An important part of being an independent lawyer is building relationships and cultivating your network. There’s a range of options out there that enables lawyers to do this easily (and cheaply) from social media to online communities. But where to start, what to share, how to connect…?
Here are our top tips for networking like a boss.
1. Stand Out: We’ve talked about the importance of ensuring you have a strong LinkedIn profile in our Marketing for Lawyers Guide so let’s recap. LinkedIn is the professional social media site that works as an online CV, a marketing tool, a jobs market, a publishing platform, a contact list, and a way of keeping in touch with industry associations, your former employers, university, schools and colleagues. A strong LinkedIn profile and a solid number of connections are becoming must-haves in the professional market.
Creating a great LinkedIn profile revolves around being efficient with the space that is provided, allowing you to showcase the experience you have and show the kind of person you are. To make the most of your profile:
- Find a great picture - as though you are entering the interview room: well groomed, professionally dressed, interested and engaged.
- Define a ‘headline’ - LinkedIn provides 120 characters to tell your audience who you are and what you are focused on. For example, instead of ‘Senior Solicitor, John Smith, you could announce ‘Senior Solicitor in a local law firm focused on providing value to clients in their commercial legal matters.’
- Use the summary to be creative and personal, showcasing significant successes in your career.
- Make your experience relevant outlining your current position and previous three roles highlighting at least three skills that relate to those roles.
- Be available - provide a call to action letting your audience know how to reach you.
2. Cultivate Your Network: Once you’ve established a strong LinkedIn profile, it’s time to grow your network by becoming part of industry conversations using LinkedIn groups. Connect with like-minded legal professionals, industry influencers and peers or follow your clients and their business to keep up with their corporate news. By being part of the conversation, you could put yourself significantly ahead of the competition in a pitch to them.
Comment on articles you agree with and even constructively provide feedback on articles you don’t necessarily agree with. Just make sure you have the data to back yourself up.
You can also use other social media platforms such a Twitter to connect with industry commentators and colleagues.
3. Share insights (and get knowledge in return): Now that you have your profile sorted and are connected with the right people, why not share some insights? Whether it’s a paragraph of thoughts or a blog on a particular topic, sharing insights is a great way to show your expertise and raise your profile further. Plus, your readers and connections will no doubt provide you with commentary in return. Download our top tips on how to write a blog here.
4. Use technology to increase your profile: There’s a range of community apps available to share your knowledge further. For example, the Crowd & Co Legal Network offers additional in-app features which enables you to stay connected with colleagues and the legal crowd as well as network, build your brand and find new opportunities. You’ll also have free access to Lawyer Portfolio, a tool for sharing knowledge, blogs and articles and the ability to ask and answer questions with industry peers from around the world.
It’s about who you know. The legal industry is changing rapidly. Join the legal network and embrace your digital future.