LinkedIn Marketing for Lawyers: 11 LinkedIn Strategies for Lawyers

linkedin-for-lawyersOne standout social network for law firm marketing is LinkedIn. It boasts over 670 million professionals on its platform, including decision-makers and influencers needed to grow your practice.

It is not only an impressive networking tool but a goldmine for lawyers who work in B2B practice areas.

So, how can your firm use the platform more effectively to generate sales leads?

I’ll take you through 11 practical steps that get you started with using LinkedIn to build your reputation and attract clients.



1. Create a strong first impression with your profile

LinkedIn allows you to have a professional lawyer profile AND a company profile for your law firm.

This article is focused on the individual profile. LinkedIn is all about the professionals themselves rather than a database of companies.

Your profile is the gateway to getting the most out of LinkedIn. It’s worth spending time to get it right.

Let’s first cover what you need to do to create a strong first impression:

Get the photos right

Your photos are important and there are TWO required, not just one.

Take this example of an immigration lawyer in Canada:

LinkedIn-for-Lawyers-Sanaa-Mahmood-LinkedIn

This lawyer earns full marks for the professional, color headshot.

It’s much better than this:

LinkedIn-for-Lawyers-Nicole-Pieterse-LinkedIn

But something’s still missing.

How much better does this example look?

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This immigration lawyer includes a background photo of her working in her office in black and white to contrast with her color headshot image.

It looks stylish and professional and immediately presents credibility to readers of her profile.

Include not only the professional headshot but a background image. Only a few percent of lawyers do that.

Get the headline right

Your professional headline is a great opportunity to immediately connect with your target audience.

This example is okay – but is missing something?

LinkedIn-for-Lawyers-Susan-Brach-LinkedIn

It says that she is a partner/owner in a family law firm but doesn’t connect to her target audience with the specifics of what she offers.

This is a better example:

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Do you see how this lawyer provides information about the main service he offers in the headline?

This is more likely to immediately grab the attention of somebody checking the profile and seeking a specialist in these services.

Be found by searchers

Another advantage of being more descriptive of your services in your headline is that you will naturally use your keywords. This will help you show up in search.

Consider LinkedIn as the largest database of professionals on the planet. Powering it is a search engine and it works in much the same way as any search engine.

If people are searching for your keywords in your location, you want them to see your name so that they click through to your profile.

Anyone searching for “international tax and transaction services in Seattle” will see your profile at or near the top of the list if you have optimized the headline with your keywords like the tax attorney in the previous example:

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Get noticed when commenting and posting

Note that your headline, as well as showing up in searches for your keywords, appears in invitations to connect, comments you post, and newsfeed updates that are seen by everyone in your network (more about that in Step 9).

Using the example of the same tax attorney as before:

LinkedIn-for-Lawyers-Alinsson-A-Al-Sierra-Comment

The bottom line? It’s really important to get your headline right.

2. Get the About section of your profile right (it’s more than a CV)

Many lawyers treat their LinkedIn profile About section as little more than a glorified CV. So, we often see something like this:

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The About section should not just talk about the positions you’ve held or list your specialist areas.

It should do much more than that. Describe how you can help your target audience. What benefits do you provide? Why should they keep reading?

This one is going in the right direction but does not go into enough detail.

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The About section allows up to 2,000 characters, including spaces. Try to use most of them to relay benefits and insert keywords (more about that later).

This one from estate planning attorney Richard A. Selinger in Colorado does a good job of relaying the benefits (in detail) of using his services:

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This one is even better because the text is made easier to read by the use of bullet points:

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3. Complete the profile contact info

If you’re on LinkedIn for marketing purposes, you should be looking to connect with as many potential clients as possible from your profile.

Make it easy for them to find you and connect with you.

It sounds obvious but you’d be amazed how many lawyers miss this basic part of LinkedIn marketing: complete the contact information.

Previously, LinkedIn kept contact information off to the side and somewhat hidden (perhaps to keep members on the platform and not clicking away) but it’s now front and center on your profile.

