Peggy Gruenke | February 2015 | Law Practice Management for Solos
How to Use LinkedIn to Build Relationships and Track Prospects
Have you ever wondered how many of your connections are clients, referral sources, or potential clients?
- Do you forget to send follow up emails to some of your prospects and referral sources?
- Perhaps you regularly lose the notes that you have collected on your prospects?
- Have you ever wished you remembered how you met a particular prospect and who introduced you?
If any of these situations are true for you, then you would find great value from LinkedIn’s built in organizational tool, the Relationship Tab, available to both free and paid members. Even if you are just getting started with LinkedIn, these are great tools to know how to use. And the larger your network grows, the more valuable you will find this feature to help you keep organized and stay on top of your networking and lead generation efforts.
This feature also allows you to save and record information on contacts in your network that you are not yet connected to (2nd, 3rd, and group connections). The benefit of this is that you can create a list of potential prospects that you would like to connect with, record information that you want to keep handy about them, and then track your efforts to connect with them.
BTW, you don’t need to worry about the information that you keep in this feature: it is all private, so no one else will see what you’ve written.
So let’s get started.
- Just below a member’s image and headline is the Relationship and Contact Info box.
- The Contact Info tab is a quick look at that person’s email and other social profiles they’ve shared.
- The Relationship tab is where you’ll find the real functionality. You can see a timeline of your association (including the date you connected), as well as conversations you’ve had on LinkedIn or Gmail (if you have set up this sync feature.) You can also add notes, set a reminder to follow up, record how you met and assign a tag to the person.
- If you are connected to the person, you will see the date that you Connected to them. If you are not connected yet, it will show the date you Saved as contact.
One of the wonderful things about the internet and social media
is that it’s a great way to create and build an online presence without the investment of a lot of money. It can be time consuming but managing your time can be much less expensive than managing a marketing budget. A powerful tool for accomplishing this creation and growth of your internet presence are directory listings.
Directory listings, are in short, like an online version of the yellow pages but much more powerful with the addition of profiles, links, video and reviews. There are hundreds of them and deciding which ones you want to be listed in can be overwhelming. For example: Avvo, InfoUSA, Google+ Local, Bing Places, Yahoo Local, Lawyers.com, MerchantCircle.com, Yelp.com, plus many more. I see many lawyers with incomplete profiles on a number of directories. Why do you have to worry about these online directories?
Directories have risen to a level of importance because Google moved its local search returns to its main page with the introduction of Google+ Local (formally Google Places). How Google determines which local business listings should be on the first page of Google’s search results depends a great deal on directory listings. So if you are in 5, 10, 15 or more directory listings, you are going to look good to Google’s ranking algorithm. And having reviews with your listing makes you even more popular in Google’s eyes.
While you want to be in many directories, deciding which ones to be in and entering and managing the data can be time consuming. Plus, doing it wrong can ruin your online presence. You will want to make sure you do not have duplicate or incorrect listings and you want to use keywords in each directory. Here is more information about online directories
If you would like help creating and managing your online directories, adhering to the ethical rules, please give me a call. I can provide this service to you at nominal one-time charge. I am also available to do in-house CLE on the “Your Social Media Presence – Adhering to Ethics Rules While Being Social.”
Peggy Gruenke, Owner/Consultant LegalBizSuccess
Specializing in Law Firm Practice Management and Business Development solo and small firm attorneys. Peggy can be found on Twitter @PeggyGruenke, LinkedIn and at www.legalbizsuccess.com. (5130 315-5750
I frequently get asked by attorneys and other professionals about the importance of having a LinkedIn profile. I have finally come up with a simple and concise way to explain the need for creating a robust LinkedIn profile. Here it is:
If you have a LinkedIn profile, think of it as a first impression or your curb appeal. When potential clients look for you, what do they find? Having an empty or crappy LinkedIn profile is worse than having none at all.
Check your online presence. Google It. Search for yourself online. What comes up first? Chances are your LinkedIn profile or Avvo profile are listed at the top. Is it what you expected? Is it what you’d like to people to see about you? What would a person who didn’t know you think?
If you are ready to start using LinkedIn as the business development tool it is so well designed for but need help creating your profile and your firm profile, please give me a call. It is something I enjoy doing and enjoy teaching. By the way, be sure to check that Avvo profile while you are at it. Think you don’t have one – look again.
There is also the ethical responsibility part of being online. If your going to be online, you are responsible for making sure the content adheres to the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct. Here is a link to my recent seminar that discusses some of the ethical pitfalls of being online and how to avoid them. “Your Social Media Presence – Adhering to Ethics Rules While Being Social“
Peggy Gruenke, Owner/Consultant LawBizCOO/LegalBizSuccess
Specializing in Law Firm Practice Management and Business Development for solo and small firm attorneys. Peggy can be found on Twitter @PeggyGruenke,LinkedIn and at www.legalbizsuccess.com. firstname.lastname@example.org
Have you taken the time to really look at your LinkedIn Profile after all the changes LinkedIn phased in during 2012? Did you notice that your Specialties Section is missing from your LinkedIn Profile? Did you notice that if you had a Specialties Section defined in your old profile that LinkedIn has added it to the bottom of your Summary Section.
In 2012, LinkedIn decided to phase out the Specialties Section in favor of the Skills & Expertise Section. For lawyers, I think this is actually good news because of the ethical pitfalls around using the words “Specialized” or “Specialties” on any site where you advertise yourself as an attorney. According to the ABA Model Rule 7.4, claiming yourself as a specialist requires special certification by an approved, accredited authority.
Under Rule 7.4 (e) of the Ohio Rules of Professional Conduct, an attorney must not state or imply in any communication that they are a specialist, certified or specialized in a particular field of law, unless:
- The lawyer or law firm has been certified as a specialist by an organization that has been approved by the Supreme Court Commission on Certification of Attorneys as Specialists; and
- The communication clearly identifies the name of the certifying organization.
When LinkedIn added the Skills and Experience Section, it built your section based on keywords in your Summary and Specialties Sections. If you had a Specialties Section in your profile at the time LinkedIn converted your Profile to the new format, it left the heading Specialties in the bottom of your Profile Summary. If you were cautious when you first built your profile and did not include that section, then you will not see the heading Specialties in your Summary Section.
My suggestion is to check your Summary Section. If you see Specialties listed at the bottom of your Summary, replace this word with Practice Areas. If you are a Certified Specialist, then list it as such following the guidelines of Rule 7.4.
Specialties Section left over in Summary Section.
Other things you may not know:
- From time to time, LinkedIn pulls keywords from other sections of your LinkedIn Profile and asks if you’d like to add them to your Skills & Expertise Section.
- Other people can add a Skill to your profile.
- LinkedIn changed how they calculate a complete profile by incorporating the addition of 3 skills as a requisite for a complete profile.
Thanks for your interest and comments. Next post will be about how to remove or hide Skills you have been endorsed for but don’t think you are qualified to list on your profile.
Peggy Gruenke | www.lawbizcoo.com | Helping Lawyers Succeed | Like me on Facebook