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This article is written by Suman Chatterjee, Team LawSikho.

Imagine reaching out with your amazing insights to tens of thousands of potential clients every week, by spending just a few minutes of your time.

Many of them reaching out with follow-up queries. 

Wouldn’t that be amazing?

Getting noticed, being contacted by journalists for quotes, clients reaching out for advice and work, peer recognition, being able to put out your position on a contentious position of law or your solution for a complex problem instantly to a large peer group and therefore building authority – there are many benefits of having a strong social media presence.

There are a lot of highly active lawyers on social media today, with tens of thousands, and sometimes lakhs of followers. 

They have tremendous advantages in terms of branding, reputation, and client outreach, obviously. 

Big law firms are now hiring specialists and paying them to build their social media presence too. 

But how can you get started on building these advantages for yourself?

Whether you are an independent lawyer, working in an in-house legal team or a law firm, we strongly recommend that you work on building your social media presence. And use the power of social media to educate potential clients, which is especially important in this COVID stricken environment when business development is moving away from traditional methods due to social isolation practices.

So do you think going viral on LinkedIn can help your practice, brand or profile as a lawyer? Then read on.

We will tell you how you could create this advantage for yourself.

Let me show you the power of LinkedIn first. 

Ramanuj recently posted about an article writing challenge on LinkedIn. Here’s a screenshot of the same.

Amazing response, right? 518 likes and 1,202 comments! (still growing)

Also, it garnered views from over 70k people.

Many people dismiss LinkedIn as a rather “serious” social network consisting of a mostly “reticent” crowd. 

Going viral on LinkedIn is like jogging uphill. 

But this post by Ramanuj is not one-off. Almost every week one or two posts of his cross 30k views. 

That’s serious media power in a relevant network. You couldn’t write an article in Times of India and expect to get that many relevant eyeballs. 

While you might not be starting article writing challenges any time soon, what if you could harness this unbridled power and channelize it to promote your legal practice to hundreds of potential clients with a click on your mouse or get in front of the senior partners of a top tier law firm in a matter of few minutes?

All this is possible if you can leverage the power of LinkedIn to its fullest potential. 

But how, how, how?

You need a short-term and long-term strategy.

To start with, Ramanuj is highly active on LinkedIn. He posts multiple times a day. He responds to almost every comment on his posts and those of others. In fact, he has over 31k followers in his LinkedIn network!

So one critical factor definitely is how well connected you are on LinkedIn and how often you engage with other users. If you engage with others, they will engage with your content too, as long as the content is somehow relevant to them.

There are some basic things that must be in place. To start with, your profile should be having some basics in place. You should have a good header image on your profile, a professional profile photo, updated experiences that speak to the relevant audience, a great ‘short bio’ that tells your story. 

You should also have some good recommendations in your profile from your former bosses, colleagues, clients, professors etc.

But is that enough to go viral? 

Not really.

I sat down with Ramanuj and asked him about how he has built his profile and if he has any special strategies. 

Any “secret” hack that resulted in his exploding LinkedIn presence.

Well, it so happened that he shared some unusual strategies that were completely new to me. And I have over 10 years of experience in digital marketing for that matter. Before I became a lawyer, digital marketing was my first forte.

He shared not one but SIX of such tactics and in this article, I bare them all to you.

Top 6 Under-Utilized Tactics to Rock Linkedin Marketing Efforts

There are basically two critical things to your Linkedin success. 

One is who is part of your network. 

Two is how much those people engage with the content that you frequently post.

How do you get these things right? Let’s dive in.

Who should you add on your Linkedin network?

This is a critical point. There are two common mistakes people make. One is that they do not add people they do not already know in real life to LinkedIn. If you intend to use LinkedIn for networking and business development, or even influence, this is not going to work.

There are some other people who indiscriminately add each and every one. This is also counterproductive. Why?

Let’s say I add lots of software engineers to my network, although I post mostly about law. Now when Linkedin will show my posts to those engineers when I post anything. Naturally, since my post has no relevance to them, they will not interact with the post. 

At that point, Linkedin will think that my post is of low quality, and will not show it to more people even though it may be highly relevant and interesting to lawyers. The effect of my post will get dampened. 

This is why quality is more important than quantity when it comes to your LinkedIn network.

Be clear about who you want to network with, and add only those people. 

For instance, you may want to add journalists who cover legal issues, but not sports journalists or journalists who cover entertainment.

If your posts are going to be relevant mostly to in-house legal counsels, and you add thousands of law students to your profile, your posts will not generate enough engagement for Linkedin to show it to rest of your network, or outside your network as well.

However, imagine that you are a technology lawyer, and most of the people in your profile are either tech lawyers, or law students interested in tech law, or senior people from the tech industry who will find your posts about tech law, policy and governance highly relevant.

