LinkedIn has the potential to be an extremely powerful practice-building tool for attorneys. Unlike other social media networks, LinkedIn isn’t dominated by people posting photos of their cats and what they’re having for dinner. Or what their cats are having for dinner. LinkedIn is filled with professionals, high-income earners and executives.
These people are more sophisticated and less price sensitive that those who aren’t on LinkedIn. In other words, it's a place to find clients willing to pay a premium for top-notch legal services. They also happen to make the best referral partners.
LinkedIn provides you with access to a valuable group of people who you otherwise wouldn’t be able to reach. They’re all in the same place, and you can proactively target specific individuals who would be the best clients and sources of referrals.
It’s a heck of a lot more productive than reactively flying blind with whoever shows up in your office, or wandering aimlessly at random networking events. Instead of blasting out marketing to the masses in a vast ocean, fish in a pond that’s teeming with the kind of fish you want to catch.
The Value of LinkedIn Groups
A LinkedIn group is a collection of people who share a common bond. Some groups are open to anyone who wants to join while others require people to apply and have their membership approved by a moderator.
No matter the type of group, there’s always something that brought all members of the group together. Maybe they work in the same industry. Maybe they hold similar executive positions, like CFOs. Maybe they’re all interested in discussing a specific topic or advancing a specific issue.
When you focus your marketing on a LinkedIn group, you’re not just fishing in a small pond. You know exactly which part of the pond has the biggest fish. Once you’ve identified your ideal client and referral partner, you can find pockets of them in LinkedIn groups.
A lot of groups have become dumping grounds for random posts and self-promotion, so the value typically is not found in publishing there. The true value lies in a specific feature in LinkedIn - being able to communicate directly with anyone in the group. You can screen and sort members to determine who you really want to connect with.
Normally, it would take a lot of time, resources and experimentation to find the right people, but LinkedIn has done most of the homework for you by organizing people into neat little groups.
What LinkedIn Groups Should You Join?
Let’s start with the biggest mistake attorneys make: Too many attorneys only join groups with members like themselves. For example, a patent attorney joins the patent attorney group. The estate planning attorney joins the estate planning attorney group.
Think you’ll find potential clients and referral partners by hanging out in groups with a bunch of people who do exactly what you do? Those are competitors, not clients.
A LinkedIn group like this may be useful professionally from a technical legal perspective, but it won't help you from a marketing perspective. If you want to use LinkedIn groups to grow your practice, begin with the end in mind.
Go where your ideal clients and referral partners are, not where you are.
If you’re a patent attorney, look for a group where chief technology officers or CEOs might be lurking. If you’re an estate planning attorney, look for a group that caters to wealth managers or accountants.
How Should You Be Using LinkedIn Groups?
Again, let’s start with how not to use LinkedIn groups.
“Hi, I’m Joe Lawyer, and I’m a personal injury attorney. If you or someone you know has been injured in an accident, I can help!”
Don’t turn a group post into an awful local cable ad. The culture of LinkedIn isn’t about selling and self-promotion. It’s about networking.
Take the same approach to LinkedIn as you would with a live networking event. If you were networking with someone in person, you wouldn’t just launch into a full pitch. You’d make contact, start to establish a bond, and then continue to nurture the relationship in a different setting before delivering a pitch.
That’s exactly the kind of mindset you need to have when networking on LinkedIn.
Let Us Show You How to Get the Most Out of LinkedIn.
Our LinkedIn Network Expander covers far more than we ever could in a blog post. As one (small) part of the program, we show members how to use LinkedIn, from creating a profile that generates interest, to initiating contact in a way that brings the highest response rates.
LinkedIn is easily one of the best places to focus your networking efforts. Let us help you zero in on the right leads that can help you grow your practice.