Lawyers: LinkedIn's Publishing Platform Just Hit Home For You

This morning, I have a treat for you all! I'm bringing in a guest poster (which I'll be doing from time to time, to switch things up), and today's is my very good friend, Nancy Myrland. Nancy is the President of Myrland Marketing & Social Media, where she is a Social Media Consultant, Speaker & Trainer, and a Professional Marketing Advisor, specializing in helping firms and companies grow their business by strengthening relationships with their clients through the strategic use of Social Media.

Today, Nancy brings us an excellent post about LinkedIn - with all the changes in the last year, it can be tough to keep up, and Nancy helps us focus and understand what's important about LinkedIn's newest change, opening up their publishing platform. 

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There are 2 conditions I’ll bet hold true for just about every person reading this blog post.

  1.  You’re busy.
  2. There are clients out there who need your services.

Your job as lawyers, and our job as the marketers who advise you, is to deal with the reality of number 1 and help you to find number 2, right? 

LET’S BREAK IT DOWN

First, you have way too much on your plate. You also have marketing and business development responsibilities thrust upon you that you aren’t always sure how to deal with.

It might be because:

  • You really are too busy with profitable client work.
  • You are being pulled in too many different directions.
  • You aren’t sure where to start with marketing.
  • You aren’t sure you can afford marketing.

Second, there are clients out there who need your services. They either:

  • Are already current or former clients.
  • Have no idea that you’re a lawyer.
  • Have no idea you practice the kind of law you do.
  • Aren’t sure you’re the best choice for them.
  • Don’t know you enough yet to trust you with their situation.

Busy or not, as a lawyer, it is your responsibility to let people know what you do for a living. It’s not their job to guess, and it’s not your colleagues’ jobs to feed you every matter you need for survival.

It’s time we begin to tell people what you do so those who need you can find you, trust you and, as a result, potentially call you to the table when they’re looking for a solution to their problem.

HOW DO I TELL PEOPLE WHAT I DO?

I want you to become a publisher. That is now more possible than ever before. Stick with me and I’ll show you how.

Raise your hand if you’ve ever heard or said any of these:

  • I don’t have a blog.
  • I don’t have any platform to publish.
  • Who would read what I have to write?
  • I don’t have the budget to pay someone to help me get published.
  • There are recent developments in my practice area, but how do I let people know about them?
  • I want to get on the radar of media, referral sources, potential clients and other influencers in my practice area, but I’m not sure where to begin.
  • I’ve written all this material, and I’m not sure what to do with it.

Well, hold on to your hats because you now have an answer to these concerns.

STARTING TODAY, YOUR PUBLISHING WISH IS LINKEDIN’S COMMAND

Ryan Roslansky, LinkedIn’s Head of Content Products, released the news on the LinkedIn blog today that:

Starting today, LinkedIn is opening up our publishing platform to our members, giving them a powerful new way to build their professional brand. When a member publishes a post on LinkedIn, their original content becomes part of their professional profile, is shared with their trusted network and has the ability to reach the largest group of professionals ever assembled. Now members have the ability to follow other members that are not in their network and build their own group of followers.”  

What does this mean? It means that you and I have now been given the opportunity to publish content longer than a status update as part of LinkedIn’s publisher forum.

Before today, only a select group of what LinkedIn calls “Influencers” was allowed to publish content on the site. They were a select group of people LinkedIn decided the world, or some subset of it, might want to hear from on a regular basis.

IT’S GOING TO BE FAIRLY EASY TO PUBLISH

Over the next several months, all 270 million+ LinkedIn members will now have the opportunity to become publishers on LinkedIn. 

Hubspot, among others, covered the news today by telling us:

If you have permission to publish (access will be slowly rolled out to everyone over the next few weeks), you'll be able to click the Edit icon on your homepage. Then, you'll be taken to the writing tool. Add whatever content you'd like to publish to the writing tool, then hit publish. 

Once you publish, your post will appear on your profile and be shared with your network -- people who you're connected to and members who just follow your posts. You'll also be able to follow others' content without being a LinkedIn connection.

After you publish, you'll be able to monitor your post's stats such as views, likes, and other metrics, and flag inappropriate comments.”

As a content publisher, as well as one who helps my clients integrate publishing into their marketing mix, I am very excited about this development, and will cover it in more depth as it rolls out.

ONE RECOMMENDATION

As Lindsay and I will tell you, this is only one solution to your need for publishing valuable content to help your target audiences find and learn about you. Remember that all of the content you post on others’ sites only lives as long as they want it to live.

In LinkedIn’s own words on their blog, they are testing this feature:

Besides sharing status updates, we're expanding LinkedIn's publishing platform and testing a new feature that lets members write longer form posts about their expertise and professional interests.”

What this means is that I want you to:

  • Continue to save your work in other spaces.
  • Never rely on one platform alone.
  • Think about ways to repurpose your content in other places.
  • Make sure you work to publish your material on digital real estate that you own in addition to these social networking sites where you simply “rent” space.
  • Never forget that the need to interact with comments made on your publishing platform is as important here as it is anywhere else you publish or speak.

How do you feel about this?

Do you plan on publishing on LinkedIn?

 

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Comments (5) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
Nancy Myrland - February 20, 2014 11:01 AM

Lindsay, thank you very much for inviting me to guest blog here on Zen. I'm happy to join you and your readers.

John Ogden - February 20, 2014 1:04 PM

Very timely and practical information

Nancy Myrland - February 20, 2014 3:13 PM

John, thank you for your feedback. I appreciate it. Do you think you will take advantage of the new platform?

Phil Nugent - February 21, 2014 4:58 PM

Great post, Nancy. It's an exciting development (and even a game-changing move) for LinkedIn. As you suggest, it will provide a platform for those who don't have one, and an expanded audience for just about everyone.

I also agree with you that everyone should continue to have their own platform (e.g., their blog), because one should never put all their eggs into one online basket.

And yes, I look forward to using it!

John Ogden - February 26, 2014 2:04 PM

Nancy - I am considering this new platform. Will await developemnts

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