They will engage with your every post. There will be tons of comments and reactions.

Then the Linkedin algorithm will pick up your posts as very important and show to more and more people inside and outside your network. And that is how you go viral. 

It may even show your post as a trending post on a certain topic, and show to a bigger and global audience.

So adding the right people who will engage with your posts is a key factor. But it’s not only adding the right people; it’s also subtracting the wrong people from your network.

Delete those who do not qualify as your target audience.

The higher the percentage of inactive contacts and followers in your network, the higher the chance that your engagement rate will go down. 

You can visit this link and start vetting who needs to be kept and who needs to be removed from your network.

While adding hundreds of members a day might flag your profile as a spammer, removing your contacts in big numbers might not be that big a problem.

Yes, you do need to spend your precious time and energy though.

Then again, while removing contacts might be a painstaking process, it’s not as hard as finding the RIGHT people to add to your network.

So how do you find these people and how do you add them?

Of course, Linkedin search is very helpful. You can find people who are relevant to your business and your career, your relevant audience, and then reach out to them with customised messages.

Tell them why you want to add them. For example, a simple “I am an aspiring technology lawyer and it will be great to remain in touch here” can do wonders.

It is a good idea to be honest and genuine.

Note that Linkedin allows you to send 30,000 linkedin requests. Obviously they do not think you will know so many people in real life personally. The platform is indeed built to network with strangers. Do not hesitate to reach out to people who can be right fit for your network, but do not get shocked if some of them do not accept your request either.

How to improve acceptance rate?

We go back to the first point. Having a good looking profile, with lots of details about you and your achievements is important. Everyone wants to add up and coming and already successful people to their network. 

Nobody wants to add a profile that has no details, no profile pictures, or profiles that are named after a business. 

If nothing else, your personalized messages will matter. It is like saying hello to a stranger in a party or a networking event. If you say the right thing, it leads to further engagement, perhaps an interesting conversation. If you say irrelevant things, or come across as desperate or insincere or off key, people will not respond well to you.

Create LinkedIn alerts

This is a time-saving feature that hardly anyone uses on LinkedIn. 

How do you keep adding new relevant people to your network over weeks, months and years? 

Why not make it automated? Don’t worry, you don’t need any special software for that.

Here’s how you do it:

Enter the keyword in the search bar on top of the page.

Select any of the options that you will see – jobs, people, content, companies, schools and groups from the dropdown box. 

You can use further filters to narrow down, such as: Connections, Locations, Current companies, Past companies, Industries, Profile language, Nonprofit interests, and Schools.

Say I want to find all graduates of my alma mater on my linkedin. I could set up a search alert for that.

Let’s say I want to find all technology lawyers who graduated from Harvard. I could do that using this feature.

You can also just search directly without specifying any category.

Once you get the search results, don’t just stop at that. Create a search alert and LinkedIn will send you leads automatically. 

Image from LinkedIn

 

So let’s say you want to network with VP of Legal in different tech companies. You can set up an alert for the same. That would ensure every time someone new gets promoted to that position, or creates a profile with this job description, you will get to know.

You can do the same with new jobs, new groups etc.

Use search operators. 

Ever felt that LinkedIn search results are rather broad? To get hyper-targeted results, you can limit, widen or define your search using Boolean logic via AND, OR, NOT and NEAR operators. 

Quoted searches help you search for an exact phrase. For example, “law firms in mumbai”.

NOT searches help you exclude a particular search term. For example, “IP lawyer NOT NUJS”.

OR searches help you search for alternatives. For example, “IP law OR litigation OR investment banker”.

AND searches help you search for bunching two or more terms together. For example, “IP law AND litigation”. However, even if you don’t use the AND term, LinkedIn search automatically inserts the AND operator on its own.

Want to do an even more complicated search? You can use parentheses along with other Boolean operators. For example, if you want to search for a VP but not his assistant or an SVP, here’s how you search for it – VP NOT (assistant OR SVP). 

Message prospects for free

Inmails cost a hefty $10 per message. The only other option to send someone unlimited LinkedIn direct messages is to subscribe to a premium plan. For many people, that is totally worth it. But It’s quite costly in any case.

Wait, what if you don’t want to shell any money at all? No issues, there is a way to send up to 15 direct messages to someone for free. 

How? Well, you can definitely send a friend request to the person and wait for him or her to add you. Once you are added onto his network, you can start writing to him or her. 

Also the invitation you send can carry a message with it. Make sure you make good use of this opportunity and let them know why you want to connect with them and what is in it for them to connect with you.

However, there is yet another easier and smarter way. (Ramanuj does not do this but he says that others do it to reach out to him.) 

