Everything About LinkedIn Marketing
It's a big step for your law firm to start marketing on LinkedIn, but if you're already one of the 90 percent of attorneys using the website, with a few tweaks you can start getting a real return on investment. Even the very first steps of profile creation can have a significant impact on your LinkedIn marketing—did you know that without a photo of yourself, you may be losing a third or more of possible networking opportunities? Keep reading to find out how to make sure your LinkedIn marketing makes your firm prosper and look great.
Marketing on LinkedIn: Making a Profile
LinkedIn marketing begins when you create your profile. Don't just hurry through profile creation, because your profile is your public face, your first impression that will bring in new connections. Not all lawyers marketing on LinkedIn are using all of the features of the profile system: statistics show that of the attorneys currently using the website, just over 50 percent have a profile that is at 100 percent completion.
You should always make sure that your LinkedIn profile contains a photo—studies have shown that having a photo of at least your face, rather than a company logo, will increase your LinkedIn marketing success and your ability to generate new connections. The best photo to use is the same photo that you're using on the attorney bio page on your website—this will help to make sure that the “you” people see in both places is the same, and increase recognition.
In order to have great LinkedIn marketing, you need to go beyond the defaults. Instead of using your job title as your profile “headline,” consider making a headline that gets into the specifics of what you do and who you are as a lawyer. Customize your links as well—instead of “My Web Site,” you can use link text that is more descriptive about your firm's homepage or attorney bio page. Even your LinkedIn URL can be customized so that you can more easily include it on business cards or email correspondence.
Marketing on LinkedIn: Making Connections
When you start using LinkedIn marketing, you'll be asked whether you want to import your Outlook contacts into LinkedIn. This can be a good idea for quickly populating your contacts list, but you may not want to send additional invites to people who aren't yet part of the site—they could perceive these as spam, and your reputation could suffer as a result.
Once you've added a number of initial connections for marketing on LinkedIn, make sure that when you continue adding people to your network, you're customizing (there's that word again!) your messages. Sending just the default message sends another, unwritten message to your would-be contact: that you don't want to take the time to address them personally. Write a quick, heartfelt message and you'll be much more likely to be added to someone's network.
Marketing on LinkedIn: Making Conversions
One of the easiest ways to use LinkedIn marketing to make direct conversions is by using direct ads. These pay per click advertisements usually cost significantly less than Google AdWords (often in the neighborhood of $3 per click) and will appear only to people with the job titles and geographic locations you select.
In order to make your ads effective, you're going to need to use a lot of the same strategies that you would use for any web sidebar advertisement (like the ones that you can buy with Google AdWords). You'll want a clear, direct call to action and to make sure that both the ad text and the landing page it links to are highly relevant to the people you are targeting with your ads.
Marketing on LinkedIn: Making Conversations
LinkedIn marketing gives your firm the opportunity not only to talk about your own services, but to talk about new case law, state statutes, and changes to legal technology with colleagues and friends. By exchanging ideas and creating engaging new content, you can get the most out of your marketing on LinkedIn.
For example, if you have a knack for answering people's questions quickly and eloquently, you should consider trying to answer a few questions on LinkedIn every day or nearly every day. This kind of contribution reflects well on you and your firm, and can help you to build your reputation with other attorneys and with potential future clients.
Groups are another good way to get a conversation going. Groups should always be part of your LinkedIn marketing efforts. Don't directly advertise (you always want to avoid the appearance of spam), but engage in creative ways that show you are helpful and friendly. Marketing on LinkedIn will most often take the form of networking opportunities with people who can send your firm business through client referrals.
Marketing on LinkedIn: Making Plans for the Future
If you're not using direct ads, your LinkedIn marketing should be primarily based in building your reputation and making sure that your firm is visible in your community. It's important for you to stay informed about changes to marketing on LinkedIn that could affect your company's business. New sections for profiles should be filled out so that your LinkedIn marketing maintains competitiveness.
The future of the internet is being shaped every day, and from what forecasters today can tell us, the future is mobile. You'll want to make sure that your LinkedIn content is visible and easy to use even for people using iPads or smart phones, rather than just for people who are accessing the internet from their PCs.
An increasing number of people primarily check their LinkedIn accounts from mobile or tablet computing apps, and this is a trend that so far shows no signs of slowing down. If a LinkedIn direct ad, for instance, links people to a website landing page that is full of images and long, scrolling text, preparing for the future will mean reshaping your landing pages to make them more accessible.