Every LinkedIn profile tells a story
Image by Stuart Miles and provided courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net.
Whether you like it or not, your clients, prospects, and intermediaries will look at your team members’ profiles on LinkedIn and make judgments based on this. Having substandard profiles could even cost you work.
Don’t believe it? Here’s a case in point: an international professional services firm was asked to re-tender for an existing client’s work. The client was worth approximately £2.5m per annum and the firm had a six-year relationship with them. The partners were shocked when the firm lost the tender, and even more so when they talked to the client about why.
The client said they had looked at the team’s LinkedIn profiles as part of their evaluation process because they were more reflective of a person’s skills and expertise than bios put together by firms. They had found that the individual profiles didn’t reflect the bios submitted as part of the tender.
This loss could have so easily been prevented had the firm ensured that all its professionals on LinkedIn had completed their profiles to a required standard.
- A background image (or text) that conveys a lawyer’s expertise;
- A professional headshot that fills the photo box (we’ve recently seen a firm whose photos appear tiny and it makes them look like a firm of technophobes);
- A headline that clearly conveys the lawyer’s specialist skills – ideally incorporating one or two keywords to help to find them in skills-related searches on LinkedIn;
- Location and industry sector filled in (this will ensure your lawyers feature in any location or sector-based searches);
- Contact information and advice, particularly a phone number, address, and a link through to the most appropriate page on your firm’s website;
- A compelling summary section that explains who you help and what you help them with, your approach to working with clients, the results you have achieved, and a call to action;
- Relevant sections to evidence skills and expertise;
- Key skills (including keywords);
- Current role at your firm – make sure your solicitors select the firm name from the list that appears when they start typing it in, to ensure their profiles are linked to your LinkedIn company page;
- Education details that will help team members to connect with, and be found by, fellow alumni; and
- Additional info – list interests outside of work because people do get in touch with those who share their interests.
While there are a few sections where brand consistency is key, it’s important to let your solicitors’ personalities shine through. LinkedIn profiles need to be more than replicas of a website profile – people want to connect with other people, not robots.
Having said that, you may wish to set up a template covering the following to ensure an appropriate level of brand consistency:
- Create attractive background banners for your solicitors to use;
- Ensure your team members use their firm headshot as their LinkedIn profile – this looks professional and provides a consistent visual brand;
- Let people know whether they should select ‘law firm’ or ‘legal services’ as their industry – keep this consistent;
- Provide your solicitors with a link to the web page and any content you wish them to upload or link to;
- Create text about the firm, a particular practice area, or an industry sector for them to include in the description of their current role;
- Let them know the correct name of the firm to use (you’d be surprised by how many variations people use);
- List any professional organisations to which your firm belongs that you want displayed on people’s profiles; and
- List common skills you want lawyers to include in their profiles – it means they benefit from your keyword research and don’t have to reinvent the wheel.
Poor LinkedIn profiles will tell the wrong story about your firm and your legal professionals, and can hurt your prospects for future business. Minimum standards – and an agreed template – for profiles will help ensure your solicitors’ profiles are professional, easily found in searches by clients, and convey some consistent branding and information about your firm, while also allowing them to convey their individual personalities and interests in an engaging way.
If you would like to find out how to create a LinkedIn profile that sets you apart from your competitors, or if you want to develop the LinkedIn profiles of your team so that they are consistent with your brand, please do get in touch for an initial discussion.
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