A lawyer recently asked me how I would use LinkedIn if I was still practicing law. If you are a regular reader, you know that I contend the principles of client development have not changed.

As you will see:

  • You have to be visible, meaning people need to know who you are
  • You have to be credible, meaning people need to know what you do and that you do it well
  • That leads to “weak tie” relationships
  • Those “weak tie” relationships lead to recommendations
  • Then you have a meeting with the potential client
  • Your success at that point depends on building trust and rapport with the potential client, who is asking himself: Can I trust this lawyer to handle this matter? and What is it going to be like to work with this lawyer?

It is really important to note that in 2013, after you have been recommended, a potential client will now:

  • Look at your website bio
  • Do a “Google” search of you
  • Do a “Google” search of the legal topic

So, if I was practicing law, how would I use LinkedIn? I would:

  • Have a complete profile including a good photo
  • Link to client representatives and referral sources
  • Link to business contacts I meet
  • Link to my colleagues and former colleagues
  • Look up and Link with people I meet at an event
  • Use the advanced search tool to find other business connections and link to them
  • Post my blog on my LinkedIn page
  • Start a group (In my case it would be highway construction) and/or be part of a group and post my blog in those groups
  • Scroll down the LinkedIn page one or two times a day looking for something interesting and either comment or share the content
  • Add Slideshare to my LinkedIn page and put my presentations there

Try some of my suggestions and start getting value out of LinkedIn.