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Is it possible to get clients directly from LinkedIn as an attorney?

No! Why would someone pay you, or even trust you, after simply checking out your LinkedIn profile? Then how do you use LinkedIn for promoting your business?

You use LinkedIn as a tool to find qualified prospects and stay in touch with current clients. Instead of thinking of LinkedIn as a sales tool, treat it as a relationship tool. Your goal will be to set appointments with key decision makers interested in your legal services. LinkedIn helps you build more relationships faster, without the hassle of chasing down clients as you normally would offline.

The more prospects and referral partners you connect with, the higher your chances of a sale.
Here are 14 techniques for improving your LinkedIn results.

1. Create an amazing headline for your profile

When people are doing searches on LinkedIn, what they see is a small morsel of you. Treat this as a branding opportunity, because all users see is your name, picture, company name and headline. The headline must stick out from the crowd by giving LinkedIn users a clear definition of what do, and why you are different than every other attorney on the site.

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Stand Out! Tell people what kind of services you offer. Are you a business attorney? More specifically, are you a small business owner’s best friend rescuing entrepreneurs in a legal pinch? Paint a story in your headline. Explore the benefits of working with your firm rather than simply stating you are an attorney.

A good rule of thumb is, if you would pass over a headline, people will pass over yours. Test out a few headlines and then ask current clients which one they like best.

2. Complete your profile

image2Have you ever seen profiles where people worked at a firm for 20 years, and leave the description blank? Do you get the feeling that they could care less if they connected with you? If so, then you will understand why we say you need to fill out your profile completely.

If the headline got people interested in your firm, then the profile must get people to start trusting you. List your accomplishments, job and education history, recommendations, bio, skills, projects, and all relevant sections of your profile.
Make sure you fill in your contact information, so people can call you with questions. Put your number in the contact section, and again at the end of your bio if prospects have any questions.

3. Get recommendations

People want to know that you are not just tooting your own horn. Show people how good you are by having others point out your strengths.
Make sure that you get LinkedIn recommendations from clients, prospects, referral partners and a variety of people who work with you. That way you look credible on LinkedIn to people who view your profile. Connections want to know you are good at your job, not conceited.

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4. Join targeted LinkedIn groups

Use the LinkedIn search feature to find qualified LinkedIn groups with members who are in your target market.
For example, if you are a small business attorney look for groups that focus on entrepreneurs or CEOs. The CXO group focuses on C-level executives. The Jobs Opening, Job Careers, and Job Connections group has almost 1.5 million members. Maybe that is your target group? If so, then go out and do a search for those types of people.

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5. Once you join the group, stay active and engage in conversations

Make sure you are commenting on people’s posts and talking to other members. Do not just post your own stuff. You have to be part of a community. People’s perception of you is everything in these groups. If they think you provide value to the group, then more members will want to reach out to connect with you.

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The more of an active role you take in LinkedIn groups, the more you will benefit from these groups.

6. Reach out to individual group members who might be a good fit for your business

Just being active is not enough. You need to reach out to prospective clients. Connect with those who you feel you can build a relationship with, based on your conversations in the group.

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Send them a quick message, “We are in XYZ group together and I would love to find out more about how I can help you?” LinkedIn groups are a tremendous tool, but you have to take the initiative and connect with those members that are a great fit for your business. Very rarely will targeted prospects reach out to you on LinkedIn themselves. Instead, you need to take a proactive approach and contact the potential prospects and referral partners.

7. Use the LinkedIn search feature to find targeted connections

Sometimes you might want to search beyond your current groups. You could be looking for people who might actually need your services from the start.

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For example, if you see somebody in the media who has a legal issue, see if you can find them on LinkedIn search. You might not always find them, but it is a good starting place to reach out to people online.

8. Stay in touch with your connections

So many LinkedIn users are active connecting with prospects, but then never reach out to them again. Then after some time they cry – “LinkedIn doesn’t work.”
Well if you do not stay in touch with people, then they are not going to talk to you. You have to keep reaching out to connections. This is the biggest secret on LinkedIn.

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Fortunately, you have a plethora of ways to do this. You can re-connect on the groups. You can do it through updates. You can stay in touch through LinkedIn messages.

Finally, LinkedIn will sometimes provide phone numbers and emails to contact the person outside of LinkedIn, so that you can reach out to them in the real world, too.

9. You can use LinkedIn to post regular updates and messages to your network

Part of using LinkedIn is having a communication network you can use to talk to people on a regular basis.

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Use LinkedIn updates to let people know about various news events that are happening in your industry, about different things that are happening in general that they might need to know about, or just tips and ideas. The more you give them and the more value you provide, the more likely they are to become your client, since they know that you know your stuff.

10. Create content, and comment on your prospects’ posts to build relationships

Sometimes you will see an interesting post by a potential prospect – comment on it, like them and let them know that you are interested in their interests. Like Dale Carnegies wrote about in How to Win Friends and Influence People it is not just about how much you know – it is also about how much you care. Show them how much you care by interacting with them.

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11. Create custom, individual messages to reach out to specific connections on LinkedIn

LinkedIn messages are just like email. You can send a message on LinkedIn and ask the recipient to meet via a phone or face-to-face appointment. The great thing about using LinkedIn messages is that: 1. the messages sometimes goes to their personal email; and 2. connections can view the message directly on LinkedIn as well. This means you are creating multiple ways to reach out to a prospect with one message. This is a great tool to stay in touch with connections, and set up appointments with potential prospects.

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12. Stay active

image12Building a network of valuable connections does not happen overnight. The more action you take on a regular basis, the more clients you can bring in over time. Make sure that you regularly post once a day, and that you comment on people’s posts once a day.

Spend 10-15 minutes each day. Whether this is at the beginning of the day or at the end of the day, make sure you are online every workday at least.

It is not about making gigantic leaps on LinkedIn in a short period. Consistency on LinkedIn is about the little actions taken daily that build up over time so that after a while you see tremendous growth.

13. Do not use LinkedIn for prospects only

image13Keep in mind that the power of a social network is in who you know. If you find quality CPA’s, financial planners, web designers, and other B2B professionals who can refer work to you, then connect with them. Most of the business I obtained online has come from referral partners, not from direct prospects.

When you connect online, be aware that you will find a number of tremendous people who will not bring you their business, but will go out and find it for you.

14. Combine LinkedIn with your offline marketing

If you are networking or using traditional marketing, combine those efforts with LinkedIn. Stay in touch with people you met at networking events on LinkedIn. Add prospects you had an appointment with face to face, so they can check out your profile and learn more about you. LinkedIn should be part of your overall marketing strategy, not a separate campaign.

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Remember: LinkedIn business-building Is a marathon, not a sprint

Many LinkedIn users stop using the site because they do not find instant success on this social network. However, LinkedIn works on the same principles that you will find offline. Clients will not magically appear at your doorstep just because you joined LinkedIn.

You need to work the platform to get results out of the social network. This means continued activity. If you do not see any results in the first 6 months, do not be shocked. You are building relationships. These take time to develop and mature.

If you use the strategies listed above and stay with them over the long haul, you will find LinkedIn to be a valuable business development tool.

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