Do You Need a LinkedIn Premium Account?

Do you need a premium account to get the most out of LinkedIn?

This might be the single most common question I get when speaking or training on LinkedIn.  And while I will say that my co-author on Make LinkedIn Work for You, A Practical Handbook for Lawyers and Other Legal Professionals is a firm devotee of the premium version, I personally have always used the free version and found it to be entirely adequate for my purposes. However, there are some situations when a premium account might make sense for you.

There are several different kinds of LinkedIn premium subscriptions, for different purposes. For example, there are LinkedIn Career accounts that can be helpful if you’re looking for a job, Recruiter accounts if you’re responsible for hiring that can help you locate and communicate with potential job candidates, Sales Navigator accounts that help you find sales leads and Business Accounts.

What’s the difference between the free and premium versions of LinkedIn?

The main differences between the free accounts and the various premium accounts are:

In Mail: Premium LinkedIn Accounts give you additional “In Mail” messages, meaning you can contact people who are outside of your network more easily. With a free account you only get 3 In Mail messages; premium accounts provide more, depending on which subscription you have.

Who’s Viewed Your Profile: LinkedIn Premium account subscribers will get more insights and see more information about the people who have viewed their Profile than you will get with a free account. This is one of the main reasons my co-author is a fan of Premium accounts – he likes to see who’s looking at him on LinkedIn.

Search results: Similarly, with a premium account, you’ll get more results in your searches and be able to view more profiles of people who appear in your search results – up to third level connections. But with a well-crafted search, the 100 results you’ll get with a free account should be plenty in most circumstances.

Some of the premium plans, such as the Sales Navigator plan, also include additional search filters that can help you locate and save leads.

Additional advantages: There are other advantages as well, such as access to courses through LinkedIn Learning, and additional business insights about companies on LinkedIn.

In general, for most of my clients, unless you’re actively looking for a job, or are in charge of hiring for your firm, I recommend that you start with a free account. In my experience, most lawyers (and other business professionals) are only using a fraction of what is available on the free version. Once you start actively using LinkedIn on a regular basis, if you find that you are being prevented from finding or viewing information that is important to you, you can always try one of LinkedIn’s premium subscriptions for free for 30 days.

Want more information about how to use LinkedIn? Pick up a copy of Make LinkedIn Work for You on amazon.com, or contact me for one on one guidance.

Check out my other LinkedIn videos here:

What Should I Do With My LinkedIn Connections?

What should I do with my LinkedIn connections?

This question is one I get from lawyers all of the time. They have lots of connections on LinkedIn, but they’re just sitting there – they aren’t doing much for them.

In my last video, I gave a couple of suggestions to answer this question, including looking at the LinkedIn Groups your connection belongs to for ideas about Groups to join that might contain other people similar to this Connection, and reviewing your Connection list weekly to identify people to contact so that you continue to strengthen your existing network.

Today, I want to give you a few more suggestions.

Mine your Connections’ Connections. In many cases, once you’re connected to someone on LinkedIn, you can see who else they are connected to by clicking on the number of their connections in their introduction card at the top of their LinkedIn Profile. You can also sort and filter those connections so, for example, you could filter their connections to see only their connections that are in your geographic area or in a specific industry. This provides you with a whole list of potential connections, many of who are likely to be in your target audience.

But this isn’t about just adding more and more connections. This is networking, so you need to find ways to keep the conversation and the relationship moving forward.

One way to do that is to Offer to Make Introductions for Your Connections. Once you get to know them a little better, invite your LinkedIn connections to review your list of connections and to let you know if they want you to introduce them to anyone.

Review your Newsfeed regularly for posts from your Connections. Networking is just as much, if not more, about giving than it is about getting. Not only will reviewing your Newsfeed regularly provide you with insights about your target audience and their interests, but it also gives you an opportunity to promote the work of your connections by sharing or commenting on what they post.

