- Build momentum slowly – introducing yourself in the first message and keeping the conversation high level.
- If the relationship blossoms then suggest a get-together via Zoom or face-to-face if you live locally.
Who should you direct message? Take note of those who engage most with your posts. Perhaps they react to your content, share it, or stop by to comment on a regular basis. These are people who should sit high up in your prospects list.
LinkedIn networking works but there are no shortcuts. Showing up each day with insightful and varied content is essential if your law firm is to establish itself as a leader on this highly competitive platform.
To succeed, don’t rely on LinkedIn as your sole networking platform. Instead, invest time in similar online tools (like those mentioned earlier in this guide) and establish a presence on Facebook and other popular channels.
If all of this sounds like too much work, why not contact us instead for advice.