Lawyers regularly ask me this so I thought it worthy of a blog post.
The answer to this really comes down to your objectives. What is it you’re looking to achieve?
There are some very good reasons why you might wish to connect with other lawyers, such as:
- You wish to generate referrals from other lawyers
- It’s a great way to keep track of former colleagues and friends who may one day move in-house
- You want to pick up some tips from others’ activity.
I know some of you will be concerned that other lawyers will look through your contacts and try to poach them.
In order to prevent this, you have two options (other than not connecting with them):
- Be proactive and focus on providing your clients with excellent customer service and regularly sharing content they will find valuable and helpful. In all likelihood your competitors will be talking to your clients anyway, so this is always a key area on which to focus.
- Hide your connections on LinkedIn. This means your connections can only see details of shared connections (i.e. those connections you have in common). To do so, go to ‘Privacy & Settings’ (hover over the photo of you in the top right hand corner of your LinkedIn toolbar and select Privacy & Settings from the dropdown list – you may be prompted for your password), look under the ‘Privacy Controls’ header in your profile settings and select ‘See who can see your connections’. Choose ‘Only you’ from the drop-down box.
On one hand, LinkedIn is about networking and helping others in your network and it many people perceive it negatively when people hide their connections, but on the other if you act for Shell and you have lots of connections at BP this could cause issues with your client.
Ultimately, you have to do what’s right for you and make sure that your social media guidelines are flexible enough to allow others to do the same.
What are your views on connecting with other professionals in your industry? Are you for or against?
Image Credit: www.jobinterviewtools.com