I hope you enjoyed this video. If you want even more in-depth LinkedIn tips, register for my LinkedIn Essentials online course here.

Watch more videos about LinkedIn here:

LinkedIn Search Hacks

Are you having trouble finding what you want in LinkedIn Search? Or are you running into problems with LinkedIn’s search quotas on free accounts?

Hi, I’m Allison Shields Johs, President of Legal Ease Consulting, where I help lawyers create more productive, more profitable, and more enjoyable law practices, and the co-author of the book, Make LinkedIn Work for You, A Practical Handbook for Lawyers and Other Legal Professionals.

One of the best uses for LinkedIn is to expand your network of referral sources and go-to professionals to help your clients with services beyond what you can offer to them. But sometimes it’s hard to find people to connect with using LinkedIn’s regular search features, especially if you have a free account. While the free account is usually quite sufficient for most lawyers’ purposes, I do sometimes recommend testing out a premium account if you start running into roadblocks using LinkedIn. One of those roadblocks is LinkedIn search. But you may not need to shell out for a premium account just yet.

 Today I have two LinkedIn search tips to share with you that might help if you’re running into the problems I just described, and if the filters on the free accounts aren’t proving to be enough for you.

The first tip is to put those legal research skills you learned in law school to use to help you get better results. Those Boolean searches that work so well in legal research will also work in LinkedIn – you can use quotation marks, ‘and’ ‘or’ and ‘not’ or use parentheticals to perform complicated searches in LinkedIn. When using AND OR or NOT, in the LinkedIn search field, you must capitalize them.

My second tip is to use Google to search for people to connect with on LinkedIn – especially if you are doing a lot of searches and running into LinkedIn’s search quotas on a free account. Enter your search terms in the Google search box, and include LinkedIn as a search term. Or put your search terms into Google but limit the search to LinkedIn using Google’s advanced search and the site: LinkedIn. This will give you results within Google, and then you can click on any results that look interesting to view the person’s profile on LinkedIn and decide whether to connect. Since your original search was done in Google, rather than LinkedIn, it shouldn’t count against your search quota in LinkedIn.

If you want to learn how to use LinkedIn more effectively, click here to get your copy of my 47 LinkedIn Tips for Lawyers and Legal Professionals.

Watch more of my videos about LinkedIn here:

Making the Most Out of Your LinkedIn Connections

Are you making the most of your LinkedIn connections?

My co-author on Make LinkedIn Work for You, A Practical Handbook for Lawyers and Other Legal Professionals, Dennis Kennedy, recently ran a poll on social media asking what one aspect of LinkedIn lawyers wanted to improve the most this year, and the winner was Connections. A lot of the professionals I talk to know how to make a connection on LinkedIn by sending or accepting an invitation, but nothing happens after that. Making the connection shouldn’t be the end – it should be the beginning of an ongoing relationship. Don’t let the accepted invitation be the end of your interaction.

Here are a few ways you can make the most of your LinkedIn connections:

Take another look at your new connection’s Profile. Hopefully you’ve looked at their Profile before you sent or accepted the invitation to connect and found some common ground. Look at their Profile again, now that you are connected. You may see even more information than you were able to access before. What insights can you glean from the information on their Profile? How can you help them, either directly or indirectly?

One great thing to look at on your Connections’ profiles is the LinkedIn Groups they belong to. Scroll to the bottom of their Profile and click on “see all” at the bottom of the Interests box. Then click on Groups to see all of the Groups your Connection is a part of on LinkedIn. Chances are that at least a few of these Groups contain other like-minded or similarly-situated individuals who would also make good LinkedIn connections for you. Consider joining those Groups to get in front of these individuals.

Stay in touch. A relationship that isn’t nurtured will not grow. Go through your LinkedIn connections list weekly to identify Connections to send a message to. It can be as simple as saying Happy New Year, mentioning that you haven’t been in touch in a while and want to see how they are doing, inviting them to a Zoom meeting, or sending them a link to something interesting. Use LinkedIn’s notifications to congratulate those that have gotten a new job or had a work anniversary.

