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How’s your LinkedIn?

Surveys shows that 96 per cent of lawyers maintain a personal LinkedIn account. The question is now about how complete and differentiated your profile is and how are you integrating with your firm’s web site and other social media. It’s now about using it and monetizing it better than others.

As of August 2015, there were 7.357 billion people on Earth, 3.175 billion active Internet users and 2.206 billion with active social media accounts (up 8.7 per cent over 2014). According to research from the global agency, we are social with one million new users accessing social media through mobile devices now and smart phones outpace any other handset 3:1.

So you have a social media account, but do you use it? If those statistics don’t motivate you to start communicating with and engaging with clients and prospects via social channels and developing a strong, consistent and engaging personal online brand, how about this? According to another 2015 study by Forum Research, 59 per cent of Canadians have a Facebook account and visit Facebook nine times each week. While Facebook is the personal communication network, 30 per cent of Canadians have a LinkedIn account and visit it about twice a week.

LinkedIn is the business network of choice

LinkedIn shows the most growth. If you’re still holding out and rationalizing lawyers and their clients don’t use LinkedIn, consider this: the profile of an average LinkedIn user is 45-54 years of age, male, wealthy, and holds a post graduate degree. Does that sound like anyone we know?

Let’s look at law firms and lawyers on social media. According to ABA’s Legal Tech Survey, 90 per cent of law firms maintain a presence on LinkedIn, 78 per cent of lawyers maintain one or more social networks for professional purposes, and spend 1.7 hours per week using them for professional purposes.

Do social networks bring in clients?

While most lawyers use social networks for career development /networking and education/awareness, 44 per cent of lawyers are using them for client development. Fourteen per cent of law firms (of 100 or more lawyers) and 35 per cent of lawyers report that they have obtained clients from their social networks. The rest probably haven’t really tried — yet.

Your social media profile is not enough

Most of us are on social media but most of us don’t use it proactively or productively. We have flocked to the new technology because we wanted to, or had to, but have left our lonely, picture-less or content-less profiles on for the sake of saying that we are online. We are treating our profile as an online resume and acting mostly as voyeurs.

It used to be table stakes to just have a profile online, but not anymore. Your social media ante is a complete, client-focused, and client-benefit driven, compelling, content and visually aligned profile integrated with other social media, and linked to your website.

Monetize, people!

There is a huge opportunity to differentiate yourself from those who are simply lurking online and get business.

Only eight per cent of lawyers maintain a legal blog even though 39 per cent of lawyers report obtaining clients from blogging! That’s probably because they are just giving away information and not MONETIZING it.

Only 15 per cent of law firm web sites have some form of client intake form or engagement method to help new and existing clients register their ‘likes’ and make themselves known to be followed up on.

We’re soooooooo passive!

Where are our pop-ups people? They are not evil when done properly and tactfully — they have been proven to capture client and prospect information that you can follow up on. I bet you’ve filled one out yourself.

Video channels are your new coffee shops

Social media on mobile channels is the present and future. Participation is exploding. To stay relevant and present, you need to treat your social media as you treat your client coffee meetings, lunch meetings, phone calls, and e-mail. It is your newest meeting venue.

Percolate, one of my favourite sites these days for marketing intelligence, (and their platform), came out with research that says mobile traffic growth is practically exponential and being driven by video. Be mobile-friendly and make video. Video is probably the most persuasive communication method next to the live or holographic/ immersive experience.

Stop creeping and expose your business side

You can Google a million ways to improve your LinkedIn profile. Open up your Twitter account. Then link them both to your biography on your web site. Start blogging and streaming video. Monetize your efforts and you will be way ahead of your competitors.