16 LinkedIn Tips for Lawyers

-By Dennis Kennedy & Allison Shields

Allison Shields is the President of Legal Ease Consulting, Inc., which offers coaching and consulting services for lawyers and law firms in the areas of marketing, social media, business development, productivity, practice management, and client service. Dennis Kennedy is an information technology lawyer and widely-published legal technology author, blogger and speaker. Dennis writes the technology column for the ABA Journal.

Kennedy and Shields will present “LinkedIn’s Next Level – Getting More Return on Your Networking” on Thursday, April 16, 2:00-3:00 PM at ABA TECHSHOW 2015. This post is adapted from a list of 50 LinkedIn tips for lawyers included in their materials for that presentation.

They are also authors of LinkedIn for Lawyers in One Hour, Second edition (Law Practice Publishing, 2013).

1. LinkedIn’s Help and Support materials (http://learn.linkedin.com/), including starter guides, are clearly written and useful.

2. Because LinkedIn has been around for a long time, many other people have had the same question you have. Check LinkedIn’s Help Forum (http://help.linkedin.com/app/answers/list/search/1/d/c) to see if you can find the answer to your question.

3. Use a scheduling tool like HootSuite (http://www.hootsuite.com) to schedule LinkedIn Updates in advance and keep your Profile updated, even when you are on the go. If you participate in other social networks, including Facebook and Twitter, using HootSuite will allow you to post updates to multiple networks at once, all in one place.

4. Customize privacy and account settings on a regular basis.

5. Create a “vanity” URL for your Profile page.

6. Customize the Web site links on your Profile to give people reasons to visit your Web site, blog, or other sites.

7. Reorder your Profile according to what is most important to your audience.

8. Use the “Profile Strength meter” and the suggestions LinkedIn provides to create a robust LinkedIn Profile.

9. Make good use of your “Professional Headline” by giving it an external focus. Think of it as your LinkedIn “elevator speech.”

10. Add Skills to your Profile. This relatively new feature might become helpful in fine-tuning who best fits your needs in hiring or other settings. It also will help with Endorsement suggestions LinkedIn makes on your behalf.

11. Have a plan for adding Connections (i.e., quality or quantity, local or global, inside your current organization or outside).

12. Do not blindly accept invitations—use them as an opportunity to create or advance relationships by sending a personal reply.

13. Send personalized invitations so people remember you and are encouraged to accept your invitations.

14. Request recommendations (where appropriate).

15. Give recommendations (even if you cannot get them). If you don’t have time to write recommendations, endorse your Connections on their best and most relevant skills.

16. Become familiar with your jurisdiction’s ethical rules affecting LinkedIn participation.