We’ve got our LinkedIn profile, and we’re connecting and engaging with people, so what’s left? Plenty.

LinkedIn used to be very one-dimensional – you would have a profile and could connect with people, but that was mostly it.  Then, they began to develop more tools for engagement and to enhance your LinkedIn experience – this is where applications come in. 

Let’s start with apps for LinkedIn – the kind for your smart phone. Do you have a BlackBerry, iPhone or Droid? Well then, there’s a LinkedIn app for you.  This will allow you to have access to your LinkedIn account while you’re on the go, instead of always having to be at your computer.  

But LinkedIn itself offers applications within its framework that can enhance your experience – some are directly from LinkedIn while others are from third parties. I’m going to break this into multiple installments, since there is a LOT of information to be shared about applications! Today’s post will cover SlideShare, JD Supra’s Legal Update and Lawyer Ratings. 

To add an app, we’ll start from the home page.  Mouseover the "More" item in the menu, and a drop down menu will come up: 

At the bottom of that menu, you’ll see a link for "Get More Applications…" Click on this to go to the applications page. (You’ll note that there’s no shortening of "Applications" to "Apps" here on LinkedIn – that’s an Apple term!)

On the applications page, you’ll see 20 applications.  If you’re using Facebook, you might be worried that there are thousands of applications on LinkedIn that you can use and it will quickly become overwhelming.  But LinkedIn keeps it much simpler, and we’ll go through each of the applications here as well as how to install and use the most important ones. 

These applications will switch order every time you go to this page, but in essence you have: 

  • SlideShare Presentations
  • Lawyer Ratings
  • Polls
  • Reading List by Amazon
  • Company Buzz
  • Real Estate Pro
  • My Travel (TripIt)
  • WordPress
  • Box.net Files
  • Legal Updates (JD Supra)
  • Projects and Teamspaces
  • Huddle Workspaces
  • GitHub
  • Portfolio Display
  • Tweets
  • Google Presentation
  • E-Bookshelf
  • SAP Community Bio
  • Events
  • Blog Link

You can see from some of the names of these that they won’t be relevant to you, so we’ll only be touching on those briefly.  As a note, you can only have 15 applications installed on your home page, and 12 on your profile – you’ll get a message from LinkedIn that you have to remove an application if you have exceeded your limit (Not sure how to do that? See here for instructions). 

SlideShare Presentations

SlideShare is a separate company that allows you to share presentations, documents and professional videos. Their basic account is free, but they also offer a pro account. 

On LinkedIn, the SlideShare presentations application will allow you to share presentations and documents with your LinkedIn network.  A number of different formats are supported, and you can either use your existing SlideShare account to import existing presentations, if you have one, or sign-up with them through LinkedIn.  For their full application information, see their LinkedIn page

To add an application, click on the link next to the graphic: 

What does adding an application mean in practice? It’s two-fold, which is true of most applications in LinkedIn. When we add an application, you’ll see that there are generally two check boxes – one to display the application on your profile, and one to display it on your LinkedIn home page. 

You can decide whether you want to display the application on both or either – let’s assume you want it in both places for the purposes of this demo.  This is the default, so you can just click the "Add application" button to add SlideShare. 

When you add this application, the next screen will ask you whether you want to create a new SlideShare account, or if you want to link to an existing account: 

Since I created a SlideShare account, I’ll just log into to that one, but if you’re creating a new account, just choose a username and password, and add your email address before clicking "Create." 

On your home page, you will now have a box that says "SlideShare Presentations" and this will show the latest presentations from people in your network.  It also has easy links for you to upload a presentation or see the most popular presentations (not limited to your network): 

But on your profile page, the presentations that you’ve uploaded will be the ones to appear, thus highlighting your content to anyone looking at your profile. 

I recommend when uploading a presentation, you identify first whether it’s a complete package – for example, if you focus mostly on speaking during your presentations and have slides that are mostly images (the preferred presentation style, by the way, but that’s another post), your presentation slides won’t make much sense as a standalone.  You can record your voice along with the slides and then upload that, or only include those presentations that make sense as a standalone piece.  

But let’s say you have a standalone piece and you want to add a presentation. From your home page, you’ll again mouse over the "more" menu item.  You’ll see that since you added the application, it now appears in this list: 

Click on this link to go to your presentations home page: 

 

You’ll see that I already have an item uploaded.  There are a few things you can do here besides uploading your own presentations.  There are five tabs at the top – Home, Explore, Your Connections, Your Slidespace, and Upload.  Let’s first click on Home:

 

Here, you’ll see featured presentations and the latest from your industry.  Then, click "Explore." 

