by Kirsten Hodgson
There is one thing worse than being invisible.
And that's making a really bad first impression.
Frankly, if you were invisible at least you could start with a clean slate but there's no taking back those first few seconds when you first meet someone.
It's even worse if that first 'meeting' happens online and without your knowledge.
Yet this is what happens every day.
Take a look at who's viewed your profile on LinkedIn, what your Twitter followers get to see when they click on your name and what you say about yourself on your Facebook page.
Are your social media profiles working for you?
If your profile doesn't clearly position you
Or, worse still, is skeletal
Then you're missing a trick and could be losing out on potential business.
If you've made an informed decision not to use a particular network that's fine. Just make sure you delete your profile.
How can I set up a compelling profile?
If you are on a network then the first step to making social media work for you is to make sure your profile is as complete as it can be and that it clearly positions you.
Answer the questions:
- Who do you help?
- What do you help them with?
- What results have you achieved for your clients?
- What's unique about you that your target audience will value? Perhaps you are the only lawyer in your market with an MBA or you've written a book on a particular topic – if you can then answer the 'so what?' – what does this mean for prospective clients? Why should they care?
Include social proof where you can in the form of testimonials (if permitted in your jurisdiction), case studies, and links to your blog or other content repository.
Include information about your interests outside of work. A number of lawyers have asked 'is it really necessary to do so?'
I was recently contacted by a Barrister I did not know via LinkedIn. The reason he got in touch with me? We'd both run the New York marathon. He told me as much. Yes, he wanted someone who could help him with his marketing but the clincher was that we shared a common interest. Don't underestimate the power of that.
Let people know how they can contact you and include a sentence asking them to do so. There's little point in a well-crafted summary if you're not going to include a call to action. It's important to let people know you want to hear from them.
Some good lawyer profiles on LinkedIn, that you might want to check out, are:
Once your profile(s) is complete and you're happy with it, you're ready to move to Phase 2: Connecting with others – the topic for next week's post.
What are your top tips for creating strong social media profiles?
My book 'The Complete Guide to LinkedIn for Lawyers: Connect, Engage and Grow your Business' is now available from the LexisNexis store. If you're sceptical about LinkedIn, are unsure how it might be able to help you, or just want some practical tips you can put into action straight away, you might find it useful.