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Clicking Contact info opens up a box like this:

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Note how the box in the above example only contains the LinkedIn profile URL. That’s not much use to us as we are already there!

Many other details can be completed to show up in this box. Take a look at this example for instance:

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You can include your website URL, Twitter profile, and more. This provides potential clients with multiple ways of contacting and following you rather than just messaging you through LinkedIn.

4. Complete the Experience section of your profile

By the time you reach this step, you’ve already got the attention of visitors to your profile and enabled them to reach out to you.

Next, it’s time to back up what you say and add credibility to your LinkedIn profile.

You do this firstly by completing the Experience section:

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This section allows you to detail your present and past positions.

You may have a rich and fulfilling professional background but here’s a quick newsflash: most readers won’t be very interested in it.

Your potential clients may skim read it but we are getting further into the guts of your profile here and many visitors will make up their mind about you from the sections above the Experience section.

That said, this section is still very important for two reasons:

  1. It establishes credibility
  2. It is another opportunity to include your keywords

Do not waste this section, as this attorney has done:

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He includes only the position, company name, dates, and location. This is wasting the opportunity to raise credibility and improve LinkedIn search performance.

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In the example above, it’s not difficult to work out what the main keywords are for this Corporate Reorganization and Litigation Attorney in New York.

He uses terms like “commercial litigation,” “bankruptcy litigation”, and “business restructuring” when describing his past and present positions.

This increases the likelihood that someone searching for these terms on LinkedIn will be able to quickly find him.

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If you click on See More, the section opens up and provides even more space to include information (and keywords):

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If you can include keywords in job titles as well as descriptions, even better.

Note also that the past positions listed in the Experience section look better when company logos are included.

This…

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…is FAR better than this (visuals count for a lot):

LinkedIn-for-Lawyers-Peter-Petro-Zinkovetsky

5. Add Education to your profile

Next up is Education. We’ll keep this fairly short and simple – and so should you, within reason.

The same applies to the Education section as to the Experience section: don’t go overboard with listing every qualification you’ve received as your potential clients will probably only skim read it.

However, what you include may be useful in helping you rank in search so use keywords wherever you can.

This is better than nothing:

LinkedIn-for-Lawyers-Randall-Stempler-LinkedIn

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However, notice the absence of any dates or descriptions. It is wasting the opportunity to provide valuable information and to include potential keywords.

This is a more complete and effective example:

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Here’s another more complete example from an attorney in Austin, Texas:

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Also, add any appropriate Licenses and Certifications in the section below Education:

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That’s about it for the Education section. Quick and simple.

6. Add Skills and Seek Endorsements and Recommendations

The Skills & Endorsements and Recommendations sections are really important to establish credibility and authority.

Think of customer reviews on your website. These sections hold similar importance on LinkedIn.

The Skills & Endorsements section serves three important purposes:

  1. Establishes authority through your skillset
  2. Use of keywords to help you rank in internal LinkedIn search
  3. Helps you establish credibility through endorsements from others

This is a pretty good example from an attorney at Lerners LLP in Toronto:

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If you click on a particular skill, such as “civil litigation” in the example above, a popup window shows who has endorsed you.

As you can see, this particular lawyer is endorsed by many of his peers:

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If you click on Show More in the Skills & Endorsements section, it reveals a lot more information about your industry knowledge, interpersonal skills, and other skills that you have been endorsed for:

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Add any skills that apply to you and then seek endorsements for them. You simply click on Add a new skill when in editing mode in your profile and select the skill you want to add (LinkedIn suggests some but you can choose others).

You can add as many as 50 skills so you can afford to get really granular with your practice areas. Be sure to remain relevant to your main legal focus.

Here you can see how LinkedIn generates automatic suggestions as you type in the skill you want to add:

LinkedIn-for-Lawyers-Add-Skill

Gather as many endorsements as you can for the skills you select. This will demonstrate that you are who you say you are (social proof).

LinkedIn will ask your network on your behalf to endorse you and it’s easy for people to do this with a single click (don’t forget to thank them).