This will let you see a sampling of other presentations that have been included, from the most viewed, to webinars, to those that are featured, and the most downloaded.  You can click on any of these to view the presentation.  Not sure why you’d want to do this? Sometimes I get my best ideas by looking through other people’s creations to get inspired.   Your next great presentation idea may come from here. 

You can also see presentations right from your connections, by clicking on the "Your Connections" tab. Since I don’t have many connections, there are no presentations that appear in this tab for me, so I won’t share a graphic.

To upload a presentation of your own, click the "Upload" tab. 


This brings you to the upload page, where you can see the supported formats, limits on file size, and browse to select your file.  Once you’ve browsed and selected your file, it’s automatically uploaded: 

You can edit the title, add tags (which will help people to find it when they’re searching), add a description, and decide whether you want to allow people to download the file.  Once you’ve taken care of those options, click Publish. 

SlideShare tells you that it will take a few minutes for your presentation to appear, but you can track its status by clicking the link: 

 

Once it’s uploaded, it will appear on your profile page, and be accessible through your SlideShare application. 

Legal Updates – JD Supra

Arguably one of the most important applications on LinkedIn for lawyers is the JD Supra Legal Updates application. 

Why? Because you can read legal updates on your home page – customized to those that are most relevant to you, you can follow subjects, and research legal issues.  And while that’s valuable to you, professionals who add the JD Supra application can be getting relevant information from YOU.

Using JD Supra, you can showcase your expertise by uploading content, and as we talked about yesterday, when someone else likes or shares your content, your influence is extended past those directly in your network.  And if you have a pro account, you get even greater distribution – we’re a client of JD Supra’s, and in the past eight days, we’ve had over 5,000 views of our documents. That makes me one happy client! And although for the most part I’ll generally recommend sticking with the free versions of things, this is one case where I do urge you to speak further with JD Supra to see if a pro account is right for your firm. 

But back to LinkedIn – once again, we’ll get to the JD Supra application page by clicking on the name of the application next to the image: 

I highly recommend keeping both boxes checked – displaying the legal updates application on your profile allows any of the documents that you upload to be highlighted on your profile page, while displaying the application on your home page enables you to get legal news relevant to you.

Once you’ve added the legal updates application, you’re invited to enter your email address to receive a weekly digest of key legal updates in your industry.  If you’re not going to be checking into LinkedIn regularly, I highly recommend doing this – plus, this is the only way you can customize the feeds to your preferred subjects. Once you input your email address, you’ll be taken to a page where you can see which business information you’ve been subscribed to based on your industry.  

You can uncheck any box to unsubscribe if the subject isn’t right for you and subscribe to any subject that you’d like to see more of.  

For example, I would uncheck Civil Procedure and Civil Remedies, but keep Law Firm Marketing and Law Practice Products & Services, as well as add MLM Consulting/Network Marketing. 

You’ll notice that as with other applications, there are a series of tabs across the top that allow you to control and customize your applications.  

Click the "Home" tab, and you’ll see a number of things come up.  On the upper left hand side is one of the most important – "Upload a Doc Now." If you’re a JD Supra client (depending on the level), they will do the work of uploading and distributing your documents.  But you can also do it yourself here.  Click the button to upload a document: 

You’ll be taken to a new page that allows you to choose the type of document you want to upload: 

Mercifully, JD Supra doesn’t allow press releases, just real news content.  On this page, you can choose whether you’re uploading a legal article or newsletter, legal document or legal form.  Then choose the "Browse & Upload" button to find the document you want to upload.  You’ll note that you can only upload a word document or PDF, with a limit of 7.5MB. 

Once you’ve chosen your document, you’re automatically taken to the next page where you can include an article title, the date, the legal system (by country), the subject matter (you can select up to five; these are the same as the subject areas we chose before) and write a document summary of no more than 2,000 characters.

Once you’ve made your selections and written your summary, you can click "Continue." You’re then asked to create a JD Supra account so that you can manage your documents, or to sync an existing account with LinkedIn: 

If you’re creating a new account, input your first and last name, email address and password, and select your profession.  Then hit "Continue" and you’ve successfully uploaded a document! Otherwise, sync your account with LinkedIn by clicking the link. 

Now let’s go back to that Home tab briefly and see what else is on that page. 

On the left, you’ll have some related links – if you’re interested in any of these subjects (or others), click on them to be taken to the latest JD Supra feeds within these subjects.  

In the center of the page, there is a list of your feeds – these aren’t the documents that you’ve published necessarily, but those included in the categories we selected earlier for the weekly email digest. Next to the "Your Feeds" tab, there’s a "Your Favorites" tab – this will be any documents that you’ve favorited as your reading – we’ll go into more detail on that in a bit. 