For more LinkedIn Connections tips, download my 47 LinkedIn Tips sheet or pick up a copy of Make LinkedIn Work for You at Amazon.com.

Happy Connecting!

How to Get More Traffic to Your LinkedIn Company Page

Do you have a LinkedIn Page for your business or law firm but don’t have many followers?

One of the most frequent questions I get about LinkedIn Pages (which are for businesses, as opposed to Profiles for individuals) is, “How do I get more traffic to my LinkedIn Page?” It used to be very difficult. You could add a follow button to your website, or send individual messages or posts with links to follow your Page. But I could never understand why business owners didn’t have the same ability to directly invite people to like or follow their LinkedIn company or firm page that business owners have on Facebook. Now you finally do.

LinkedIn has now added the ability to invite your Connections to Like your LinkedIn Page for your law firm, and it’s very easy to do. There’s a new invite connections module on the right sidebar on your Admin Page, or you can use the tools dropdown in the top right corner and click on invite connections to choose which connections to invite to like your Page.

You’ll also want to make sure that all of your employees have LinkedIn Profiles and that they list the firm as their current employer (Make sure they list it exactly the way it is listed on the firm’s Company Page). When they do so, they’ll automatically become followers of the Company Page, and they’ll show as employees of the firm when someone views the Company Page.

If you’ve uploaded your logo to the Company Page, that logo will also show on the employees’ Profiles, and it will be linked to your Company Page. This way, viewers of your employees’ Profiles on LinkedIn will be directed to your Company Page if they click on the logo.

Finally, don’t forget that when visitors reach your LinkedIn Page, you want to make sure that it’s stocked with valuable content that they can use!

Get a free copy of my LinkedIn tips sheet here – or watch more videos about LinkedIn:

Are You Using Keywords Strategically on Your Website?

Are you using keywords strageically on your law firm website?

Keywords are words that your potential clients would use to search the internet for a lawyer who does what you do.

The golden rule of writing website copy is to write for human beings first, and search engines second. So you should never force or “stuff” keywords into your site. But as you are writing your web copy, you should think about using keywords strategically in a way that flows naturally on the page.

What do I mean by using keywords strategically? Well, did you know that each page on your website should target a different set of keywords?

And did you know that there are certain “power positions” on each webpage that Google and other search engines pay more attention to?

tiles spelling out SEO

When reading your web pages, search engines use algorithms, or specific sets of rules to determine what the page is about and to decide whether to return that page as a result in a search query. And they give more importance to certain elements on your web page, because the search engines assume that the copy that is used in those elements is likely a good indicator of what the page is about.

There are 5 power positions on your web pages where you should consider including your targeted keywords:

  • Headlines – especially the main (H1) headline on the page
  • Subheads
  • Bold text
  • Link text
  • Captions

If your keywords are incorporated into those power positions, your web page will rank higher in search for those keywords.

As I’ve mentioned in other videos, to be most effective, keywords also should be incorporated in your site’s meta-data, the behind the scenes code for the page that search engines see, but visitors don’t.

See more videos about law firm websites:

Pronunciation Problems? LinkedIn Can Help

Are you tired of people mispronouncing your name? Or are you one of those people who’s horrible about figuring out how to pronounce a name just by looking at it? If so, LinkedIn can help.

Hi, I’m Allison Shields Johs, President of Legal Ease Consulting, where I help lawyers create more productive, more profitable, and more enjoyable law practices. I’m also the co-author of Make LinkedIn Work for You: A Practical Handbook for Lawyers and Other Legal Professionals. But whether you are a lawyer or not, this tip will come in handy for you.

LinkedIn has added a handy new feature to its profiles – you can now add a recording of your name and display its pronunciation on your Profile. This feature is not available on the desktop version of LinkedIn – you can only do it on the mobile version of LinkedIn on your iPhone or Android phone.

