With approximately 161 million users around the world, including lawyers, LinkedIn has become the largest online professional network. Inevitably, more lawyers are turning to their marketing department to offer best practices for networking on the site.
While most LinkedIn users understand the site is meant for professional networking, even well-intended users can make common social networking mistakes, including the “set it and forget it” trap or distributing unwanted “spam” messages.
LawyerCasting’s blog offers “LinkedIn tips for lawyers,” but here are five additional ways to strengthen your presence on the site.
- Complete all of your profile. Write a detailed summary in first person, including your skills and experience. A profile with a personal touch can help set you apart. Summaries are indexed by search engines and including keywords will help optimize your profile. Upload a personal, but professional photo, and earn three recommendations. Add skills to your profile by clicking on the “More” tab on the top navigation bar and selecting “Skills.”
- Customize your account settings. Personalize your URL by clicking “Settings,” then “Public Profile” under the “Profile Settings” link. Also, be accessible. You may choose to set your profile to “private” so it is only visible to people you already know, doing so will impair others’ ability to find you.
- Join LinkedIn networking groups that showcase your professional and personal interests.
- Update your profile with new honors, awards, or client alerts, articles or blog posts you have authored. Frequent updates help you stay top-of-mind.
- Personalize contact requests. LinkedIn offers a generic request. However, personal introductions are more approachable. After someone has accepted a connection request, email them a personal note through LinkedIn to cultivate the relationship. Remember to follow up periodically to maintain contact.