When you reach 99 or more, your profile will just show “99+”, like with this labor and arbitration lawyer in Toronto:

LinkedIn-for-Lawyers-Barry-B-Fisher-LinkedIn

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A good way to gather endorsements is to actively endorse others when prompted. Most will feel obliged to return the compliment.

Finally, for this step, also seek Recommendations from clients and peers. These will appear below your skills and endorsements and they are the icing on the cake for your credibility.

Ex-colleagues recommend this family law attorney in Los Angeles, for instance:

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Recommendations are harder to obtain than endorsements. You need to actively seek them and people need to write a sentence or two about you – like with a client review.

However, they are definitely worth chasing from clients you’re close to, ex-colleagues or peers.

To do, this click on Ask for a Recommendation when you enter edit mode in the Recommendations section. You will see a popup window like this:

LinkedIn-for-Lawyers-Ask-for-a-Recommendation

Just follow the prompts from there.

7. Add multimedia to your profile wherever possible

Step seven is also about your profile.

If you’re getting the picture that your profile is key on LinkedIn, you’re right. Everything starts from there.

When you edit each of the sections above (About, Experience, Education, etc.), LinkedIn offers you the opportunity to add media.

This includes documents, photos, websites, videos, and presentations. You’ll see a popup box like this if you select Add media when in Edit mode:

LinkedIn-for-Lawyers-Add-Media-Experience-Section-LI

Visual enhancements can help to break up the text and naturally draw the attention of visitors.

You should upload visual resources that can add interest to your story, your expertise, past positions, etc. really anything that helps you establish your personal brand as a lawyer.

Here’s a good breakdown of what LinkedIn allows you to add to your profile:

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Besides adding multimedia to the various sections of your profile, you can also add it to the Featured section. This is a new profile section that has been created especially for this purpose.

This appears directly after the About section.

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Here, you are able to showcase the work samples or other material that you’re most proud of: posts that you’ve authored, articles you’ve published, and other external media like images, documents, and links.

This section is indicative of where LinkedIn is heading – towards visual content and social proof.

However, the Featured section doesn’t just magically appear on your profile. First, you’ll have to add it.

To do that, click on Add Profile Section from your profile and you’ll see a dropdown menu like this:

LinkedIn-for-Lawyers-Add-Profile-Section

Click on the type of media you want to add and you’ll see options including past media you’ve created or uploaded. Follow the prompts to upload what you want to feature.

Here are some great examples we’ve found from lawyers using visual media to connect with their target audience:

This trial attorney in Colorado uses images effectively in his Experience section:

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In the following example, the attorney includes a recent article about her from a law journal – instant credibility!

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When you click on the article in the profile in the Featured section, a larger version of the icon opens so that you can see more detail, like this:

LinkedIn-for-Lawyers-Rachel-Catt-LinkedIn-2

This New York-based attorney includes a magazine article about him in his Education section:

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This attorney from Colorado Legal Group links to a YouTube video in her Featured section:

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This Washington-based attorney links to a previous post in his Featured section:

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8. Grow your network by regularly sending connection requests

Let’s assume that you have already connected with friends and colleagues. Let’s also assume that you’ve uploaded your address book contacts to LinkedIn and connected with those.

LinkedIn will also suggest “people you may know” like this:

LinkedIn-for-Lawyers-People-You-May-Know

These contacts help you to start building your network. The problem is that many attorneys leave it there.

The best mantra to use on LinkedIn is Connect, Engage, Convert. That’s what the next few steps are about.

To generate leads for your firm, once you have your profile in shape, it’s time to start growing your network of connections.

Connecting with peers is important for credibility, staying up to date with industry news, and receive referrals. However, connecting with potential clients can ultimately generate leads quicker for you, especially if you are a B2B attorney.

If you are in corporate law, for instance, start connecting with the decision-makers in the types of businesses you want to target. They are all there on LinkedIn – you just need to search them out and start sending connection requests.

