Monday, 4 February 2013

Why Lawyers Need To Raise Their Profiles


"I don't want to blow my own trumpet..?!"

Well we say - more fool you - and we're very serious! Apologies if this comes across as a bit blunt, but if you don't blow your trumpet, it will simply wait silently in the corner, forgotten about.

The time has now gone for lawyers to sit back and wait for the work to come in. But wait, you know that – it's the reason you network isn't it? Our view is that networking alone, as powerful as it is, just isn't enough. Your networking activities need to be supported by your reputation and brand.

After a networking event, most people sift through the cards they have been given and make a number of decisions. These are usually along the following lines:

Did I like this person?

If yes, is it likely that we can help each other out in the future (or more commonly – can they help me out?)

If the answer is 'yes' to both of the above, the next move is usually to look that person up on LinkedIn, perhaps also on Twitter, and Google their business.

Consider this; if somebody liked you and thought there may be value in following up after that initial meeting, what would they think if there was no trace of you or your company on Google, LinkedIn or Twitter? Or what about if they tracked you down on LinkedIn - what would they think of your slightly crappy profile, complete with blurry photograph. How about if they found your dusty website, last updated 12 months ago and still showing contact details for long-retired partners.

Well - we wouldn't be impressed. We would probably think:

This person isn't serious about their business - will it still exist in 6 months' time?

How will we keep in touch if they don't use LinkedIn?

How can I find out more about their business when their website is so out-of-date?

Are they actually doing any business at the moment?

Are they struggling financially?

Now we're not suggesting you need to spend all your time shouting from the rooftops about how great your business is (although we do think it makes good sense to spend some time doing that) - we're simply saying get the basics right.

Ensure you have a good professional photograph on your LinkedIn page. Make sure your profile is correct, up to date and interesting. Try to make the person you are describing on your profile actually sound like you. Don't be afraid to include a little personal information (not your birthday).

Keep your website fresh; when people move on - take down their profiles, when you have news - announce it. Think about writing a blog or creating regular newsletters.

For more tips on Legal PR, tune in next Monday. Before then, we would love to hear what you think. Do you agree with what we say, or do you have different views. All thoughts welcomed.

By Victoria Moffatt

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