If you haven’t visited LinkedIn in the last three months to review your profile, it’s time for an update. LinkedIn is one of the most powerful social networking tools for lawyers. Consider that more than 93% of lawyers use LinkedIn (ABA 2016 Tech Report). Seventy-four percent of those on LinkedIn use it to research companies and people, and LinkedIn drives 64% of all social media visits to websites.
General counsel, in-house attorneys, and potential clients are frequent LinkedIn users. It is often the first place they look to learn about you. That means your profile must be current and accurately reflect you and your practice. Here are some suggestions.
- Add a current photo, particularly if your photo is four or five years old. Clients meeting you for the first time and people you meet at events should recognize you. Use a professional photo, a selfie won’t work.
- Write a great tagline. At the top of the page under the banner, readers see your name and a tagline or headline. Make it brief and professional, but make readers want to click on your name.
- Make your summary stand out. The summary is the first thing readers see when they land on your page. The first 30 to 35 words are the most important. You have only three lines of copy to get readers to click on read more. Tell people who you are and what you do. Prospective clients want to know what it’s like to work with you and what drives you to practice law. Keeping your reader in mind, use phrases and terms they might use to find you.
- Your experience and education. Simply listing positions doesn’t tell readers what you accomplished for your clients. Write about how your work affected others (within the bounds of the ethics rules.) Stuck for ideas on what to write? Review profiles of other professionals for ideas. Also, read your reviews to find opinions on your work.
- Add new articles. Add links to your blog posts and other published articles. There are multiple benefits to doing this; they add dimension to your profile and show your professional expertise. Include any speaking engagements and links to webinars or podcasts.
- Community involvement. Update the community events you’ve been involved with this year.
Your profile should bring your personality to the forefront. Whether you are formal or more casual, your profile should reflect that. Be genuine and whatever you choose to share will hit the mark. Now that you’ve updated your LinkedIn profile, stop by your SBM Member Directory profile to be sure it is also current.
After years practicing law, Roberta Gubbins served as editor of the Ingham County Legal News. Since leaving the paper, she provides writing services to lawyers ghostwriting content for websites, blogs, and articles. She is editor of The Mentor, the SBM Master Lawyers Section newsletter.
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