LinkedIn for Lawyers – a guide

on 20 November, 2012 Email this Email this - Print this Print this

Tom Worner of ProFirma has written a short ‘LinkedIn for Lawyers’ guide, setting out how lawyers (solicitors, barristers, legal executives, trainees, and so on) can use LinkedIn to raise their personal brands/profiles, and generate more leads, opportunities, clients and business.

The guide also looks at the current climate in the legal services industry, and at what lawyers can do to stand out and succeed. Sound interesting?  Then read the following extract…

 

NEW ERA

Whether we (lawyers) like it or not, the UK legal services industry has – through a combination of legislative and regulatory change, technological advancement, and the wider economic conditions – been well and truly thrust into a new, modern era.

The liberalisation of the industry (as a result of the Legal Services Act 2007) is seeing new entrants, with fresh ideas and innovative ways of delivering legal services (new business models), more choice for buyers, and hence more competition for ‘traditional’ lawyers.

Modern buyers of legal services are more Internet- and tech-savvy, more knowledgeable and discerning due to free access to information and multiple social networking platforms, and they are demanding higher quality, more fitting services – in terms of communication, delivery, pricing, and so on.

 

NEW APPROACH, NEW SKILLS

‘Traditional’ lawyers have been compelled to rethink and reinvent their approach – in terms of how they engage with clients and prospective clients, and how they deliver their services.  They have had to become a lot more focussed on the client’s needs and expectations, and on building strong, long-term client relationships.

Crucially, they have also had to develop soft skills in marketing, sales, client relationship management, business management, and other disciplines.  Technical ability and hard work alone aren’t enough anymore.  Real business and commercial skills – entrepreneurial flair even – are required.

Equally, individual lawyers cannot rely on their respective firms providing the resources to equip them with these necessary soft skills.  Budgets are tight, and so lawyers need to take responsibility for their own, personal development and advancement.

The pressure on individual lawyers to bring in clients and work has increased in this new era.  If it isn’t firm-led, the pressure is self-imposed (whether consciously or subconsciously), and from a desire to become more self-reliant.

And self-reliance means having your own book of clients and work – which, in turn, means more control and choice, a say ‘at the table’, and (something that firms are struggling to guarantee nowadays) greater certainty and security.

Marketing and selling yourself, and your ideas and insights (becoming a so-called ‘thought leader’) has become progressively more critical.  You, personally, need to stand out above the competition and the noise – and be found, heard and seen.

 

WHERE SHOULD YOU BE FOCUSSING?

In becoming more client-centric, and in marketing and selling yourself, your focus should be on:

  • Defining, developing and raising your personal brand/profile – Both offline and online.
  • Planned and targeted marketing and networking.  Finding and connecting with the right people in the right companies/organisations, at the right time.
  • Building strong, lasting relationships with your network of clients, prospective clients, and referrers.
  • Adding real benefits and real value to your network of existing clients, prospective clients, and referrers.
  • Maximising your existing client relationships and opportunities.
  • Creating and delivering an awesome client service and experience.

The tips and ideas set out below apply as much to looking after, developing and maximising your existing client relationships, as they do to generating new leads and new business.  Both activities are important, although many firms and lawyers focus almost entirely on the latter.

 

HOW CAN LINKEDIN HELP YOU?

Not long ago, Reid Hoffman, the co-founder of LinkedIn, said (and I’m paraphrasing – but the point is accurate) that many people are underusing LinkedIn, and not yet tapping into its full potential.

Whether your view is that LinkedIn is a fad or a serious business tool shouldn’t really matter.  It’s here, it has 175 million members worldwide (at the time of writing this guide), and (if used correctly) it can help you to: develop and raise your brand/profile; find and connect with the right people; add value to your network; build credibility and trust; build and maintain relationships; and generate new leads, clients and work.  So why not make use of it?

Contrary to what many people might think or say, LinkedIn is a lot more than just a website on which to display your CV and credentials, and look for a job. Used properly and effectively, LinkedIn can be a fantastic, and free (or inexpensive), B2B marketing tool.

Another quote from Reid Hoffman, echoing what I’ve said above:

“…every individual is now a small business; how you manage your own personal career is the exact way you manage a small business. Your brand matters. That is how LinkedIn operates.”

Here are some of my tips and ideas for lawyers (solicitors, barristers, legal executives, paralegals, and so), or in fact any professionals, who are using, or thinking about using, LinkedIn.

 

YOUR PROFILE – START AT THE BEGINNING

The starting-point should be your profile, being your LinkedIn window to the world…

 

To receive your copy of the full guide, simply visit the www.profirma.co.uk home page, and submit your name and e-mail address.  

 

ProFirma will then send the guide to you.

 


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Topics: Business development · Law Firm marketing · Social media
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