8 ways you can improve your profile
Christmas comes but once a year – if only our LinkedIn profiles were spruced up so frequently!
For many solicitors, their LinkedIn profile is something that hasn’t been updated for many years – much like a motley collection of Christmas decorations that get pulled out every December.
One of the first things people do nowadays, when thinking about instructing a solicitor, is to look them up on the Internet. Your LinkedIn profile may be one of the first results to come up. What does it say about you or your legal practice?
Does it sell your services properly? Does it do you justice? Or is it the social media equivalent of tired baubles and faded tinsel?
Even if it’s not as bad as all that, there might be ways to make your LinkedIn profile work harder for you.
These tips aim to help you do just that. Think of them as early Christmas presents for your professional web-presence! So settle down with your favourite ‘cuppa’ and mince pie and think about any changes you need to make and DO them!
1. Make your job title more descriptive
Just listing yourself as a Solicitor, Director, Partner or Associate at a firm is a missed opportunity. A descriptive job title does two things in particular:
- It helps potential clients to find you.
- It gives those clients, and anyone else who finds you, a much clearer idea of how you could help them.
At an absolute minimum,you should include your position, your expertise, and the name of your firm (where appropriate). For example:
- Business and Commercial Property Solicitor at…..
- Solicitor | Tax & Trusts | Wills | Estates & Probate | Inheritance | Powers of Attorney | Court of Protection
- Legal Director of the Corporate Recovery Team at ….
- Solicitor and Head of Family, Childcare and Divorce at…..
You can also take this further if there is something about your approach, which you really should shout about. This will enable you to differentiate your specialism from another lawyer’s. For example:
- Commercially driven Employment Solicitor and HR Consultant at …..
- Expert Commercial Property Solicitor offering bespoke property solutions
If your firm is in the Top 100 – why not say so? If you or your organisation has won awards, mention them in your job title – somewhere they are bound to be noticed. For example:
- Partner, Catastrophic injury and biker lawyer. Shortlisted Law Society Solicitor of the year 2018. 100% compensation available
- Managing Director & Employment Solicitor at …..Shortlisted for Law Society Excellence Awards ‘Personality of the Year’.
2. Be different
Being different helps you to stand out in the minds of potential clients. Obviously, you want to make sure they remember you for the right reasons!
Injecting your profile with personality can be one way to achieve this. It may be difficult, especially when you also need to stay professional, but if you can do this in a genuine way, it will certainly make your profile more memorable to the people who view it.Write it in the first person and think about whether there are any ‘quirky’ details you could include.
Another way to be different is to open your summary with questions that your clients can relate to but may not be expecting. For example:
- Do you love Yorkshire?
- Got a legal problem that needs solving?
- Do you need to purchase a lease?
3. Spell out the benefits you offer
A common trap for lawyers is to assume that people know what benefits their services bring. Even if a well-informed potential client knows what your area of law entails, it helps to relate it to their everyday situations or needs.
Your LinkedIn profile offers a good opportunity to explain your services. True, your profile is about you as a professional, but really the key message you want to convey is what you do for your clients and how this benefits them. So, where possible, your title and relevant parts of your summary should explain how your work solves problems, not just describe your role.
Examples of how this can be worked into your job title include:
- Specialist Employment Solicitor, protecting companies from Unnecessary Legal Action, Costs & Lost Business
- Solicitor specialising in Commercial and Business Law, helping regional companies to grow, prosper and re-organise
- Motivational Trainer and Coach, enabling lawyers to master their business skills to serve their clients more profitably.
4. Pictures always tell stories
You should always include a photo of you on your profile. A professional picture of you with a genuine smile might even help people to trust you.
Different kinds of photo will send different impressions; one of you getting merry at your firm’s Christmas party is unlikely to inspire potential clients with confidence! However, a photo of you in action in, say, a court of law, will be much more positive. For example, I currently use a picture of myself in front of senior delegates.
Also, you should feature your firm’s logo on your profile, although, if you do not own the firm, you should get permission beforehand from the appropriate person.
5. Don’t forget to get the basics right
The little details can make a huge difference to a LinkedIn profile, or in fact any online profile you present to potential clients. Your first step should be to carefully check the spelling and grammar throughout your profile, as nothing creates a more unprofessional impression quicker than a glaring spelling mistake.
Contact details also fall into the fundamentals category.The number of lawyers who forget to provide contact details or keep them updated is bizarre.Make sure you are not one of them; include your current email, telephone number, website details and any links to other social media profiles that you also use for business.
You should also provide as much relevant information on your profile as you can as this makes your profile look complete and comprehensive. As well as the normal information required you could add details of:
- Honours and awards you have received
- Volunteering work
- Courses you have completed
- Projects undertaken
- Additional languages you speak
- Memberships to any organisations you hold
6. Relevant experience, supporting facts and testimonials
If selling you and your services is the objective of your profile, experience, facts, and testimonials are the essence of it.
Including relevant experience on your profile is a great way to give more background to your skills. However, you should make sure it is relevant to the clients or contacts you currently wish to connect with. Irrelevant experience can dilute your message, perhaps confusing the connections you are looking for or attracting the connections you aren’t.
You can also support your relevant experience with facts and statistics. For example:
Since 2003 I have been privileged to train/coach nearly 7000 lawyers on leadership, management and interpersonal skills.
I worked for nearly 30 years for a number of PLC’s as a senior in-house legal adviser and manager. During that time I was responsible for leading and developing lawyers, as well as providing first class legal services. My last client survey achieved 100% satisfaction rating.
LinkedIn has a specific section for the testimonials from your clients and colleagues – so do ask for them!
Testimonials can also be linked to your experience. They help potential clients to envisage how you and your services could help them and to build further trust. For example:
This passion for excellent client service informed my leadership of the Law Society Commerce and Industry Group where I initiated a number of firsts for the group; and in 2003 I was recognised as a Top 100 lawyer. Malcolm Whalby from the committee said: “Ann exercises the highest degree of integrity at all times and combines this virtue with the ability to work like a dynamo at a very senior level. Ann is clear-sighted in her vision of what she wants to achieve. It was a great pleasure to work with Ann for five years at the Commerce and Industry Group.”
7. Keep your profile updated!
You don’t want to find yourself in this situation again 10 Christmases later! It is much easier to keep your LinkedIn profile effective if you regularly review and update it. Your details, services, and target clients can all change so make sure your profile changes with them.
8. Create synergy between the LinkedIn profiles of you and your team
Consistent and effective profiles throughout your team can transform the way LinkedIn works for your business.
Is this something you think will be difficult to implement? Well through my 2-hour workshop for you and your team you can create profiles, which work together to bring in clients.
This focused session covers your whole profile, a strategic plan for creating leads and converting clients, as well as practical steps to set out your expertise in a way that your clients can relate to. See link for further details: http://www.yorkshirecoursesforlawyers.co.uk/linkedin-workshop/
For those Sole Practitioners and Consultant Solicitors who want a dazzling profile, which can facilitate the creation of strong business relationships, then I can offer a dedicated coaching session focused on your LinkedIn profile.
Contact me today to begin building your ideal LinkedIn profile – my telephone number is 07921540039. I look forward to hearing from you!