“I have a LinkedIn. But I don’t know where it is.”
– Actual quote from a law firm senior partner.
I heard this last week, and I hear variations of it all the time.
Lawyers are struggling with social media; they’re always asking me about it, how it works, and whether lawyers need it.
The bulk of the recent queries seem to involve LinkedIn.
There’s a lot of conversation in the market about this, but not a lot of real information. People who don’t understand it proclaim that they don’t need it.
The 65-year-old senior partner who hates it is certain that 35-year-old Associate GCs won’t use it either.
When Social Media was just gaining steam, there were a variety of marketing consultants who were suggesting that everyone needed a LinkedIn profile. Many suggested to the in-house marketers that it was easier to just set up the profiles for them, instead of teaching everyone how to do it themselves.
Unfortunately, this yielded the predictable result – a lot of empty profiles with no information. Some may argue that it’s better to have an empty profile than no profile at all. This might be a subject of legitimate debate, but I think that in a 21st-century economy, you can’t completely ignore technology.
And if you’re going to ignore it, I think it’s better to look like you’re (1) too busy to need it than rather than (2) too ineffectual to use it correctly.
Yes, it’s a significant time commitment to do it very well, and at this moment, most general lawyers shouldn’t rely on it to develop business – although some should (more on that some other time).
But here’s something everyone should do.
Go to LinkedIn.com. In the box, search for your name. See what shows up. Act like a prospect who is looking for more info about you. Click on your name. What shows up? Are you proud of it? (Searching “ross fishman” shows five results, and only two include a photo, see below.)
Does the result showcase you as a high-quality professional?
Or do you have an empty shell with “1 connection.” That is, “1 [sad, pathetic] connection.” That’s the free one you get for doing basically nothing. To me that says, “The marketing department set this up for me and I immediately lost the password.”
Filling out a basic profile is something you can do over lunch. At bare minimum paste your biography into the narrative section. Include your photo and contact information. You want to make it easy for prospects to find you, so help them.
Send some invitations to increase the number of your connections. Join a couple groups, click on the Members tab, see who you know, then invite them too. It’s an easy way to find lots of people you know who are already on LinkedIn.
It’s not that hard; ask your marketing department for help.
If you don’t have a marketing department, or don’t want to ask them, call me directly and I’ll walk you through it – it’d be my way of saying “thanks for reading the blog.”