While law firms have their presence on LinkedIn, it’s always important to remember it’s people who sell, and it’s people who buy. People shape buying decisions, whether that’s in B2C, B2B, or A2Z. We’re not robots. In B2B maybe we have to be seen to be more rational to convince ourselves we’re making a sensible decision, and to get the sign off from any other stakeholders, but fundamentally we’re all driven by emotion and people, regardless of context.
That’s why it’s so important that you have your own individual legal identity on social media to play a bigger part those buying and selling decisions. You are the master of your own personal legal brand, and it’s you who’s responsible for building your brand and reputation to bring results. LinkedIn is one of the most powerful weapons in your professional arsenal to do just that.
So how do you build a personal brand on LinkedIn? Let’s take a look.
Your Personal Legal Brand
Improving Your Profile & Optimising It For Search
Your profile is the first thing anyone sees when they find you on LinkedIn, so it needs to share your personal brand at first glance. There are several visual elements of your profile, like your profile and cover photo. Your cover photo gives you a chance to set out a little bit about what you do, and what you stand for. Consider adding some text, logos, or icons. Profile photos however, need to be some form of professional looking headshot, especially in the legal market.
You then have a headline section on your profile which sits just under your photos. You only get 120 characters for a headline, and you have to include a few keywords that people will generally search for. Remember LinkedIn is much like the search engines so the words you choose matter. Your title, your area of specialisation, your authority in the industry, and your typical clients. Anything more will probably breach the character limit, and there is space elsewhere to go into more depth.
Of course the remaining components of your profile need to convey consistent messages, and are essential to reflect your personal legal brand. Take the time to sell yourself. Be specific, use facts and figures, highlight your results and accomplishments, and avoid jargon!
The Essentials For Your Profile:
- A summary section that sets you apart – Tell me about you, why do you do what you do?
- Professional experience – Your achievements to date relevant to your field. Results!
- Expertise, certifications, & qualifications – Verify your reputation to gain credibility.
- Contact info – Make it easy to get in touch. Phone/Email/Website etc.
- Skills & Endorsements – Reviews & recommendations from peers or clients will bolster your profile.
- Create a custom profile URL – It looks much more credible & professional.
- Using the featured section – Pin meaningful articles/news to your profile.
The final essential is that over time, things change… Rocket science isn’t it. Update your profile regularly. If something has happened, make a note of it. Some stuff will change far less regularly, but things like featured sections, endorsements, and results, might change on a weekly basis.
There isn’t always a right or wrong answer with content, but there is often a does it work vs doesn’t it work. Your content needs to be unique, engaging, and entertaining, and it needs to be targeted. To do so you have to find out what your audience wants and fill that void.
- Find your niche – create relevant, targeted and actionable content within your area of expertise.
- Explore your audience’s needs – Use keyword research to find out what your audience wants to know. Rationalise your points or decision making with data & science.
- Develop a content strategy – Help yourself plan better by outlining your goals, identifying specific topics, narrowing your target audience, and picking a selected media & channel etc.
- Engage with other content – Like, share, or comment with other engaging & useful content. It’s all about connecting your audience to information, whether thats yours or someone elses.
- Use analytics – Assess what is & isn’t working after the fact. Make changes to reach your goals, perhaps you’re landing with the wrong audience, or you need to guide more specific solutions. Analytics might tell you the answers.
Join Groups & Associations
LinkedIn has countless groups to help you succeed on the platform. These groups are great ways to expand your knowledge, share ideas, participate in healthy discussion, and meet people. You need to use groups differently to how you set up your profile though.
Limit the self-proclamation, and talk less about what you & your firm has done. Try to champion discussions, talk about other people, other stories, your community, etc. If you have any problems, here is a great place to share, and if you have solutions to others problems, share them as well!
Groups are often full of like-minded individuals from within your industry, so it’s pretty likely there’ll be someone there with answers you’re looking for, just as it is that you’ll have answers for someone else!
Get Constructive Feedback
Two sets of eyes is almost always better than 1. Reach out to people in your network and ask for an honest assessment of your personal legal brand. They might uncover things you’ve missed, over-complicated, or oversimplified etc.
Naturally LinkedIn is all about engaging with people, so always be open to network with eager individuals. Remember to consistently refresh your profile, whilst your content will carry the burden of your personal legal brand. Use groups to further your knowledge pool, as well as gather constructive feedback and ideas. People buy and sell from people, we’re not robots. Your law firm needs individual representation online, and LinkedIn is one of the best ways to go to get leads through the door.
If you would like to find out more about legal branding, please contact us here for a free consultation!