LinkedIn for Lawyers, Part 3

*Content for this post has been provided by Frank Ramos, Jr., the Managing Partner of the Miami litigation boutique firm of Clarke Silverglate, P.A. Check out Frank’s other books, which include – Go Motivate Yourself, From Law School to Litigator, The Associates’ Handbook, Attorney Marketing 101, Training Your Law Firm Associates, SLDO Strategic Planning Manual, Future of Law. Social Media Musings – My Reflections on the Practice and Life, The Practice and Process of Law – Checklists for Every Occasion and Be Your Own Life Coach. He has written over 400 articles and has edited four books – The Defense Speaks, The Trial Tactics Defense Manual, The Deposition Manual and Leadership for Lawyers. Please follow him on LinkedIn, where he posts daily and has over 42,000 followers, or feel free to e-mail him at framos@cspalaw.com.

Before you jump into this post, which will cover growing your network, check out Part 1 and Part 2 of this series!

Expanding Your Network

Expanding your network is essential to growing your online footprint and online influence. As you grow your network, more will view your posts, share them, comment on them, and get to know you, your firm and your practice. As more members connect with and follow you, when they interact with your posts, their networks see your posts and are introduced to you. LinkedIn is designed to get your name out there to as many other members as possible. For example, if I like your post, that like becomes part of my feed and anyone who sees my feed sees your post. That’s not how it works on Facebook and most other social networks. If you look at a LinkedIn member’s feed, you will see not only what they posted, and not only what they shared, but what they commented upon and what they liked, or loved, or whatever else they did to another member’s post. That’s how your posts can get thousands upon thousands of views even though you don’t have thousands upon thousands of connections. Expanding your network will expand your ability to attract new work.

Making Connections

Making connections on LinkedIn is not hard. LinkedIn does everything possible to facilitate connections because that’s how it promotes and sells itself. And folks on the platform are there to connect with other professionals to develop relationships that will lead to new business. So if you have something in common with another member – same college or law school, same former employer, same practice area – use that as a segue to reach out and make a connection. Don’t be pushy. Don’t be overbearing. Don’t try to connect with everyone and drive up the numbers of connections for the sake of having a lot of connections. You’ll find a lot of members you reach out to are happy to connect. In turn, you’ll start receiving your share of connection requests. If you spend just a few minutes each day sending out targeted requests, your following will grow, slowly at first, and then, with time, much faster. You’re growing a network of members that will see you in their feed when you post, share or like. You will become part of their day, part of their thought process and part of their consciousness. Build a following and they will come and listen to what you say.         

Personalizing Invitations

When sending an invitation, go beyond the default invitation and explain to the recipient why you are seeking to connect. It may be that you two have met in person. You may belong to the same organization. Or you may simply enjoy her content. Provide a reason why you are connecting. A reason is different than a rationale. A reason explains the interest in connecting. A rationale explains what you want out of the relationship. Don’t put the cart before the horse. You’re just saying hello and seeking to connect. Seek the connection first, and then seek the relationship. And don’t do a hard sell, either on the invitation or afterward. Whatever you do on the platform view it from the recipient’s point of view – how would you react if you received a similar invitation to connect?  

Connecting with Prospective Clients

As a lawyer, your prospective clients include in house counsel, insurance professionals, business leaders, and other outside counsel. That’s a broad list. In other words, most of your connections will be potential clients. Anyone who has referred a case or may refer a case in the future is a potential client, and that solo practitioner you connected with across the country may refer you a case one day when his client’s cousin who lives in your neck of the woods is looking for a lawyer. So understand, most everyone you connect with in LinkedIn may one day refer you a matter.

Accepting Invitations

Err on the side of accepting invitations. I typically avoid invitations from aggressive vendors who are pushing their services in the invitation. My experience has been that the moment I accept their invitation, they start soliciting me. I also avoid invitations from folks with bare-bones profiles or unusual ones. Like any platform, there are scammers on LinkedIn. I also don’t accept invitations from judges or magistrates, to avoid the appearance of any impropriety. Other than these three categories – aggressive vendors, apparent scammers, and the judiciary – I typically accept most invitations. I should say I used to accept most invitations. I reached my connection limit (yes there is a limit on connections – 30,000) a while back and now if folks are interested in learning more about me, they can follow me.  That’s something to keep in mind – there is a limit on connections, so be purposeful when you pursue connections.

Recommended for You

So, you’ve sent connection invitations to everyone you can think of, and have run out of folks with whom to connect? Don’t worry. LinkedIn has got your back. LinkedIn will recommend possible connections based on your profile and your current connections. These are folks with similar backgrounds or with a similar assortment of connections. Using whatever algorithms they use, they regularly update a list of members you may want to invite to connect. Keep in mind, that if you send out too many connection requests and too many of them are rejected, you’ll be put in temporary time out, preventing you from sending out further connections for a few days. LinkedIn is doing its part to combat spammers, and numerous invitations sent out day after day raise red flags with them and cause them to put a temporary halt on your connection privileges. I don’t know what’s considered too many invitations and LinkedIn doesn’t say, but just an F.Y.I.

Who to Avoid

Like every platform, there are folks who misuse LinkedIn. They see a pool of hundreds of millions of professionals, and they salivate thinking about how they can bombard anyone and everyone with sales pitches and marketing materials to sell their products or services. They’re the sales folks who are looking for a quick buck and will harass you until you say yes. Generally, anyone who comes on strong on LinkedIn who is selling before they say anything else are folks to avoid. And just as importantly, don’t become a pariah on LinkedIn. Don’t be that person at the cocktail party that sticks his business card in everyone’s hands before even saying hello. You’re better than that.

The following two tabs change content below.

Spotlight Branding

Spotlight Branding is an internet marketing and branding firm for lawyers. Our goal is to help our clients create an online presence that positions them as a credible expert in their field, keeps them connected with their network in order to stay top of mind and increase referrals, and to become more visible online so prospects can find them!