Understanding LinkedIn for Law Firms
9–12 minutes to read
When we think of social media, we typically think of never-ending feeds overloaded with funny cat videos, pictures of delicious eats, and a thousand smiling selfies all in abundance. All great for a “like” here and a comment there — but how could this type of oversharing ever translate to a professional business?
Better yet, how could social media benefit your law firm?
It’s simple: with many platforms comes many opportunities. That’s why if you aren’t using LinkedIn to its full potential, you could be missing out on referrals, connections, and most importantly, great clients and quality cases.
In this article, we’ll cover:
- The Creation and Evolution of LinkedIn
- Linkedin’s Features
- How to Maximize LinkedIn for Your Law Firm
- Your Law Firm’s Future with LinkedIn
The Creation and Evolution of LinkedIn
Launched in May 2003, LinkedIn is a business and employment-oriented online service that operates via website and mobile application. The platform is mostly used for professional networking as well as posting and applying to jobs through a business profile or an individual profile.
If you have a profile on LinkedIn, you know that it essentially serves as a resume. Thanks to this feature, potential employers have a chance to get an overview of any candidate’s experience and invite them to apply to their job posting.
Additionally, LinkedIn Company Pages are pages dedicated to individual companies like your law firm. They allow LinkedIn members to discover and connect with companies and learn more about each organization’s brand, products or services, career opportunities, and more.
This way, LinkedIn facilitates a symbiotic relationship between employers, potential employees, and potential clients.
As LinkedIn has developed over time, it’s become more and more like a bona fide social media platform (think Facebook). With a timeline you can scroll through featuring your connection’s latest status updates, article shares, and job changes, you can react to every update with comments, a thumbs up, a heart, and other actions.
It wasn’t always this user-friendly, however. While LinkedIn was originally positioned as a social media platform, it wasn’t as high-traffic as its recreational competitors like Facebook. Now with around 722 million registered members from over 200 countries, LinkedIn has quickly become the most widely used professional social media platform.
LinkedIn has become a powerful tool for businesses to share their messages and build their brands, all while continuing to find the right people to work with them. It’s not just about creating the dream team (although that certainly is part of it). LinkedIn also opens doors to filling your pipeline with more referrals, building relationships with colleagues, and even advertising to your ideal audience.
The more well-known your brand is, the more trustworthy it becomes. The professional positioning of LinkedIn makes it the perfect platform for building your law firm’s credibility, and it’s large niche audience and targeting capabilities makes it ideal for increasing your brand’s knownness.
Businesses large and small enjoy calling LinkedIn their go-to for recruiting new team members, publishing their brand’s work, and forging relationships with their clients and communities. Even juggernauts such as Amazon, Facebook, and Google are all members on the website and actively use it.
But don’t let those big names fool you — LinkedIn is for small businesses too, and law firms all over the world have taken advantage of all it has to offer.
If you still haven’t created a business page for your law firm, you’re about 10 steps behind your competitors, and it’s time to change that. Take a look at all of the game changing ways having an active profile on LinkedIn can change your firm for the better:
Make use of InMail messages.
One of LinkedIn’s premium features, InMail is a messaging system that allows you to directly message another LinkedIn member with whom you haven’t yet connected. This is beneficial for law firm owners looking to break the ice with potentially industry connections and referring attorneys, as well as respond to potential hires without having to connect just yet until deemed a good fit for the firm. In other cases, this feature can help you weed out the connections you don’t wish to make.
Take advantage of video meetings.
Even though in-person life may have slowed down, people’s need for good connections and a great job haven’t. Whether it’s office work, conference calls, or even trials in the courtroom, this LinkedIn feature ensures you’ll never have to worry about anyone missing out.
Notify your team members about your LinkedIn posts.
If you’ve ever wondered how to keep your team up-to-date with all of your latest news, announcements, or job postings, your answer is here. On LinkedIn, you can quickly notify your team members about a new post on your company’s page, and they can then share them with their own connections. Keep your messaging at the forefront of their minds.
Use AI feedback to streamline your hiring process.
Accept it: the future is here, and once your law firm embraces the good that Artificial Intelligence technology can do, it will succeed like never before.
Set up interview answers for candidates to fill out on LinkedIn, and let the platform’s AI filter out the ones that work best. No more mistakes of hiring someone for a paralegal role only to find out they aren’t detail-oriented whatsoever.
Showcase your work in a carousel.
You’ve written plenty of articles and case studies for your law firm. What better way to promote them than by showcasing them front and center on your LinkedIn profile? Thanks to the carousel feature, you can now share those informative documents on your page and watch the numbers go up, up, up.
View page followers with ease.
Your law firm can’t succeed online if you don’t have any followers — but guess what? LinkedIn has now made it so you can view who’s viewing your page at any given time. Use this to understand your connections a little better, whether they’re potential new hires, new clients, or new referral partners.