When you find the profile of someone you want to connect with click on either Message or More.

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If you are a Premium LinkedIn member (see later info on this), you can message anyone even if you’re not connected, simply by clicking Message.

If you are a freemium member, click More and then Connect from the dropdown menu.

When you do that, you will see this:

LinkedIn-for-Lawyers-Connection-Request

A popup box shows where you can type a connection request message.

Make sure that your message is informal and personalized specifically for the person you want to connect with. Say why you’re reaching out.

Something like this (though adapt for your preferred style/content):

Hi <Name>, 

As a fellow attorney, I was hoping to connect with you so that we can collaborate or share opportunities in the future.

Looking forward to connecting… let me know if you’re interested.

<Name>

Dear <Name>,

I have followed your posts on the <Name> LinkedIn group with interest. I think our businesses may share some interesting synergies, so connecting could be beneficial to us both.

Thanks in advance!

<Name>

Hi <Name>, 

After reading your profile, I’d be interested in exploring opportunities between our two businesses. Please consider this connection request and accept if you think it would be beneficial.

Thank you in advance,

<Name>

You won’t get a 100 percent success rate but if you send enough of these requests to your target audience, you will gradually build a network of peers and prospects who can provide leads to you further down the line.

Aim to send a certain amount of connection requests per week.

You can also grow your network by linking to your LinkedIn profile on your website and other social media channels. This will attract the organic growth of your network, with interested parties reaching out to connect with you.

It’s a two-way process, of course.

9. Get active: Like, comment, and share

On your profile, you will see a section called Recent Activity.

It’s high on the page for a reason. Activity is really important on LinkedIn.

You can have a great profile (and you do need a great profile) but without activity to back it up, you won’t appear regularly or highly in searches when users type in the keywords you are targeting.

The Activity section is where all your interactions with your community are detailed. It is populated automatically based on the interactions you have taken recently.

As you can see from this lawyer’s profile, all of the main activity (comments, shares, likes, etc.) are detailed in this section:

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If you click on See all, it takes you to the main feed, where you can see what he actively likes, comments on, and shares with his network:

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Taking daily activity with your network can be a scheduled task that takes only 5-10 minutes per day.

How long does it take to share a few posts you’ve read with your network? That’s what this divorce and family lawyer in Florida does:

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If you send daily connection requests and also share, comment on, or like posts each day, pretty soon you have a large and engaged network.

If you don’t take activity:

  • You have less chance of featuring in search (the LinkedIn algorithm rewards activity)
  • Your network forgets you exist
  • An Activity feed does not appear in your profile

It’s obvious but activity requires logging in regularly to your LinkedIn account. Most professionals on LinkedIn log in once every two weeks when they remember to.

To be more effective requires a little discipline and a commitment to log in and interact daily with the community you build.

10. Post articles and other content to your feed

As well as engaging with your network by sharing, commenting on, and liking posts, you can start new posts of your own.

Status updates will show in the LinkedIn news feeds of your entire network. This means that you can reach far and wide if you take active steps to grow and engage your network.

Relevant and engaging content will win you a lot of friends amongst your network. That will translate into leads down the line.

You post to your news feed by clicking on Start a post from your profile:

LinkedIn-for-Lawyers-Start-a-Post

As you can see from the icons on the right-hand side of this box, you can create an image post, video post, or document-based post. You can also write an article and post or just add text (though posts with images or videos get far more engagement than text-only posts).

Clicking on the appropriate icon will take you through the upload process.

If you click on Write an article you will be taken to an article editor where you can get started:

LinkedIn-for-Lawyers-Write-an-Article

Your article will be published on LinkedIn Pulse, appear in your activity feed, and may show in LinkedIn search when people search for associated keywords.

Here’s an example of an estate planning law firm that has posted an article to its feed:

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It needn’t be an article of course. You might want to post a piece of advice, an announcement, company news, an opinion on a current event, or anything of interest to your network.

Here’s another example of content from a divorce and family lawyer:

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And another using video content:

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Your content is important mainly for your established network but it may also win new admirers or followers from search.

