Put your best profile forward on LinkedIn
By Anita Windisman
One of the best ways for lawyers to build their professional brand is through an effective profile on LinkedIn.com. The largest site for business professionals, LinkedIn has more than 131 million members in over 200 countries and more than four million users in Canada. You can connect directly with people you know, and research the prospects you want to get to know. Consider it an online Rolodex that is always up to date.
Here are five tips to help lawyers optimize their LinkedIn profile:
Write a descriptive headline
Your headline is the sentence that appears just below your name and allows you to sum up your professional “identity” in a short phrase. For example: “Partner at LLB Associates, specializing in intellectual property law for the IT sector.”
Upload a professional photo
Include a professional colour photo of yourself against a light or neutral background. It should include only you: no pets or kids! LinkedIn statistics indicate that a profile with a photo is seven times more likely to be viewed than one without.
Provide a summary of your expertise
The “summary” section is the place to provide a snapshot of your expertise. Do you have a specialty that sets you apart from other lawyers? Summarize your experience to back it up. Write two or three short paragraphs, using full sentences in the first person.
Add specialties and skills
There are two places in your profile where you can list your expertise: the “specialties” section underneath your summary and the “skills” section (you can add up to 50). Pay extra attention to skills because it’s one of the key ways people find you during a search on LinkedIn. Use specific terms such as employment law, collective bargaining, patent litigation and contractual disputes.
Complete your LinkedIn profile with at least three recommendations. Ask your satisfied clients to provide a short testimonial.
Anita Windisman is the President of One of a Kind Marketing where the philosophy is building business relationships one at a time through social media. The company specializes in providing LinkedIn training for business professionals and sales teams.