Linked In One Hour For Lawyers, published by ABA written by Dennis Kennedy and Allison C. Shields of Legal Ease Consulting, is a very good primer for lawyers who like the rest us of are rushed for time, but, have that nagging feeling that they should be taking advantage of business development opportunities on Linked In. Unlike, other social media platforms in the market-place, Linked In, founded less than a decade ago has a huge following of professionals and focuses on your professional expertise and is beginning to replace the traditional resume and Rolodex. Linked In is the most commonly used social media platform by lawyers. Like anything in life, this platform requires participation. Just having a simple outdated profile waiting for invitations to connect to arrive in your inbox, or invite connections without giving any thought to why they would want to connect with you or how you can help them, is like the lawyer who thinks clients are going to just magically show up on its doorstep.
The book is good primer whether you are a beginner or have been on Linked In for a couple of years. It discusses how to build the relationships. Networking is about building and fostering relationships. Relationships, both virtual or in the real world, need to be nurtured. To reap the benefits of LinkedIn, you need to be actively engaged. You need to send personalized invitations, follow up with your connections, make an effort to help others and provide value to your network So If you are stretched for time, where do you start. The authors have a simple 3 step program to success:
Step One: Create and maintain your online profile.
Step Two: Think before you act. Build connections and grow your networks.
Step Three: As with all social media, it is all about building, developing and nurturing the conversations and that means having conversations.
It didn’t take my long to read the book, I’ve hi-lighted with markers and post its things that I need to do to my Linked In profile. One of the big reminders was not to use the Linked In’s default message. Its impersonal and doesn’t really let the other person know why you want to connect with them. This is certainly my action item that I plan to implement.
My minor concern was really around the title, if Linked In is part of your business development strategy. It will take you more than hour a week to start building those relationships. However, if the title is referring to making the changes then it works. For most of us it will take longer than hour a week. The book is definitely a good primer to get you implementing. Finally an interesting factoid Linked In has more than 100 million+ users, almost I million are in the legal sector.