How to Use LinkedIn Publisher

Do you want to get more visibility and engagement with your website content? Or do you want to build up your authority and reputation, but don’t have your own website yet? LinkedIn Publisher platform can help you with both of those objectives.

LinkedIn Publisher is a publishing platform built right into LinkedIn. Any LinkedIn member can use this platform to publish an article simply by clicking on the “write an article” icon in the post box on your Home page. Clicking on that icon brings you inside the publisher platform, which is just like any other word processing program you’re used to. You can type your article, add images, links, and even embed video into your article.

Articles written in LinkedIn Publisher are visible outside of your network, so you get more reach than you would from a typical LinkedIn post – and they show more prominently in your activity on your profile.

If you are already publishing content on your website, LinkedIn’s publisher platform can help extend the reach of your content. Publisher articles are assigned unique URLs which are indexed by Google, and since LinkedIn is such a large and authoritative site, your article on LinkedIn is likely to get much more visibility than it would have on your website alone.

If you’re worried about duplicating content between LinkedIn and your own website, I suggest that you take a portion of the article to post on Publisher and then provide a read more link that points to the complete article on your own website.

If you don’t have your own website yet but want a place to build you authority, LinkedIn Publisher is a good place to start. The social proof that LinkedIn offers – likes, comments and shares from your network, can help build your authority even faster.

If you want to learn more about how to leverage LinkedIn for your practice, pick up a copy of my book, Make LinkedIn Work for You on Amazon.com, or download my free 47 LinkedIn Tips PDF.

I hope you’ll give LinkedIn Publisher a try.

See more about LinkedIn:

Overwhelmed? Focus on Just One Thing

Between pandemics, and elections and riots and crazy ice storms, there’s a lot to be stressed about these days, and it can be hard to get in a productive mood and stay focused.

I’ve been doing a series of videos on motivation, and how to pull yourself out of a funk if you’re just not feeling motivated. But sometimes, even the tips and tricks I’ve been sharing with you don’t work. Or something very unexpected comes up that derails all of the plans you’ve made, and it feels like you’ve hit a brick wall.

I had something like that happen to me this week – I have been trying to juggle a bunch of projects with deadlines so I can go out of town at the end of this month, and one of them came crashing down last night. As a result, my entire plan went out the window.

When something like that happens to me, I take it as a signal that it’s time to slow down to speed up.

What do I mean by that? Sometimes the busier we are, the harder it is to see what is really important.

Stress can become a vicious cycle. As the work piles up, we get more stressed and overwhelmed. And the more overwhelmed we get, the more difficult it is to focus, or to get anything done.

That may be exactly the right time to take a break, take a deep breath, and focus on just one thing. Ask yourself, “What is the single most important thing I need to do right now?” It might be calling a client to let them know that the work will be late. Or it might be organizing all of the projects on your desk so that you can see what needs to be done. Or maybe it’s identifying someone who can help you get through your list and delegating some tasks to them. It might be deciding what to say “no” to.

Identifying just the one thing that is most important in the moment, it can free you from thinking about all of the other projects or tasks on your list.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, try taking a step back and focusing just on the one most important thing you can do today to move toward your goals.

Want more productivity hacks? Check out these videos:

Are Free Consultations a Waste of Time?

Do You Have Problem Clients? Maybe Your Free Consultation is to blame.

Are you wasting your time offering free consultations?

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 can’t tell you how many lawyers I’ve worked with who complain constantly about what my friend Nina calls PITA (pain in the a**) clients who won’t listen to their advice, don’t pay their bills or are otherwise a drain on their practice.

The first place I look when one of my clients complains about their clients is at their client selection process – how are they deciding which clients are right for their practice? Sometimes just a small tweak to their initial consultation and their client selection process is all it takes to weed bad clients almost entirely out of their practice.

One of the biggest culprits I’ve found is the free consultation.

Free consultations are ubiquitous in the legal world, but sometimes, they do more harm than good. By offering a free consultation, you’re telling a potential client right from the outset that your time and advice isn’t valuable. It encourages clients who are hyper-focused on price and simply looking for the cheapest solution or just want to pick your brain without paying for it.

Too often, lawyers provide great value at the initial consultation, but don’t get paid for it. Some of those who take advantage of the free consult will walk away and never hire the lawyer. Not only does the lawyer not get paid for the wisdom they’ve imparted during the meeting, but it also may prevent the lawyer from taking another client down the road because of a conflict. The hours spent in free consultations are taking you away from your paying clients and causing frustration for people who have no intention of paying or cannot pay

 That’s bad, but it isn’t the worst case scenario. The worst case scenario is the bad client who actually retains you after the free consultation and then argues about every bill you send them.