And at the bottom is "Your Portfolio." These are the documents that are uploaded to your JD Supra account.  

The next tab over from "Home" is "Browse." This page allows you to browse various subjects that might be of interest.  They’ll start you out with some popular subjects, but it’s easy to click to see all of the subjects that are available to you: 

The next tab over is "Portfolio." Here, you will find a list of all the documents that you’ve uploaded to JD Supra: 

This is an overview for you – you can see the title, when it was published, and the subjects that it’s been categorized under.  There are a couple of things to make note of here.  

You have the option to "Add to Network:" 

You’ll see this on additional pages besides the Portfolio page – this link allows you to connect to the author of any document uploaded to JD Supra.  This way, you can invite any lawyer whose work you find particularly valuable, to connect with you further (and obviously, this will happen in the reverse as people read your work). 

There’s also the Add to Feeds link: 

Click on this and a box will pop up: 

This tells you that you’re now following the updates from this author – so in addition to the subject related documents that you might find of interest, anything published from this author will also appear in the news feed on your home page.  

You have this option with any author or document that you’re reading through the Legal Updates application, and I’ll show you more on doing that on individual documents in a moment. 

Back to the application page for a moment – the tab next to "Portfolio" is "Favorites."  This is where any document that you’ve designated as a "favorite" will appear – do this for anything you find interesting so that you can easily refer back to it: 

You can even search through your favorites by person or document type if you have a lot of them and are looking for a specific update.  Additionally, you’ll note that in the upper right corner of the application on every page, which enables you to search all the documents uploaded to JD Supra. 

The next tab is "Feeds." This is an expanded version of what you’re going to be seeing on your home page – it’s the full list of relevant articles that you’re subscribed to, both by subject and by individual feed: 

Again, you can refine the list by subject or document type, or see the feeds by subject or people (using the menu on the left).  The menu on the left also has a "Manage" link. This will take you to a page with the list of subjects and people that you’re subscribed to, suggestions of subjects you may like, as well as people you may like.  You can remove or add as you like on this page. 

And as you can see from the tabs at the top, this has jumped you over into the Accounts tab. 

From here, you can look at your Account overview, edit your feeds (that’s where we are now), edit your favorites, manage email updates, manage document, edit your account settings, view analytics, or upgrade. Your account overview will tell you what you can do in each of these other options: 

  • Edit Feeds: add or delete the feeds you follow (as we just discussed).
  • Edit Favorites: add or delete favorite documents. 
  • Manage email updates: add or remove subjects from your weekly Legal Digest email updates. 
  • Manage documents: edit, replace or delete documents that you’ve uploaded. 
  • Edit account settings: update your professional information or change your account information. 
  • View analytics: See how your documents are doing.
  • Upgrade: This will take you to a form that will allow you to schedule a call with JD Supra to discuss upgrading your account. 

So once you’ve invested some time to set up your JD Supra application and get it going, what’s next? How does it work on an ongoing basis? 

Well, as we mentioned before, you’ll see your documents appear on your profile page: 

Anyone who is looking at your profile can see the documents that have been uploaded to your JD Supra account/application.  For me, this includes blog posts that I’ve written, as well as content directly from our member firms. 

You can see below the list of documents – any of which you can read by clicking on the title – there are two options: "Subscribe" and "View all Legal Docs." Subscribe is fairly straightforward – this allows anyone who is looking at your profile to subscribe to your feed so that they’ll see any of the documents you upload to JD Supra in their own feeds.  As you may guess, this means you can also subscribe to someone else’s feeds if they have them in their profile. 

"View all Legal Docs" will take you into the JD Supra application to see all of the documents that this particular author has uploaded – their portfolio of work. 

Let’s say, for the sake of argument, that you wanted to read one of those articles (imagine that you’re coming as an outsider to my profile).  We’ll click on the title – "LinkedIn Tutorials – You’re Connected…Now What" and be taken to the document page.

Here, you can read the article by scrolling, but there are also a number of other options you have. Let’s start at the top – you can see that the author of the document is "International Lawyers Network." This is hyperlinked, so that if you click on this, you’ll be taken to the list of documents uploaded by this author. 

Below that, you’ll see the "Add to Network" link again – this will take you to the author’s LinkedIn profile page so that you can add them to your network and connect with them further.  If you don’t know the person, a good introductory connection request may be – "Dear Lindsay, I read your piece on LinkedIn through the JD Supra application, and I really enjoyed it. I’d love to connect with you further by adding you to my LinkedIn network." 