These features are great, but should you stick with the free version of LinkedIn or go all-in on Premium for Business? Take a look at the differences:
- Ability to create a professional profile
- Basic search capabilities for people and jobs
- Three saved searches that can be used to create weekly email alerts
- Ability to provide and request recommendations from other members
Premium Business Account:
- 15 InMail messages
- Business insights
- Online video courses
- See who’s viewed your profile
- Unlimited people browsing
- Career insights
- The promise of an average of 6X more profile views as compared to the free version of LinkedIn
There are a few questions you should ask yourself before deciding whether to go with the free version of LinkedIn or opting for the premium version:
- How big is your firm? If it’s on the larger side, you might be able to work with the free version as your existing brand awareness is likely higher than that of a smaller, less-recognizable firm, which could benefit from the premium version for getting their name out there.
- What are you looking for? Are you going to focus more on hiring or making better connections, which could lead to higher quality clients and cases?
- Realistically, how often will you be using LinkedIn to search for people?
- How big is your city or town in which you practice? Depending on the size, it could be easier for your firm to get resumes and inquiries on your own rather than seeking them out with paid promotion.
- Are you willing to pay for it? Be honest with yourself.
Though there are significant differences between the two options, you really can’t go wrong with either. The only way you can go wrong is if you don’t have a profile from the start.
There are so many new features LinkedIn has rolled out for you, and the best part is that the list just keeps on growing. Even if you already have an account, take the time to revamp, refresh, and use these features to your advantage.
If you want to continue growing your law firm’s roster of clients, team members, and connections, you’ve got abundant tools at your fingertips.
How to Maximize LinkedIn for Your Law Firm
It’s a fact: any company that has an active LinkedIn profile is automatically considered more legitimate than those without one. If you want your law firm to build credibility and trust, this is key to making it happen.
Target your ideal audience.
Whether you want to grow your connections, your clients, or your new hires, find them and communicate your intentions.
By leveraging targeted advertising on LinkedIn, you can find the audience you want based on their location, their company (industry, niche, size, etc.), their demographics, their education, their job experience, and even their interests and traits.
If you want to stand out from your competition, you’ve got to make choices that will help you accomplish that. By having a clear, differentiated message and building your brand awareness with targeted advertising, you are able to attract more people, more often, and more regularly.
Prioritize your time.
If you’re worried about the time, energy, and resources that this is going to take, stop right there. While we’re not saying that setting up a successful profile on LinkedIn takes zero work, we are saying that there isn’t much to lose in the process.
Whether you decide to opt for the free version or up your game and go for the premium one is up to you, but the important part is leveraging what you can out of whichever option you choose.
The riches are in the niches.
Have you struggled with finding the right people for your law firm simply because you are in a more niche market than some of your competitors? Since the candidates needed at a niche firm have a more specialized set of skills, it can often be more difficult to find the perfect people to fill open roles.
Never fear — LinkedIn has you covered once again. By using the target advertising capabilities of this social network, you have a much better chance at landing the right team member the first time around — not to mention the exact clients your firm works so hard to represent, as well as the quality connections that get you either of these two outcomes.
Expand your referral network.
Studies show that referrals are everything when it comes to people finding exactly what they want. Though you may be in competition with other lawyers in your industry, there’s no denying that many of your best referrals come from those other lawyers.
Use LinkedIn as a way to connect with other attorneys who will be able to connect you with the cases you need and the people who need your help most. Continue to build your relationships with like-minded law firm owners in your industry.
Become a thought leader.
Don’t think your thoughts have to be confined to your personal Facebook friends. Share them with fellow professionals who think the same way and experience the same challenges as you. LinkedIn is the perfect platform to reach like-minded colleagues and generate engagement from your peers, thus building those invaluable industry connections.
Do yourself a favor.
There is no reason for you to struggle with making the right hires, connections, and high-quality cases. LinkedIn has helped 55 million companies amplify their message, big and small.
No matter what area of law you practice or what market you’re in, every law firm owner can benefit from LinkedIn.
Your Law Firm’s Future With LinkedIn
The short answer? Your law firm’s future is bright if you use LinkedIn.
LinkedIn has made so many strides in the last 10 years alone, and just 10 years before that, it was brand new. Think about where it’s going to go in the next 10 years and beyond.
If you use LinkedIn for your law firm now, it gives you the opportunity to set it up for success long after you step down as owner. It will give you an opportunity to put strategies, tactics, and systems in place for making the right hires each time, as well as for landing quality cases each and every time.
The legacy that you build for your law firm today can impact its future for years to come.
It’s important to make choices that are going to benefit you in the long run. That comes with finding the right people to work with, both internally and externally. If you take advantage of targeting your ideal audiences and building your law firm’s brand awareness, then you won’t have any problems finding the right people to work with and represent in the future long after you’ve gone.
LinkedIn can help you find those people — and it can help you do so now.