How to Create a Strong LinkedIn Profile

LinkedIn is a professional social network that is an important component for every legal professional, especially those who are looking to grow their business through online marketing efforts. In order to promote yourself properly you have to create a strong LinkedIn profile.

  • Headshot – Upload a professional headshot that showcases yourself in the manner you’d like presented to the world. Remember, the audience in LinkedIn tends to be other business professionals.  Unlike Facebook, where it might be fine to have pictures of yourself with your spouse/partner, or having a cocktail, these pictures are not appropriate for LinkedIn.

  • Headline – The headline shows up on LinkedIn beside your photo and under your name. Choose keywords that describe what you do (e.g., “protect your trademark and copyright in your products and documents,” or “making sure your estate is distribute as according to your wishes”) rather than your current job title. It’s also a good idea to separate the keywords with the pipe “|” symbol. It looks better than a comma because it differentiates the words in an attractive way.

  • Summary – This is created before your work history and after your headline. It’s a great place to fill with bulleted keywords that describe the things that you can do. Bulleted words are more effective than sentences because most people prefer to scan a profile rather than read it. Plus, using more search terms will help make it easier for prospective clients and referral partners to find you.

  • Video – On the profile, there are two places where you can add video. It’s a great place to put a video introduction of yourself or showcase videos that you’ve created in the past. You can also add in PDFs and other documents and images that demonstrate your expertise. You can even include a link to a slide-show. (Be sure to comply with all applicable attorney advertising rules.)

  • Work History– On LinkedIn this area is like a resume, so be sure to have yours handy in order to fill this area out completely.  Pay close attention to details and be completely honest. DON’T EXAGGERATE! After all, someone with whom you’ve worked previously will see what you have said.

  • Recommendations — Once you’ve filled out everything completely ask old colleagues and supervisors for recommendations. Don’t send a form letter; personalize each one, reminding them of what you accomplished with them. This will help them know what to write in your recommendation letter.

  • Endorsements – Anyone can give you an endorsement but it’s important to only accept the ones that you’re comfortable with and that abide by your state’s ethical rules (for example, some states prohibit use of any testimonials, and these endorsements may fall within the purview). You can use the settings to hide or show endorsements.

By following these tips you can create a strong and effective LinkedIn profile that works for you. You will be proud to use it to promote yourself and/or your business.

Do you have additional tips on creating a solid LinkedIn profile?  If so, share them with us in the comments below.

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