One of the questions I am asked most often is about how to manage relationships when we’re all so busy – and we are ALL so busy these days!

LinkedIn is a great tool for professionals (even lawyers!) to employ to efficiently and effectively develop relationships without a huge time investment. Yes, like with any social media, you have to be somewhat diligent about not getting sucked in to it and losing time, but with some time management safeguards in place, it’s possible to maximize your use of it without wasting your efforts.

Make Your Use of LinkedIn Effortless

My guess is that using LinkedIn isn’t top of mind for you, and that’s fine. For most of us, unless something is part of a habit or ritual for us, we have to work extra hard to make sure that it happens. I’m not trying to add to that burden by suggesting you try to remember to check LinkedIn, so let’s try two small changes that allow you to use it more regularly:

  • First, in most browsers, you can set up the home page or pages you’d like it to open to when you start up the program. This will differ from browser to browser, but my tip for you is to make one of your startup pages LinkedIn, so that each morning when you start up your browser, it’s already there for you. Perhaps there is even a group or two with clients and potential clients, and you’d benefit from setting those up as individual pages to visit and check each day as well. You can set up your home page so that you can review your LinkedIn feed quickly each day. You may even want to set up some pages temporarily, so that if you have a client meeting coming up, or want to keep track of a particular client’s activities, you are reviewing their company page on LinkedIn daily.
  • Second, if you haven’t already, download the LinkedIn app for your phone. It’s a very robust and easy-to-use app, and you can start to make it a best practice to check the app any time you’re waiting somewhere in line. Waiting for coffee? Check your notifications. Waiting for the elevator? Look at new connections. Waiting for the train? Look through your feed.

We’re all busy people, so we should be making these tools work for us. It only takes a few minutes to do the above, and then you’ll be on your way!

Reach Out

Although we ARE all busy people, it’s a huge pet peeve of mine when someone uses it as an excuse – essentially, what they’re saying is that they don’t prioritize you. In some cases, that’s fine, but when it comes to your clients, potential clients, as well as others you may want to be building relationships with, such as amplifiers, influencers, and referral sources, that is NOT the message you want to be sending (even if you feel that it’s true).

LinkedIn makes the social side of their site/app pretty easy for us, and you don’t have to invest a lot of time in it to be getting a lot out of it. Now that you have the site set to automatically open on your browser, and you’re reviewing it on your phone whenever you have some waiting time, you can scroll through to interact with your connections:

  • Read a LinkedIn post that someone has written and “like” or share it.
  • Read an article that someone has shared, and comment on it, like it, or share it.
  • “Like” someone’s status update.
  • Congratulate someone who has changed jobs (and make note if that someone may be able to give or refer you business – it might be time to call them up to ask them to lunch).
  • Answer a question someone has asked.

All of those things remind people that you’re connected to them, and let them know that you’re paying attention and care about what they’re up to. Periodically, it’s a good idea to pick someone from your list of connections and meet them face to face – find out who you may be attending a conference with, or invite someone from your city to have coffee or lunch. Relationship-building through social media does take work, but with a constant drip-drip of your attention, the investment is minimal.

If you tend to be someone who might get lost in scrolling, reading and commenting, then set a timer for ten minutes or so, and when the timer is up, close out of LinkedIn and move on. And of course, there will be days that you don’t have time to spend looking at any of this, and that’s fine too. LinkedIn will be there for you to come back to.

Although using LinkedIn to broadcast your own news and expertise can be valuable, it is equally (if not more, in some cases) essential to leverage your relationships through your LinkedIn connections by actively engaging with them. This doesn’t have to take a tremendous amount of time or effort, if you handle it strategically.

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Photo of Lindsay Griffiths Lindsay Griffiths

Lindsay Griffiths is the International Lawyers Network’s Executive Director. In this capacity, Ms. Griffiths is responsible for the oversight and management of day-to-day operations of the International Lawyers Network (ILN). She develops strategies and implementation plans to achieve the ILN’s goals, and handles…

Lindsay Griffiths is the International Lawyers Network’s Executive Director. In this capacity, Ms. Griffiths is responsible for the oversight and management of day-to-day operations of the International Lawyers Network (ILN). She develops strategies and implementation plans to achieve the ILN’s goals, and handles recruitment, member retention, and a high level of service to members. She is engaged in the legal industry to stay on top of trends, both in law firms and law firm networks.

In her role as Executive Director, she develops and facilitates relationships among ILN member firm lawyers at 90+ law firms in 67 countries, and seeks opportunities for member firms to build business and relationships, while ensuring member participation in Network events and initiatives. These initiatives include facilitating referrals, the management and execution of the marketing and business development strategy for the Network, which encompasses all communications, push-down efforts, and marketing partnerships, providing support and guidance to the chairs and group leaders for the ILN’s thirteen practice and industry specialty groups, the ILN’s women’s initiative, the ILN’s mentorship program, the management and execution of all ILN conferences, and more.

JD Supra Readers Choice Top Author 2019

During her previous tenure as Director of Global Relationship Management, the ILN has been shortlisted as a Global Law Firm Network of the Year by The Lawyer for 2016 and 2017, and included as a Chambers & Partners Leading Law Firm Network since 2011. She was awarded “Thought Leader of the Year” by the Legal Marketing Association’s New York chapter in 2014 for her substantive contributions to the industry, and was recently included in Clio’s list for “34 People in Legal You Should Follow on Twitter.” She was also chosen for the American Bar Association Journal’s inaugural Web 100‘s Best Law Blogs, where judge Ivy Grey said “This blog is outstanding, thoughtful and useful.” Ms. Griffiths was recently chosen for as a Top Author by JD Supra in their 2019 Readers’ Choice Awards, for the level of engagement and visibility she attained with readers on the topic of marketing & business development. She has been the author of Zen & the Art of Legal Networking since February of 2009.