Legal Practice
Minute Read

How the Best Attorneys Leverage LinkedIn

The most successful attorneys are brilliant personal brand builders who have mastered how to tap into the power of their LinkedIn network in order to engage the community, develop business, or generate new career opportunities. We’ve compiled a list of essential best practices followed by attorneys at Scale LLP to help make sure you’ve taken all the steps to optimize your LinkedIn profile and build awareness and engagement around your personal brand.

The most successful attorneys are brilliant personal brand builders who have mastered how to tap into the power of their LinkedIn network in order to engage the community, develop business, or generate new career opportunities. We’ve compiled a list of essential best practices followed by attorneys at Scale LLP to help make sure you’ve taken all the steps to optimize your LinkedIn profile and build awareness and engagement around your personal brand.

Date Published:
July 14, 2023
July 23, 2023

Law firms and attorneys maintain a significant presence on social media, according to the ABA’s 2021 Legal Technology Survey Report. Most attorneys (86%) said their law firms are on social networks, the most popular of which is LinkedIn by a wide margin. On an individual level, the great majority of attorneys (81%) maintain a presence on social media for professional purposes. Among those attorneys, virtually all are on LinkedIn.

Why are attorneys leveraging LinkedIn so consistently? For career and client development, according to a 2021 ABA Websites & Marketing Survey. If you’ve yet to discover how LinkedIn can bolster your career and practice, now may be the time. 

The most successful attorneys are brilliant personal brand builders who have mastered the art of leveraging their network to make connections, foster relationships and partnerships, share content, and drive traffic to their profiles in order to engage their community and create new opportunities.

Our community at Scale LLP has many tech-forward attorneys who do this well. We’ve compiled a list of essential best practices to help you build awareness and engagement around your personal brand.

  1. Get clear on who you are and make your LinkedIn profile to reflect that 

This first point all boils down to the importance of personal branding. Creating a well-defined personal brand in your LinkedIn profile will allow you to distinguish yourself from others, tell your unique story, shape your reputation, and connect with people who share a similar vision.

Starting off, you need a clear vision of who you are and who you work with. Specifically, what are your top 2 or 3 legal areas of expertise? And what top 2 or 3 types of clients do you work with (or want to work more with)? 

From there, you can craft a memorable headline in your profile that tells your “elevator pitch” narrative using searchable words, enhance your summary with success stats, choose your headshot and background image deliberately, and show your personality in unique, authentic ways. More on this best practice here.

  1. Be generous with giving and receiving recommendations

Recommendations are LinkedIn’s version of testimonials. A large step up from LinkedIn’s skill endorsements, they’re a written confirmation of support for an individual, a business, or a product. It could be argued that these recommendations are more impactful in decision making than website testimonials as they have to come from someone on LinkedIn.

So it’s essential that you be generous in providing recommendations. The more you give, the more you may be perceived as a potential thought leader in your space, and it increases the likelihood that others will reciprocate. In the majority of cases with recommendations, you get what you give – so make use of them. 

  1. Build a following (not just connections) with creator mode

It’s important to not only build connections on LinkedIn, but also build a following. Creator mode is the perfect way to do this. It’s a profile setting that is structured to help you grow your reach and influence on LinkedIn. It changes the ‘Connect’ button on your profile to ‘Follow’ so others will follow your content as opposed to simply being connected with you. Think of opting-in to this mode as going from a content consumer or curator to a content creator on LinkedIn.

It also makes it easier to get discovered by others. With creator mode, you become eligible to be featured as a suggested creator to follow so that potential followers can find you and your content across LinkedIn more easily. More info on creator mode can be found here.

  1. Follow your target audience, via companies, influencers and groups

When you have a better understanding of your target audience, following the same companies, influencers, and groups that they follow will place you closer into their orbit, provide insight into the kind of content that resonates with them, and create a natural starting point for you to further connect and engage with them.

This is especially true of LinkedIn Groups, which provide a more targeted opportunity to build your personal brand and professional community. You can also create a group of your own, which will allow you more control over the direction of discourse on the topics most important to you and your audience. Here's a great resource that further explains how to find and join relevant groups.

  1. Be a thought leader by actively building and sharing unique content

Thought leadership took off considerably during the pandemic with businesses and individuals vying for engagement in new ways. It goes hand-in-hand with turning on creator mode, following specific companies, influencers, and groups, or creating one of your own.

You can incorporate this practice into your own marketing efforts by building thought leadership articles on key topics and adding them to the Publications section of your LinkedIn profile. Always feature your most well-received pieces front and center on your page in the Featured section.