To record and display the pronunciation of your name on your LinkedIn profile, click on the icon to edit in your introduction card, which is at the very top of your profile – the area where your picture appears. Tap the plus sign next to record name pronunciation, then press and hold the record button while you record yourself saying your name slowly and clearly. Make sure you are recording in a place with no background noise; you can redo the recording as many times as you like until you’re satisfied. Don’t forget to press save!

I would encourage everyone to do this as soon as possible, even if you think your name is easy to pronounce. LinkedIn is a world-wide program, and although your name might be common in your country, it may not be common to everyone – or even to those living in your country who are not native to your country. To me, this is a game-changer, since I am terrible at figuring out how to pronounce people’s names, which can make for awkward calls or conversations.

If you want more information about how to improve your LinkedIn presence, get a copy of my free printable LinkedIn tips sheet here.

More LinkedIn videos:

Setting Up Your Law Practice for Success in the New Year

Is your law practice ready for 2021?

If we’ve learned anything from 2020, it’s that we absolutely cannot predict the future, and that our plans can be derailed at a moment’s notice. But believe it or not, that’s exactly why it’s so important to take the time to make a strategic plan for what you want to accomplish in the new year.

Taking the time to make a plan in uncertain times is important because the process of making the plan forces you to think strategically about your practice – to take stock of where you are now, where you want to go in the future, and what steps you need to take to get you there. You’ll get a good handle on information like:

  • Your firm’s core values
  • Your firm’s strengths and weaknesses
  • Who your clients are, where they come from and their most pressing needs
  • Your expenses
  • Your most and least productive employees
  • Your firm’s priorities

That means if the unexpected happens and you have to make adjustments – or even if you have a year like 2020 and you have to scrap the plan and start all over, you won’t be starting from square one, because you’ve already done the hard work and you already have the information necessary to see exactly which parts of the plan need to be modified and what to do next.

When you haven’t done the work and you don’t have a plan, that’s when you get into trouble because you have no idea where to start or what to do next.

To get your firm ready for 2021 now, make planning a priority – gather your data, set your goals, and outline the strategies and tactics you intend to pursue to reach those goals.  If you need more help, download a copy of my free 2021 planning guide here.

Introducing LinkedIn Essentials Online Course for Lawyers [video]

Is 2021 the year you finally learn how to make LinkedIn work for you?

Hi, I’m Allison Shields Johs, President of Legal Ease Consulting and co-author of Make LinkedIn Work for You, A Practical Handbook for Lawyers and Other Legal Professionals. This is the third LinkedIn book my co-author, Dennis Kennedy and I have written, and we’ve taught hundreds of seminars and webinars on LinkedIn over the past 10 years. We’re excited to announce our latest project – our brand-new online course, LinkedIn Essentials.

The course was developed based on the book and on the many questions we’ve received over the years in speaking about and training lawyers and other legal professionals on how to use LinkedIn, but it’s more in-depth than any webinar or training we’ve done before, and it’s geared specifically for the legal profession.

The course was designed to show legal professionals how to use LinkedIn effectively to:

  • Expand their networks
  • Build their reputation, and
  • Accomplish their business goals,

Ethically and effectively.

Here’s what is included in the course:

9 video lessons based on the 3 building blocks of LinkedIn: Profiles, Connections, and Participation.

We’ll show you:

  • Exactly what to do with your Profile to improve your visibility
  • How to make meaningful connections on LinkedIn and leverage those connections for your practice and your career
  • What and how to post and participate on LinkedIn to maximize your results.

We’ll cover the FAQs we receive most often from legal professionals on LinkedIn.

We wrap up with a action plan for you to follow that tells you exactly what steps to take over the next three months on LinkedIn.

Each lesson has an accompanying worksheet to help you reinforce what you’ve learned and show you how to tailor it to your goals.

The course handouts also include a free chapter from our book, as well as our 47 LinkedIn tips.