What should you do instead? Charge a fee for your initial consultation. You can charge a discounted rate or even credit the entire consultation fee back to any client who actually retains you.

Find out how I can help you improve your initial consultations and your intake process – contact me at Allison@LegalEaseConsulting.com.

See more videos:

Are You Giving Away Clients to Your Competitors?

Are you giving clients away to your competitors?

I recently had a conversation with a client of mine who was telling me that her business has slowed down considerably as a result of the pandemic. She told me that she just wasn’t bringing in as many new matters and wasn’t doing as much business as she was doing last year, and that a lot of her clients had decided not to move forward with new projects because of all of the economic uncertainty.

I asked her what she was doing to stay in touch with clients and to replace the in-person networking she had been doing before the coronavirus hit. She used to be an active networker and marketer, speaking at client events, visiting clients at their businesses, attending social events in the evening. But since the pandemic, all of that has gone away.

She told me she wasn’t doing much at all, and that she’d only been in touch with a few referral sources through Board she sat on that were still meeting virtually, and she’d been in touch with the clients she had ongoing work for, but that she hadn’t been actively reaching out to her other clients or referral sources at all in the past several months. There had been virtually no one-on-one contact at all.

After thinking about it some more, she said, “Come to think of it, I was on social media the other day and noticed a picture of one of my clients with one of my competitors playing golf. My competitor had posted the picture with the hashtag #bizdev. Maybe I should touch base with that client.”

Unfortunately, it may be too late.

Don’t make the same mistake. Yes, the pandemic may have made some clients decide to re-think their legal needs, or to slow down on taking on new projects. But don’t assume that all of your business slowdown is just a result of the pandemic. And don’t assume that your client will come back to you just because you have done good work for them in the past. It may be that one of your competitors has moved in on that client.

Even if you’re not ready to meet one-on-one with clients in person, you can reach out to the virtually – pick up the phone and make a call. Send an email just to see how they are doing. Send a note on LinkedIn, a text, or a private message on social media. Don’t make it about you or about selling your services – just check in.

Remember, if you aren’t reaching out to your clients and taking care of them, someone else might.

Want to see more?

Get Motivated in 15 Minutes or Less

What do you do when you need to get something done, but you’re just not feeling it?

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.

In my last video, I suggested that you shouldn’t wait until you’re feeling motivated before tackling a task or project you need to get done. The first step is just showing up – you might be surprised at what happens. Take action first and motivation will follow. (Watch that video here)

Today I want to talk about three more ways to get things done when you’re just not feeling it.

Take a walk.

Sitting at a computer or at your desk most of the day may seem like the best way to get things done, but it’s probably not. And most of us are spending even more time sitting now that courts are shut down and in-person meetings aren’t taking place – there’s even fewer reasons to leave your office than ever.

But sitting too long not only isn’t good for your body – it isn’t good for your brain either. If you’re not feeling motivated to tackle a task or project, try getting some exercise.

Take a 15-minute walk or do some yoga or stretches. Some of my best ideas come when I’m taking a walk or right after a workout.

Phone a friend.

Two heads are often better than one. Seek out a friend, family member, or colleague to talk about the project you want to accomplish. Sometimes just talking about it with another person is enough to get you motivated, or to spark an idea.

Maybe you’ll realize that the task or project isn’t so daunting after all, or you’ll just grow tired of hearing yourself talk about it and just get on with it. Or maybe your friend will have a suggestion that leads to a breakthrough.

Set a 15-minute timer.

The Pomodoro Technique, which I talked about in detail in a previous video, is a great technique to use if you’re feeling stuck or un-motivated.

Set a timer for 15 minutes and work only on the task you’ve been avoiding until the timer goes off. Then you’re free to quit and work on something else – at least you’ll have gotten started on that task.

But you may be surprised to learn that once you’ve gotten started, you’re motivated to continue.

How do you motivate yourself when you’re just not feeling it? Let me know in the comments!

Again, I’m Allison Shields Johs from Legal Ease Consulting, and if you want more tips like this, subscribe to my free newsletter, or see more productivity videos and articles:

Not Motivated? Just Show Up

Sometimes it’s just not easy to get motivated to tackle a project or task on your to-do list. But maybe waiting for motivation before taking action is the wrong approach.

I’m not always motivated to do what I need to do either – one example is not always being motivated to prepare and show up for my weekly Videosocials call to record my videos. But I remembered a saying I’ve heard recently that resonated with me:

Get up. Dress up. Show up.

Sometimes, all you have to do is to show up and motivation will follow.

For more tips on how to get going when you’re just not feeling motivated, check out this article: How to Get Motivated.

More productivity videos:

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