It’s simple. Go to the LinkedIn profile of the person and search for the groups he is a member of. All you have to do is become a member of the same group or groups.  

Once you are accepted into the group, go to the Members list and search with the person’s name. You will find a message button right beside the search result. That’s how you can send a direct message to him.

Use “who’s viewed your posts”

The warm approach is always better than a cold approach. 

When you are sharing lots of relevant and actionable information every day on LinkedIn, your target audience is bound to take notice, sooner or later. 

Some of them, probably a VP or a Legal Head, would also like, comment or even share it. 

Good for you. Better coverage!

But your job does not end there. Ramanuj shares a James-Bond like tactic to find out who these persons are and add them to your network. 

Go to your profile, head over to the Who’s View Your Profile and you will also find Who’s Viewed Your Posts. (You can also find it on your profile page itself.) This is how Ramanuj’s looks like.

Once you find the list, you can go ahead and do a little research on them. Are they from your target niche? What is their professional profile? Check whether they qualify as your target audience or not. 

Once they fit the eligibility criteria, you can send a short message to them along the following lines:

[NAME], thanks for reading my article,[or commenting on my post or whatever the engagement was] [subject or title]. I sincerely appreciate it. It seems we have a mutual interest in [subject], and I’d like to connect with you here and explore mutual interests or maybe even find ways to collaborate on some projects, if possible. Looking forward to connecting with you.

– [YOUR NAME]

Feel free to change the script of this message as per your situation. Same formula may not work everywhere.

Create your organization/practice/ law firm page on LinkedIn

Looking to create a legal startup or a boutique law firm? The first step is to share content through your own profile and promote your startup to your audience. 

However, it is always better to keep your company and your personal profiles separate. While the company page is strictly kept for business-related updates, whether it is about job vacancies or new product or service launches, and sharing content related to your business, you can add more human touch to your Linkedin marketing endeavours by complementing it with regular, priceless content through your personal profile. 

The biggest benefit of creating a LinkedIn company page is that it is the sole place to shamelessly promote your business. 

It’s your space to shine, and you should do it properly. 

List all the services you provide, detail out your unique selling proposition and talk about your brand story. It should be all about you.

Post articles written by you. Post memes that people would love. 

And once done, you can add a call-to-action in the end. This way, you can connect with your potential customers, lead them back to your website or ask them to call or email you back.

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As you keep regularly posting interesting content, your follower count will also go up.

You can even run linkedin advertisements to show certain highly relevant educative content to your target market beyond your followers. Just remember that you can’t advertise to directly solicit clients if you are a registered advocate in India. In any case, such direct solicitation is rarely effective or even necessary.

Soft marketing through high quality content works best on Linkedin.

Use hashtags in every post you share 

Why? Because just by adding that little “#” symbol before a keyword, it increases your organic reach manifold. 

But you have to understand that all hashtags are not made equal. Some are followed by thousands of people while some are rather unknown and might get only a few views per day. 

Trending hashtags while strategically included inside the post can work as newsjacking props and literally skyrocket the views, likes and shares of your post. 

How to include a hashtag inside your post? 

First, figure out the most commonly used broad term that applies to your post. For example, if you are sharing about how to get a job in a top tier law firm, your keyword can be “gethiredinalawfirm” or simply, “gethired”. And then add a hashtag (#) in front of it. You may want to add mor broad hashtags like #law or #lawyers

Here’s how it looks like.

For trending hashtags, you can visit this site

However, do understand that these are advanced tactics and you would still need to make sure the basics of your marketing strategy, particularly high quality, highly engaging content, are in place. 

Without that, adding tons of hashtags serves no purpose.

Keep your profile active 

Trust me, you are not posting enough on Linkedin. You should post interesting comments, observations, questions, requests at least thrice a day. Set up several alarms throughout the day so that you post enough. Just spend a couple of minutes to post about something interesting.

You can share a recent learning, or an experience, or insight that is relevant for your audience. Ask them to comment or share their observations as well. Remember that a discussion will always work better on linkedin that just a post.

So make it a point to reply to all the comments on your post. Engage. Ask more questions. 

Also, it is important to comment meaningfully on the posts of others regularly and take part in important conversations.

Share images and videos more. Notice what kind of posts are getting more traction with your audience and post more of such content.

Also remember, this is a SOCIAL NETWORK and not a promotional platform. 

If you are constantly engaging in talking about yourself in a way that others do not find it interesting enough to engage with, nothing will work.

Are you new at this? Or, have you been doing this in your own way for some time? What do you think worked best for you? What are your future plans?

Do comment below. It makes no sense to keep writing you articles every day without you commenting below. 

Looking forward to hearing from you.

To your digital marketing success.

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