You can take this course at your own pace and ask questions in our private network as you go along.

To learn more about LinkedIn Essentials, contact me at Allison@LegalEaseConsulting, or click on the link below.

Again, I’m Allison Shields Johs, and I look forward to seeing you inside our LinkedIn Essentials course!

LinkedIn Essentials: https://kennedy-idea-propulsion-laboratory.mn.co/landing/plans/106740

Get More Mileage From Great Client Testimonials and Recommendations

In my last several videos, I’ve talked about client recommendations – specifically on LinkedIn, but also on other sites – we’ve covered the mechanics of asking for them, as well as the best way to ask, and also talked about what makes a great recommendation.

So what do you do after you get a great client review or recommendation? How can you get the most from it? Watch the video below, or read on to learn how.

The first thing you should always do after you get a great client review or recommendation is to say thank you! You can do it on the same platform where the client left the recommendation – by sending a thank you on LinkedIn, for example, or you can send them a thank you email or even a snail mail thank you card (hardly anyone sends those any more!)

But to really get the most out of a great client review or recommendation, when you thank the client, ask them if you can use their review or recommendation as a testimonial on your website. If you’re a lawyer or law firm, you’ll want to retain a copy of their consent, so it is best to get it in writing. Even better, ask if you can use their photo to accompany their testimonial on your website.

Testimonials are all about trust, and a website testimonial that is accompanied by a photograph of the client gives your web visitors a level of comfort that the testimonial is from a real client and isn’t just made up by you.

If you already have reviews or recommendations from clients that you haven’t added as testimonials to your law firm website, consider adding links to your reviews on other sites from your websites by saying something like, “see my other reviews on my Google Business page here.”

You can add reviews and recommendations as testimonials to your law firm website in several places – you can create a testimonials or client stories page where you collect all of your testimonials. You can also add testimonials throughout your site where it is relevant. Add testimonials that refer to a specific practice area on that practice area’s page. Put testimonials that talk about your stellar service to the page on your site that discusses how you work. Testimonials that refer to a specific lawyer in the firm can be added to the firm’s bio page.

Check out my other videos:

What Makes a Great Testimonial or Recommendation?

In my last couple of videos, I talked about LinkedIn Recommendations and testimonials – why you need them and how to ask for them.

But what makes for a good client recommendation or testimonial? Watch the video below and/or read on to find out!

The purpose of a testimonial is to help overcome client objections and to help your ideal clients to recognize themselves and see that you are a good choice for them.

You’ve probably heard testimonials on television commercials for lawyers that say something like, “I was injured in a truck accident. The insurance company only offered me $7500 to settle my case, but my attorneys got me $1 million.”

That kind of testimonial tells you what the lawyer does – plaintiff’s personal injury, but I don’t think it quite goes far enough, and it’s a little one-dimensional, focusing only on outcome.

But clients care about a lot more than outcome when they are working with an attorney. They care about what it is like to work with you, how easy you made it for them to navigate the process, whether they felt like you really cared about them and their problems, and more.

You may have also seen testimonials on lawyer websites that said something like, “Allison was great to work with on my estate plan. I highly recommend her.”

This tells you what the lawyer does and says something about the client experience, but it still doesn’t go quite far enough.

The best client testimonials tell a story about the experience – and it’s that story that the potential client reading your website will relate to. Even better would be if the testimonial demonstrates a before and after – what objections or concerns did the client have before retaining you? How did you address those concerns or objections? How does the client feel now?

You’ll want to include a number of different testimonials on your website and recommendations on LinkedIn that talk about various aspects of your service or that address the most common objections that clients have when hiring a lawyer in your practice area.