  1. Post consistently with the 5-3-2 Rule and tag others

Posting on LinkedIn with regularity helps keep you top of mind for folks in your network who are able to hire you, refer you new business, or offer career opportunities. One rule of thumb that marketers use for this is the “5-3-2 Rule.” For every 10 posts, the breakdown should be:

  • 5 curated posts (referencing, touting, or congratulating others by sharing their news or articles on topics that are relevant to your target audience);
  • 3 original posts (content that you create on topics that you care deeply about; these can also position you as a thought leader on chosen topics); and
  • 2 personal posts (relatable human stories about yourself or community that give character to your brand).

While consistency is key, it’s also important to curate and generate content that is relevant and compelling to the audience you are trying to build – not just to you.

And, remember that quality is more important than quantity. When you appear on your network’s feeds and inboxes, you want to make sure you do that in a way that is helpful, thought provoking, and professional. So first ensure that what you are writing is of high quality and value to your audience – not just thought leadership for its own sake.

  1. Go visual-first to grab eyeballs

Humans are biologically programmed to be drawn to and engage with visuals. They assist us in telling a more compelling story that viewers’ brains can comprehend faster than the written word. That’s why it’s important, at all times, to incorporate visuals like photos, videos, and graphics into your LinkedIn marketing efforts – whether as standalone content or to supplement written messaging.

Using visuals not only helps to illustrate intent and gain better engagement, it also breaks up your content and gives it more variety. Consider a wall of text compared to text interspersed with images, graphics, or videos – which are you more drawn to? Words alone are not enough.

  1. Leverage #hashtags and @mentions to drive awareness

Using hashtags can help to drive additional traffic to new audiences and industries, especially when they are placed in the “Talks About” section of your profile. This makes it clear to visitors and individuals searching these terms that you are an ideal candidate to add to their network and discuss these topics with. 

It’s also important to strike a balance between relevant and popular hashtags by doing hashtag research of your own. From there, start with three to five hashtags that reach the audiences you want to speak to. Don’t get fixated on high numbers though. You may come across one that is more niche in its numbers but unique to an audience who is far more likely to engage with your LinkedIn content.

You should also make use of mentions. By including the @ symbol immediately followed by a user’s or company's name in a post, they will be alerted that you mentioned them, and the post they are included in will link to their page and appear in their feed for their network to see, giving them a chance to repost or comment on it. This is another great way to boost engagement with your content and improve brand awareness across a larger network.

  1. Use Calls-to-Action to encourage engagement

In marketing, a CTA (call-to-action) helps a business convert a visitor or reader into a lead. CTAs can drive a variety of different actions depending on the goal of the content being presented. As such, it’s important to include CTAs in some of your posts – like requests to click to your bio or to click to content you’ve written, to connect with you, or other prompts depending on your aims.

But what makes a truly good CTA that people will click? It’s important that it’s clear and concise. It should convey urgency, curiosity, or a clear benefit that appeals to your audience. It’s up to you to make that distinction of what fits best for your personal marketing efforts.

  1.  Build relationships through online and offline outreach

Lastly, it’s critical that you make an effort to build relationships that you’ve started on LinkedIn and continue to foster them through both online and offline communication. Like with other social platforms, it’s not necessarily enough to publish content and call it a day. For platforms like Twitter and Instagram, for example, a large part of the algorithm that makes certain users more visible is based on engagement and interaction. 

As such, it’s important that you work to identify people who engage with you and your content regularly, and reach out to connect and continue the conversation with them on a more personal level. When someone who could potentially become a close contact, a client, or a referral source requests to connect or frequently engages with your updates, this is a clear sign to take the conversation offline. You can suggest a simple introductory phone call or a coffee meet up the same as you would in any other networking setting. What’s important is to act on the opportunity as soon as you identify it.

Stay Consistent, Trust the Process, Results Will Follow

Of course, as any marketer knows, building relationships and trust takes time. It takes months, sometimes years, to gain traction and spur meaningful engagement with your target audience. You need to have a firm grasp of their interests, their pain points, and other elements that drive their decision-making. You need to constantly create and engage with content, test it to discern what resonates with your audience and what doesn’t, and adapt accordingly.  

Focusing and enhancing your personal marketing efforts on LinkedIn will be an ongoing process – so stick with it. Get started experimenting with these best practices to amplify your LinkedIn personal marketing efforts in a more effective fashion. When 68% of LinkedIn users say they are likely to use the platform to find a lawyer, and 94% say they use LinkedIn to research attorney referrals, ensuring LinkedIn reflects your reputation, skill, and personal brand is an important part of building a modern, lucrative practice.