Countdown to New Year’s: A LinkedIn Checklist

It has been quite a year!  Before you start planning for the new year, give yourself some time to look back on all that you have done this year and make sure it is reflected on your LinkedIn profile.  After all, when someone googles your name, your LinkedIn profile often appears in the top 3 search results.  Here are some things to keep in mind when updating your profile:

10. New Year, new profile summary  

The second thing in-house counsel look at on your LinkedIn Profile is your summary (the first being your profile picture/headline).  Start by taking an inventory of work you did in 2018 – review the clients you worked with, the services/advice you provided, your biggest cases/wins (keeping in mind confidentiality and State Bar marketing guidelines), articles and blogs, awards, etc. and then incorporate the noteworthy items in your summary.  Remember to use descriptive key words for searchability and show your personality too.  This is also a great place to add photos or graphics that speak to your experience, expertise, and community involvement.  For some inspiration, click here.

9.  Link articles, blogs, and speaking engagements

Make it easy for people looking at your profile to see content that can establish you as an expert in your field.  Add hyperlinks from your profile to your articles, blogs, and speaking engagements, and with one click contacts can learn more about your professional brand.  Reminder: most people will not search your entire firm website to find things about you.

8. Yes, I have skills

Add any new skills or certifications you acquired in 2018.  These further strengthen your status as an expert in your respective field.  You worked hard for that legal specialization, so put it front and center.

7. Show off what you do with some of your non-billable time

Include organizations you are involved with and some background information about your connection with them.  Not only does it provide more insight about you, it also helps spread awareness about the cause or organization you are passionate about.

6. Take time to browse LinkedIn

Following groups, companies, or influencers that align with your professional interests and goals is a simple way to stay in the loop about industry updates or opportunities.  Not sure who/what to follow?  Start with the basics – your undergrad and law school, non-profits you are involved with, trade organizations, and news publications.  Taking a peek at whom your clients, prospects, and even competitors are following is also helpful.  Be aware: who and what you follow is public knowledge in the “interests” section of your profile.

5. Don’t shy away from automatic notifications

Many people ask how they may turn off the setting that shares any profile changes you make with your network.  If you are changing dated information, by all means turn off that setting, but if you are adding something noteworthy (e.g. a promotion, firm change, etc.) automatic notification to your network is the way to go.  It politely pings people of your news and keeps you on top of their minds.

4. Alexa, set a weekly reminder to check my LinkedIn

Download the LinkedIn mobile app and browse while waiting in line at the grocery store or perhaps you prefer scrolling through your feed in the morning while sipping coffee.  It’s up to you, but either way, it takes less than 5 minutes, so just do it.

3.  Keep up with your firm’s LinkedIn page

This is the single easiest way to share news and company updates with your network.

And, as an added bonus, your marketing team will be doing happy dances.

2. Practice the golden rule

Take time to visit the profiles of your referral sources, clients, business colleagues, and friends to see what is new and interact with them.  Consider sending them a holiday wish message or sharing a post.  Clicking the “see all” in the “activity” portion of their profiles shows you their posts, likes, and articles for the last 2 years.  Scrolling through this feed may give you an idea of how to start a conversation or make a connection.  In addition, sharing or liking something may prompt them to visit your profile, and see your most recent updates.  Also, take time to endorse skills or write a recommendation.  Your contacts are likely to return the favor.

1. Utilize your resources

Your marketing team, legal assistant, and technology team are great resources.  Not sure how to update your profile picture without sending a notification to your 500 connections?  Just ask. 

You’ve done it!  Throw the confetti and toast your new and beautifully updated LinkedIn Profile!

Happy New Year!

(click the image below to download the checklist)