For example, look at the difference between the following two testimonials:

  1. “Mary was wonderful! She was so responsive, and we really felt that she had our best interests at heart.”
  • “Mary was invaluable in helping us through a difficult time. I was a bit skeptical at first that mediation would be able to help us resolve all of our divorce and custody issues, but Mary took the time to listen not just to what we were saying, but to dig deeper to find out what was really important to each of us and to develop a financial and custody plan that would work for our family. Mary walked us through the process and was patient, even when we got emotional during our mediation sessions. She answered our questions, no matter how trivial and found a compromise that is fair to everyone and enabled us to move on with our lives.”

A good recommendation tells a story and gives potential clients a good picture of what it is like to work with you.

As always, don’t forget to check the rules of professional responsibility in your jurisdiction to ensure that a recommendation or testimonial complies with the rules before posting it; if it doesn’t comply, you may need to ask the client for a quick revision.

For more video tips see below:

How to Ask for a LinkedIn Recommendation

 In my last video, I talked about why LinkedIn Recommendations are useful for lawyers and covered the mechanics of asking for them. But I know that some lawyers are just uncomfortable asking for recommendations. They don’t want to appear to “salesy” or to diminish their professionalism.

There are ways to approach clients for recommendations or testimonials that aren’t pushy or overly promotional. The most important thing is to be genuine. If you truly believe that you have helped this client and that you can provide value to others with the services you provide, and you approach asking for recommendations with that attitude, it may be less uncomfortable.

By far the easiest way to ask for a LinkedIn Recommendation is to do it when a client says thank you or otherwise expresses appreciation for what you have done for them. An appreciative client will always be happy to spread the word about the good work that you do.

Tell the client you were happy to help them, and then ask if they can help you reach others in a similar situation by writing a Recommendation for you on LinkedIn. You can send them a link in an email or simply tell them that you’ll send a recommendation request and that they should look out for it in their LinkedIn account.

But you don’t have to wait for a client to say thank you before you ask for a recommendation. Y ou can make recommendations a part of your regular process. Build a procedure that automatically triggers a request for a recommendation at the end of every client engagement. You can make it a part of your closing documents or email including the link and instructions, or just add to your file closing checklist to hop on LinkedIn and send that recommendation request.

If the client is an ongoing client with no specific end to their engagement, such as a client you perform outside general counsel services for, you could ask for a recommendation every so often, for example at the end of the year, at the completion of a big project, or in conjunction with a certain event every year.

Say something like, “It was a pleasure working with you. Thank you for choosing me to help you with … I have found that potential clients like to read about what it was like to work with me, so I would be grateful if you would be willing to leave a recommendation on my LinkedIn profile.” You can leave instructions right then and there about how to do so and tell them you’ll be sending a request, or wait for the client to respond that they are willing to do it and then send them a recommendation request.

As always, you’ll want to check your jurisdiction’s ethical rules with respect to recommendations and testimonials, and review any LinkedIn recommendations you receive before you post them to make sure that they do not contain prohibited language. If they do, you can always ask your client to revise the recommendation before you post it. And if your practice area doesn’t lend itself to client recommendations with a name attached, you can use these techniques to ask a client for a testimonial that you can post on your website without their name attached.

Be sure to follow up with a thank you after the client leaves you a recommendation!

For more LinkedIn video tips see below:

Should I Request a LinkedIn Recommendation?

Earlier this year I was invited to join a Zoom meeting with estate planning attorneys from all across the United States to talk about how they could use LinkedIn better. We had a great conversation that covered a wide range of topics, but one of the questions generated a significant amount of discussion, and it was a question about recommendations on LinkedIn.

Anyone you are connected to on LinkedIn can leave you a recommendation on your Profile. The lawyers  on the call generally said that they tended to pay more attention to recommendations on LinkedIn than endorsements, which they felt were not particularly valuable, and they thought their clients and referral sources might feel the same way. One of the questions that arose around this topic was whether lawyers should ask their clients for recommendations on LinkedIn, and if so, how to do that.

I think recommendations on LinkedIn are useful for a number of reasons.

A LinkedIn recommendation is like a testimonial on your own website – it’s third-party proof that you provide value for clients.

