How to get lawyers & accountants to buy into LinkedIn

Last week a client asked me:

How do you encourage engagement and participation from lawyers on LinkedIn?

How to get lawyers & accountants to buy into LinkedIn

The next day I saw a post by a legal marketing professional asking the same thing.

Here’s a summary of the answer I gave them:

Lawyers and other professionals will only be active on LinkedIn if they can see the benefits: they need to know how they can use the platform to help them achieve their individual (and team) goals, and how it can support everything they’re already doing.

Share case studies

One of the most powerful ways to get lawyers, accountants and other professionals to understand how LinkedIn can benefit them is to share case studies of how others have used the platform successfully. If they see how and why others have used it, they begin to see the possibilities for themselves.

Ideally use case studies from within your firm but, if you don’t have any, then here are 5 great case studies (click the free chapter link and they’ll download. You don’t need to provide any info to see these). 

Perform an Advanced Search

Another good tactic is to sit down with the person, ask them about their ideal client and then perform an Advanced Search. When lawyers, accountants and other professionals see that their ideal clients are on LinkedIn, they realise they need to be on there too.

The Advanced Search feature allows you to search by company, job title, keyword, industry sector, location and more (or a combination thereof and it supports Boolean searches).

Remember though, that the searches will return richer information the more people you are connected to. That’s because, on the free LinkedIn account, you can see full profile information for those people to whom you are directly connected, your second degree connections and fellow group members. You can only see limited info for third degree connections and those outside your network.

Show them how a LinkedIn presence can help them get found online

If the professional you’re working with is on LinkedIn or has a common name and is having difficulty getting found online, show them how LinkedIn profiles appear high up search results. Log out of Google and then perform a search on their name. This will help in one of two ways: if they are on LinkedIn but still have a skeletal profile it will highlight that they need to develop a good profile or remove themselves from LinkedIn; if they aren’t on LinkedIn and have a common name or share a name with a celebrity it will highlight that having a LinkedIn presence can help them to get found.

Find groups to which those they want to build relationships with belong

Help the person to find and join groups to which their clients and ideal prospects belong. To identify these groups you could look at people’s profiles and see which groups they have listed (n.b. some may be hidden but the majority won’t be because the default setting is to display these); or use LinkedIn’s search feature and type in your keyword. If you then click on the magnifying glass and select ‘groups’ from the left hand side of the screen which appears, you’ll see a list of related groups. These will typically be organised from the largest to the smallest.

You can very quickly scroll down the list, see who in the person’s network is a member and either look at the group profile (if it’s a closed group) or look at the group discussions and activity (if it’s open). You can then make a call about whether or not the group is worth joining.

Walk them through how LinkedIn can help them achieve THEIR goals

Lastly, I would go through the person’s marketing plan (or key client, industry sector or practice group plan) with them and show them how LinkedIn (and other social networks) can help them achieve their goals. 

The hardest thing for professionals is knowing what they should be doing beyond creating a profile. In early 2014 I’ll be launching a modular online training course “Grow your practice with LinkedIn: for lawyers” and will then be rolling this out to other professionals. Details will follow in the New Year.

What else would you add? 

How has LinkedIn helped you to achieve your goals? 

 

 

 

 

New LinkedIn feature to monitor engagement on your status updates

Over the past few weeks LinkedIn’s been quietly rolling out a new way to monitor engagement on any status updates you share. It finally appeared on my account this weekend.

It’s called ‘Who’s viewed your updates’ and you’ll find it on the right hand side of your LinkedIn home page underneath the ‘Who’s viewed your profile’ section…if you can’t yet see it then expect it very soon!

How can you monitor engagement on your status updates?

You’re now able to see the number of times each of your updates has been viewed as well as the number of likes and comments. The great thing is you can click through to these if you missed them via your notifications.

LinkedIn new feature who's viewed your updates

When you hover over the circles LinkedIn allows you to ‘see news your connections might enjoy’ and ‘see trending news to share’. Clicking on these links takes you through to Pulse (the renamed LinkedIn Today) and those LinkedIn influencers you follow. It’s a shame it doesn’t actually show you trending news from those in your network as that would be far more interesting.

However, you can opt to follow a number of publishers (click on the ‘All Publishers’ link on the Pulse toolbar) and, if you set up Pulse on your mobile, can follow any blogs or publications you like. Unfortunately, these don’t seem to currently sync to the full version of LinkedIn.

On the whole it’s a great little addition that helps you:

  • Determine which of your posts get the most engagement.
  • See the reach of each post. As well as seeing the overall number of people who’ve seen your post, LinkedIn tells you the numbers according to their relationship to you, i.e. how many first degree connections saw it, how many second degree connections and how many third degree connections. To see these figures hover over the appropriate circle (the smallest one with the blue line around represents your first degree connections, the next one your second degree connections and the biggest your third degree connections).
Monitor engagement on LinkedIn
  • Identify the times of the day/week to post to get maximum exposure. If you keep a note of when you post things, LinkedIn tells you how many people in your network have seen the post (I assume by seen they mean ‘impressions’ so it doesn’t mean the people have read your post).

