Among my most popular posts last year were those dedicated to talking about LinkedIn, which tells me that it continues to be the tool that resonates most in the legal industry. I know that it’s in part because it’s become such a robust and useful platform, but I also suspect that it’s in part because some of us are still hoping that there’s a silver bullet out there when it comes to networking and relationship building. I hate to tell you – there isn’t. Even when you’re using social media, which can supersize your efforts, you still need to have goals, develop a plan, and invest time and effort in order for it to pay off for you. 

However, I do have some super quick tips for you today that will help you to better leverage your use of LinkedIn this year – this small changes will add up to big results IF you do them consistently (like any other tool you use, by the way).

  • Have a full and complete profile so that people can get to know you: Have you checked your profile recently? Ensure that your job description is up to date – not because you’re looking to jump ship, but because if potential clients don’t know what problem you can solve for them, they won’t know to reach out to you with their questions.
  • Make LinkedIn one of the pages that automatically opens when you open your browser – then you don’t have to remember to check it. Equally important (probably more so) is to install the handy app right on your phone. The app is fabulous, and you can browse for a few moments at a time, and interact with people any time you have a few moments of “waiting” – on the train, in line for coffee, waiting for an appointment – before you know it, you’ve done some networking and relationship building without spending too much time on it.
  • Reach out to someone in some way every day – comment on a status, recommend an article, “like” someone’s post. Again, when you’re spending your “waiting” time doing this, it’s VERY easy and doesn’t require much effort, but it can really pay off.
  • Participate actively in groups – ask questions, post relevant articles (not just your own), engage with other participants. A key note here is to make sure that the groups you’re in are very relevant to you and your practice. This is where knowing what your goals and plan are will come in handy – when you have this outlined, it will be easy to identify which groups make the most sense to be an active participant in.
  • Take the relationships offline – offer to meet someone in your network who is local for coffee or lunch and look to meet up with those in other cities when you’re traveling. Social media is great, but it’s only one tool in your arsenal. The key is to take those relationships further by engaging in person. Double points if you can also introduce people in your network to other connections that would be of value to them.

Start making LinkedIn a regular part of your networking activities, and you’ll start to see real results from your engagement efforts, as long as they’re tied to a goal-oriented plan with action steps. Let’s achieve great things in 2020!