It is an opportunity for potential clients and referral sources to see what other people say about you, not just what you say about yourself and to tell their story about their experience with you.

And the way LinkedIn is set up, only your connection can write the recommendation – you can only post a recommendation on your LinkedIn Profile is if that recommendation was written by someone else. It takes a bit of time and effort for someone to write a recommendation, so it tends to have more value.

So how do you ask clients for a recommendation on LinkedIn?

First, you need to be connected to them on LinkedIn. Then you can request the recommendation in several different ways:

You can navigate to their LinkedIn Profile, scroll down to their recommendations section and click on “Request a Recommendation.”

Or, you can go to your own LinkedIn Profile, scroll down to your recommendations section and click on “Ask for a recommendation.” You’ll get a popup that will walk you through identifying who you want to ask for the recommendation and then sending the request.

You could also send an email or other request outside of LinkedIn with instructions that make it easy for them to recommend you – send them the link to your profile and tell them how to find the recommendations section. Then they can click on the “Recommend” button and write their Recommendation.

You should always carefully review any recommendations you receive on LinkedIn before you post them to your Profile to make sure that they comply with the ethics rules in your jurisdiction. If they don’t, you can always ask the client to revise it so that it does comply.

Now that you know why to request recommendations on Linkedin and how it can be done mechanically, you’re probably asking yourself (as the lawyers on the Zoom call did), “What is the best way to ask a client to recommend me on LinkedIn?” We’ll talk about that in a future video.

But for now, grab a copy of my book, Make LinkedIn Work for You on Amazon.com or check out my other LinkedIn videos:

Facing Obstacles with Community [video]

We’re all facing difficult times – we need to rely on our communities more than ever!

5 Things You’re Missing From Your LinkedIn Profile

I’ve worked with hundreds of lawyers and reviewed who knows how many lawyers’ LinkedIn Profiles, and I can tell you that most of them are missing these 5 elements:

Is your LinkedIn Profile up to the challenge?

Here are the 5 elements:

1. A header image – otherwise known as a cover photo. The header image appears at the top of your LinkedIn Profile. It is a huge missed opportunity for your personal brand. Your cover photo could include your logo or an image that reinforces your brand. You can also include your contact information in your cover photo – although it appears elsewhere on your Profile, it requires people to make an extra click. Putting it front and center makes it easier for people to contact you outside of LinkedIn. You can use a tool like Canva to create a unique cover image for your LinkedIn profile.

2. Any description of your clients. Remember – your LinkedIn Profile is about you but it isn’t for you – it’s for your target audience, whether that be potential clients, referral sources or other professionals. If I’m looking at your LinkedIn profile, will I know who you help and how? Will I be able to tell what kinds of clients I should refer to you? If I am in your target audience, will I be able to identify you as someone who can solve my problems?

3. Your story. LinkedIn may be structured like a resume, but it shouldn’t read like one. Think of your LinkedIn profile as a vehicle for telling your story and the story of your clients. Don’t just list skills and responsibilities – explain what they mean and their impact in the real world.

4. The jurisdictions where you practice. When you use LinkedIn, you are literally interacting with the world – and that means people outside of the jurisdictions where you practice may be seeing your LinkedIn Profile. Make it clear where you are admitted to practice, and in what courts. It may make it easier for people to refer business to you. Not everyone is going to click over to your website or try to find that information elsewhere. You can include these either in your About section or under Experience under your current position.

5. Any required disclaimers. Check your jurisdiction’s ethical rules  – if your jurisdiction requires disclaimers to be placed on advertisements, your LinkedIn Profile likely qualifies. You can add one to your About or Experience sections.

How did you do? Does your LinkedIn Profile contain these 5 elements?

I’m Allison Shields, President of Legal Ease Consulting, and you can find more tips on using LinkedIn in the book, Make LinkedIn Work for You, available on Amazon.com, or you can download our 47 LinkedIn tips for lawyers on my website at LawyerMeltdown.com.