What do you think of this feature?

How else do you think it will help you?

 

Building your brand: The power of one click

As a professional you probably regularly consume content.

You may read the paper.

The trade press.

Blogs.

Newsletters.

You may watch things on YouTube.

Listen to the radio or to Podcasts.

And this is all great for your own interests and learning.

BUT you could be missing out on a trick.

Continue reading

How to set up the new LinkedIn Showcase Pages in your Company Pages (video)

LinkedIn’s just announced its new Showcase Pages, which are a great addition to your Company Pages. 

As LinkedIn says:

“LinkedIn members will be able to follow the specific brands and products they care most about that have Showcase Pages.”

This is great news for professional services firms. You can set up showcase pages for up to 10 of your services. People can choose to follow these pages in addition to, or instead of your company page, allowing them to self-select the info that’s relevant to them.

They’re another great way to share helpful content with other LinkedIn users and to build a community – essentially they’re all about sharing great content. But, unless you’re a big brand, it’ll likely take time to build your followers.

And you’ll need to think carefully about your capacity to manage these pages. They will need to be regularly updated (ideally at least weekly) so there is fresh content and you look on top of the issues. The good news is that you can use a mix of your own and third party content to position you so it shouldn’t be too onerous to find things to post.

This ‘how to’ video below shows you how to set up a showcase page (and how to delete one should you need to).

Tips for promoting your Showcase pages

There are so many ways to promote your Showcase Pages. Here’s a list of ideas to get you started:

  • Get relevant people within the firm to include links to these on their profiles (ideally at the bottom of the summary section).
  • Include links from relevant pages on your website to these showcase pages.
  • Include a link in your email signoff.
  • Mention this in your news-alerts, in client meetings, at the end of seminars or presentations.
  • Invite relevant contacts to follow a showcase page for news on ‘X’.
  • Pay for some of the really valuable posts to appear as sponsored updates in a certain demographic’s LinkedIn feed – a number may then follow a particular Showcase page in return.

How to set up the new LinkedIn Showcase Pages in your Company Pages

I’d love to know what you think of Showcase Pages. Let me know in the comments and please share Pages you’ve set up. And please share this post if you find it valuable. Thanks.

Social media: firing up key client & practice group planning

Social networks will never replace face-to-face communication.

But they can lead to more opportunities for in person meetings.

They can play a role at all stages of business development from planning through to client relationship management. I’ll look at this in a series of posts over the coming weeks but today want to focus on the planning stage.

How to use social media for your business development

How can you use social networks at the planning stage?

When compiling your key client, industry sector and/or practice group plans social networks can help you identify key players in specific organisations. This is particularly helpful in a number of situations: Continue reading

What would happen if YOU were locked out of LinkedIn?

If you use LinkedIn to build your profile, keep up with your existing connections and/or find and begin to build relationships with more of your ideal prospects then PLEASE implement the two steps below to make sure you’re as protected as you can be should you lose access to LinkedIn for any reason.

What would happen if YOU were locked out of LinkedIn?

Last week, I went to log into LinkedIn and saw…

Nothing.

There was a blank screen.

I typed in the URL of another website and it popped up just fine.

So, I tried again.

Nada. Continue reading

18 ways to position yourself as a specialist in your field

Why do professionals need to position themselves?

Clients have a choice – they get to decide who they engage on particular projects, matters, cases or deals and who they spend their money with. According to research conducted by BTI Consulting in 2011 into the top ways clients select lawyers, personal recommendations are key followed by online searches (I assume this would be similar for selecting other professional advisers).

How to Position yourself as a Specialist in your Field

What they found is that the two are not mutually exclusive and that, if someone recommends a professional to a prospective client, the prospective client is then likely to do an online search on that person prior to contacting him/her (although there will undoubtedly be lots of instances of people finding professional advisers online). Continue reading

7 Internal Marketing Tips for Professionals

If you’re looking to build your professional practice, one of your best referral sources is likely to be others you work with. However, in order for them to recommend you to their clients and networks, they need to know who you help, what you help them with, and some examples of issues you can resolve or assist clients with.

6 ways to market to your colleagues

It’s less about cross-selling and more about working together to uncover unmet client needs. Continue reading

13 examples of good LinkedIn etiquette

Why do people behave differently on social networks than at in-person networking events?

What is good LinkedIn etiquette?

Is it that all rational thought goes out the window when facing a computer or device screen (I admit, it does sometimes seem that way) or is it that they’ve never been taught? Continue reading

Should you hide your LinkedIn connections – the pros and cons?

The answer is: it depends.

Should you hide your LinkedIn connections?

I’ll come onto why in a moment, but I wrote a post a year or so ago strongly recommending that people leave them visible. However, there is one really good argument for why you wouldn’t.

Both perspectives are set out below so that you can make the choice that’s right for you. Continue reading