Does a lawyer need an online presence?

By | October 30, 2014

The Short Answer: Absolutely!

Of course nobody NEEDS anything but, because we are all in business to maximize our potential client base, everyone should have an online presence!

As the owner of a title company I will often use the internet as a tool to vet a potential contact or client in order to see whether I believe there is a fit before I reach out to make contact.

And yet, in 2014 it is still amazing to learn the number of attorney’s who do not have a website, even if simply a one-page description of their practice and contact information.

The same need can be said of a strong presence on LinkedIn which can serve as an attorney’s resume of accomplishments and practice area along with a description of the non-business activities that makes that person tick.

With that in mind I read an article at the website Attorney at Work this morning that I wanted to share because it serves as a great reminder and primer of the importance of being found online.

Take Time to Stand Out on LinkedIn

You are probably too busy practicing law to spend a whole lot of time perfecting your presence on social media. But research shows that clients will hire you based on what they find — or don’t find — about you online, especially on LinkedIn.

What can you do if your social media presence is lacking? At the recent Legal Marketing Technology Conference West, Brad Shepard discussed these simple strategies to help lawyers make a better impression on LinkedIn.

Importance of Having the Right Online Presence

Shepard is the founder and CEO of Kredible, a company that uses scientific research, including mental modeling, ethnographic interviews and eye-tracking data collection, to find out how people use online tools to make buying decisions. After conducting studies with more than 125 general counsel in over 15 industries nationwide, Shepard reported:

  • The three major ways in-house counsel search for attorneys are Google, law firm websites and LinkedIn.
  • Your online persona is more important than your offline reality — 53 percent of in-house counsel will eliminate you based on things they learn (or don’t learn) about you online.
  • General counsel find you less credible if your LinkedIn profile is out of date.

Quick LinkedIn Fixes

Shepard suggested some quick fixes to your LinkedIn profile to make sure you aren’t eliminated from a prospective client’s search.

Profile Picture

  • Having no profile picture is an absolute killer. It breeds distrust.
  • Pick your profile picture carefully. It should be full frame, slight smile and in color.

Profile Summary

  • Proclaim two to four areas of expertise. Do not say you are a generalist. General counsel don’t need generalists, they are generalists themselves.
  • The headline section of your profile is extremely important. Search engines index this field. Make sure you include your title, practice area and the industry you serve.
  • Every field of your profile should be filled in. Don’t forget to include volunteer experience, whether it be pro bono work or volunteer work on a committee or board of directors.
  • In the publications section of your profile, post any articles you have written and upload slides you have presented.

Connections

  • When it comes to connections, it is quality over quantity. Don’t connect just to connect.
  • Only connect with people you would be comfortable introducing to your other connections.
  • Of in-house counsel surveyed, 77 percent said that having shared LinkedIn connections with someone made them more likely to want to do business with that person.

“What you are doing on LinkedIn isn’t wrong,” said Shepard, “it’s just not enough.”

An up-to-date and complete LinkedIn profile is one of the easiest ways make an impact on potential clients. It could be the difference between getting that phone call or never knowing you were considered.

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Written by Michael Haltman, President of Hallmark Abstract Service, New York.

HAS is a provider of title insurance in New York State for residential and commercial real estate transactions specializing in the areas of New York City, Long Island and Westchester.

Remember that you have the right to choose your own title company (click here to learn more)!

If you have any questions you can reach Michael by email at mhaltman@hallmarkabstractllc.com.

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