If I search for “bankruptcy lawyer Chicago” on LinkedIn and click the Content tab, it will pick up any related content posted.

Posts like this appear:

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This is essentially free advertising for this law firm. You wouldn’t turn that down, would you?

11. Consider advertising on LinkedIn

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You can achieve much by growing and engaging your network organically.

With LinkedIn, like with Facebook, you also have the option of using paid advertising to reach out to your target audience.

You can be laser targeted with your ads on social networks. People include a lot of information on their LinkedIn profiles that the ad engine can tap into.

For instance, you can target your ad based upon:

  • Location
  • Company type/size
  • Industry
  • Job title/function
  • Seniority level
  • Educational background/fields of study
  • Skills
  • Group memberships
  • Gender/Age
  • Years of experience
  • Company followers and connections

Targeting CEOs of major corporations in New York becomes relatively simple for a corporate lawyer, for instance. Small business owners aged 50-60 in Miami might be a good target for an estate planning lawyer.

Ad types you can explore with LinkedIn include:

  • Sponsored content –promote updates to targeted audiences directly in their news feeds
  • Sponsored InMail –send targeted messages through native ads to specific people you’re in contact with
  • Text ads – usually a compelling headline, short description, and a small image

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Once you’ve created your advertisements, you can send ad traffic to:

  • An existing webpage
  • A dedicated landing page
  • A lead generation form
  • Specific content on your LinkedIn page

However, don’t expect the same low rates as Facebook ads. They are more expensive on LinkedIn. If they produce the types of results you’re looking for with new leads and clients, the spend will be well worth it.

The AdStage Q3 Paid Media Benchmark Report for 2019 found that:

  • The Click-Through-Rate (CTR) from LinkedIn ads shot up 30 percent from Q2.
  • CTR also increased by 44.4 percent year over year since Q3 2018

You can pay for your ads according to several different metrics:

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Like with all paid advertising, make sure that you track and monitor the success of campaigns so that you can control the budget and tweak as you go along.

12. What are the benefits of going premium on LinkedIn?

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Most lawyers reading this will be freemium members of LinkedIn. There are some distinct advantages to becoming a fully-fledged paid member besides having a gold LinkedIn Badge next to your name.

In fact, if you get really active with growing your network and generating leads, it might be essential for you to open up the extra features.

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As you can see, there are different paid plans available depending on what your main goals are.

The Premium Business Plan (which starts at $47.99/month) allows you to reach out to many more potential clients and get more introductions. There are also more advanced analytics tools, as well as premium search filters and saved searches available:

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The Sales Navigator Professional Plan (which starts at $64.99/month) helps you actively build and manage leads:

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A free plan restricts your activity, especially with people you are not yet connected to.

While researching this article, in fact, I was prevented from viewing LinkedIn profiles of people out of my network because, at one point, I had reached the maximum number of profile searches/views for one month on the free plan.

If I had been a LinkedIn paid member, this would not have been an issue.

So, if you are looking to grow your network (and you need to do that in the connect, engage, convert model), you probably need a paid plan.

Free one-month/no commitment trials are available for all paid plans.

13. What about a company page?

This article has been largely about building your personal lawyer profile and reaching out to grow your personal brand.

However, your law firm should also create a company page like this firm in New York:

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The page links to all employees who have personal profiles on LinkedIn.

Someone may have already created one for your firm. If not, set one up.

You will need a company-domain-specific email address (abc@yourdomain.com) rather than a Gmail address. Then, simply complete the sections as you have done with your personal LinkedIn profile.

LinkedIn is evolving – make sure you do too

With Microsoft’s $26.2-billion acquisition of LinkedIn in 2016 now well and truly part of history, we can expect LinkedIn to continue to grow in the years ahead.

The platform will find new ways of reaching out and connecting with more professionals and growing the network.

This means you need to keep at it with LinkedIn. Don’t just set it and forget it.

To stay ahead of the pack, tweak your LinkedIn presence as new features are added.