If I don’t know the person, I’m much more likely to accept the connection because they’ve told me that they enjoy reading my materials. 

Below "Add to Network," is "Add to Feeds," which we also saw earlier.  Clicking on this will allow you to follow all of the documents uploaded by this author.  

Then, we get into some new things – to the right, there’s "Recommend Document" with a thumbs up graphic.  Clicking on this will, as it suggests, recommend the document.  What this does is share with your LinkedIn connections that this is a document that you read and liked, and would recommend to them.  

"Share Document" is the next option.  When you click this, a new window will pop up that allows you to share the document with your connections – what’s the difference between this and "recommending" you may ask? Well, this allows you to make a comment about the article, if you’d like, and also posts it to your updates, so it will appear both in the news stream as well as on your profile page.  You can uncheck the "Post to Updates" box if you’d like, so that it only appears in your news stream.  

Click the "Share" button to share with your network! 

And then the last option there is "Favorite." Clicking this will save the article to your list of favorites, so that you can refer back to it when you want to. 

But we’re not finished yet! 

On the right hand side, you’ll see even more options: 

The two subject areas that this article is associated with are "Law Firm Marketing" and "Law Practice Products & Services." So as you can see, you can click on either of these subjects if you’re interested in them to see what other authors are saying on the same subjects.  This may be particularly relevant if you’re reading a document about a particular area of law you’re researching, and you want to see what others are saying about it.  

You can also download a PDF of the document if you’d like to have a soft copy saved to your computer (and not just in your favorites), report the document if you feel it’s necessary, and you can use the tools just below those links to make your reading experience of the document even better. The arrows allow you to move between pages, the large rectangle makes the document the full page, or the four smaller ones enable you to see a broader view of the whole document; the + and – zoom in and out as applicable, and the window within a window will open up the document in Google Docs. 

One last thing about JD Supra’s Legal Updates.  On your home page, you also have some options: 

You’ve got a handy search box right at the top to allow you to search through all the documents that have been uploaded.  You can also see a list of five documents – these will be from the subjects or authors whose feeds you have subscribed to.  Underneath each of these documents, you have the ability to recommend, share or favorite them right from your homepage – these all work in the same way as described above.  You can also upload a document or see more options using the links at the bottom.  This allows you to use the JD Supra application easily right from your home page, without having to remember where all of that information is! 

Lawyer Ratings

As we all know, lawyer ratings are a hotly debated topic. That’s not what we’re here to focus on. My feeling in terms of the Lawyer Ratings application from LexisNexis Martindale-Hubbell is that if you have a high rating, it can’t hurt to include it in your profile. 

I should also mention that it does allow your clients to complete a Martindale-Hubbell Client Review, by clicking a button within your profile to get started.  But I’m assuming that you’re connecting with those clients that you have a good relationship with, so again, this could be a benefit for you.  You can see the full description of the application here

To add the application, it would be exactly the same as adding the SlideShare and JD Supra applications – go back to the applications page and click the name of the application to go to it’s individual page: 

Here, you can choose to display the application on your profile or your LinkedIn home page, or both, and then click "Add application" to add it. 

Since I’m not a lawyer, I don’t have any ratings to display.  But the ratings would appear like this on your profile: 


As you can see, anyone visiting your profile would see the overall rating that you have, have the ability to click the link to view all of your client reviews, see more information about the review and ratings, and click the button to review you themselves. 

Let’s look at how the ratings appear on an attorney’s profile: 

You can see that two types of ratings appear – a Client Review Rating and a Peer Review Rating.  Under the client review rating, the rating is not available for this attorney. If you were to click on "Learn About Lawyer Ratings," in that box, you’re taken to a page that explains the LexisNexis Martindale-Hubbell ratings system in more depth.  

For the peer review rating, if you choose "View All Peer Reviews," you’re taken to the attorney’s ratings and review page on the Martindale-Hubbell site.  

On your home page, the ratings box would appear as follows: 

As you can see, you can complete a client review for a firm you’ve worked with, if you so desire, starting by searching for their name.  Additionally, you can click the "See more >>" link, which will take you to this page (below), which shows you which of your connections are already using Lawyer Ratings.  This might be useful if you are interested in see the ratings of a lawyer you’re considering making a referral to: 


It should be noted that Martindale-Hubbell ratings are for US or Canadian attorneys who have been admitted to the Bar for three or more years.  Lawyers can also nominate their own peer references.  See the link above with more information on the ratings to learn more. 

As you can see, even these three applications are FULL of information and possibilities for your LinkedIn activities.  Tomorrow, we’ll get into some more of the applications!