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Where lawyers can go wrong on LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a valuable platform for those looking to build their brand, expand their professional network, demonstrate expertise, and engage with current and prospective clients. Here’s how lawyers can use it effectively and avoid common mistakes.

user iconJerome Doraisamy 21 December 2023 SME Law
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In a recent episode of The Lawyers Weekly Show, Tom Balmer (pictured), director at TransPerfect, highlighted the importance of building one’s brand. Key to this is maintaining an online presence that will help people distinguish who you are, both personally and professionally.

“I think some people take LinkedIn for granted these days,” Mr Balmer said.

“It’s where everyone goes. Every time I reach out, or someone mentions me, and I look on my LinkedIn and this person’s looked at my profile, I’m like, ‘OK, they’re going to give me a call in a few weeks or days’ because they go there to see who you are, right?

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“So, I have the things [on my LinkedIn profile] that I care about in my personal life but also my business and my background and what I do, and I think that’s important. You want the side of you, which is business, and showing that you can be trusted and help them but also the human element associated with it because naturally, we want to work with people that we like.”

While there are no “hard and fast rules”, Mr Balmer advised lawyers to be mindful of what they put on their LinkedIn profiles, noting that such information can either be something that attracts clients – or deters them.

“I think that’s a personal preference. I think it also depends on the practice that you work in. If you’re a barrister who works in disputes, you want to know that person’s good talking in front of people and is extremely knowledgeable, and you’ll be able to find that from their LinkedIn,” he said.

“When I look at a lawyer’s profile on LinkedIn, I can almost tell immediately whether they are someone who brings in work themselves by the content they put out.

“I think that’s changing, though. A lot of the time, it used to be, ‘I was published in this’, ‘I had an article published in this publication’, or ‘I was ranked in Best Lawyers’ or whatever it is. Now it’s small videos and seeing them sharing things about their firm that they’re involved in, whether that be advocacy or charity work – all of that stuff is fantastic, and I think people will really latch onto it.”

Understanding the LinkedIn algorithm can also help ensure you get the most out of utilising it to build your brand, Mr Balmer explained.

“You don’t have to do all of the things that you see on LinkedIn, where you add a little tagline that makes people click the ‘Show More’ button and all that kind of stuff,” he said.

“The three simple things that I tell my team are [one], making sure that the first line of your post is exactly what you want people to know and helps them to keep reading. Secondly, try and drive engagement in the first 30 minutes of posting so that it will then be shown in the algorithm as something that they want to show other people, and you’ll just get more exposure. And if you ever post anything, try and put the links in the comments – just drives more engagement.”

As far as what not to do, Mr Balmer said lessons can be learnt from those in the sales industry.

“I get approached a lot by salespeople with just terrible messaging, just really long messages that go on forever or just aren’t relevant to my role. They clearly haven’t done their homework,” he said.

NB: This transcript has been edited slightly for publishing purposes. You can listen to the full episode here:

Jerome Doraisamy

Jerome Doraisamy

Jerome Doraisamy is the editor of Lawyers Weekly. A former lawyer, he has worked at Momentum Media as a journalist on Lawyers Weekly since February 2018, and has served as editor since March 2022. He is also the host of all five shows under The Lawyers Weekly Podcast Network, and has overseen the brand's audio medium growth from 4,000 downloads per month to over 60,000 downloads per month, making The Lawyers Weekly Show the most popular industry-specific podcast in Australia. Jerome is also the author of The Wellness Doctrines book series, an admitted solicitor in NSW, and a board director of Minds Count.

You can email Jerome at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

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