As an attorney, if you want to be a bigger originator and business developer you need to have a strong network that refers business to you. Unless your practice is largely consumer oriented (criminal defense, personal injury, family law, etc.) you get a large percentage of your business through referrals. Referrals could come from current and former clients, attorneys in other practice areas, other professionals or your personal network.
Worried that your network is too small? Perhaps you don’t have a former roommate who is General Counsel at a big company with a 7 or 8 figure legal budget? Don’t worry, your network is bigger than you think. If you go through your mental rolodex and actually put pencil to paper – you will see a spider web of a network right in front of you. Current and former colleagues, classmates, neighbors, parents at your child’s school, current and former clients, you get the point – the list of categories is endless.
Now, here is where your modest network can explode – ask yourself, who do they know? Who do the people in your modest network know? What are their personal networks like? If each person in your network had a similar sized network, you could begin to exponentially grow your network.
This is where LinkedIn comes into play. This is exactly what LinkedIn has done. Linked in is a tool that helps you map out your network and gives you access to your network’s network. Beyond that, LinkedIn gives you tools that helps you organize your network, nurture it, communicate with it and leverage it.
There are almost 900,000 attorneys on LinkedIn. Most importantly, your clients are on LinkedIn. According to a recent ALM Legal Intelligence survey, 56% of in-house counsel use LinkedIn to contact or build relationships with outside counsel. That bears repeating – a majority of in-house counsel are using LinkedIn to contact or build relationships with outside counsel!
Now the important part. Your LinkedIn profile is important. Your LinkedIn profile is your face on the internet. Go ahead, Google yourself. I bet your LinkedIn profile is within the first 5 results, maybe even the top 3. Did you have a cringe moment? Is your LinkedIn profile missing a professional headshot? Is it incomplete? Is it careless? Your profile is a place for you to stand out. To showcase your unique experience, skills, strengths, awards and education. Your profile is where you can collect recommendations and have them on display for all future clients to see. Your profile can have links to all the articles you have authored and news stories you have been featured in.
While you may bill 2,000 hours a year, your LinkedIn profile is working for you 24 hours a day 7 days a week. It never calls in sick and never takes a vacation. LinkedIn is the best networking tool for attorneys. That’s right – not just the best social networking tool, but the best networking tool.
If you are ready to really leverage the power of LinkedIn, I invite you to let our team at Link Legal Search Group, help you craft your profile. We will handle it all – from filling in every section, adding relevant media and links to keyword optimizing your headline and summary to help you rank as an “All Star” or “Expert” on LinkedIn’s built in grading tool.
Our service fee is a business expense and most firms will usually approve it as a reasonable marketing expense. Now that you understand the importance of LinkedIn, hire a professional to help you stand out.
Click here for more information on our LinkedIn Makeover.
Rahul D. Yodh is a Principal of Link Legal Search Group, a boutique attorney search firm that provides lateral attorney recruitment and contract attorney services to law firms nationwide. For more information on Link Legal Search Group, please visit www.linklegalsearch.com