Passive or active profile?
The vast majority of LinkedIn users are passive. Still, it’s worth putting your profile to good use.
The vast majority of LinkedIn members only update their profiles when they change jobs or accept an invitation to connect. In contrast active members are constantly giving and requesting recommendations from colleagues and clients, joining groups, answering questions and using applications to interact with other members or raise their profile.
Regardless, whether you opt to have a passive or an active profile on LinkedIn, lawyers should join, since it will help clients find you and your website on Google. Profiles on LinkedIn rank extremely high on Google’s search algorithm and will often appear on searches before your website. Here are a few ways to put your profile to good use:
1. Recommendations. A passive profile on LinkedIn need not be paltry. Beyond reiterating your resume you can solicit “recommendations” from your connections. “Many of my clients come from word-of-mouth,” Arshia Tabrizi, principal at Tabrizi Law Office PC, a boutique law firm. “To actually have your clients recommend you on your profile is great promotion.”
When requesting testimonials from clients or colleagues, avoid tit-for-tat recommendations (which tend to lack credibility) and touting, which may run afoul of law society rules on false or misleading advertising. “ If someone I know asks me for a recommendation, I usually try to personalize it,“says Barry Leon, a partner at Perley-Robertson, Hill &McDougall in Ottawa. “ I’m not sold on generic recommendations.”
2. Join or create groups in a wide range of categories, including alumni, professional, networking, corporate and conferences. If you have a free account on LinkedIn you can only send InMail messages to your connections or members of groups that you both belong to. So joining LinkedIn groups will increase the number of members you can message and expand your online network. In addition, joining Link-edIn groups can help highlight your expertise in a specific practice area.
3. Become an expert: Members may ask or answer questions either to or from their connections or in two-dozen different forums spanning a wide range of subjects, such as “Law and Legal.” Lawyers should be careful about answering questions on LinkedIn, as they risk inadvertently creating a lawyer/ client relationship and basing a legal opinion on an incomplete set of facts. “I once spent over an hour crafting an answer,” says Debra Foreman of Pinstripe Coaching. “When your name and credibility is on the line, you want to take care.” On the upside, if other members rate your answers favourably, your ranking in an area of will rise.
4. Applications: LinkedIn features a wide range of applications that enable users to create online surveys, share slide presentations, rebroadcast blog and Twitter posts, collaborate with other users, track online company news and arrange meetings and events. Check out how many people have viewed and shared your presentations. Figure out which topics people are especially interested in.
– Michael Rappaport.