I still remember the times when we patent attorneys were not allowed to advertise, back in 1993. The Law Societies carefully watched that no attorney could stick out of the pack.
This has changed a lot. We even run email campaigns today.
Having a LinkedIn profile is a must in the legal profession.
Very likely, your LinkedIn profile can be improved. You can take mine as an example. I have not invested much time into my own LinkedIn profile but I have reached an “All Star” rating.
I recommend that thou do so likewise. It does not cost much time.
A complete makeover of your LinkedIn Profile in under one Hour
I have identified eight areas for improvement. Please note that “eight” (8) is an auspicious number!
You can complete this laundry list within one hour only.
1. CONTACT INFORMATION (2 – 3 minutes needed)
Simple: Fill out your contact information, including company, phone number, email address, website, and other relevant contact information. Make it easy for others to send you an email.
It is unlikely that you receive spam email because of this information. I will show you in another LinkedIn article how to delete spam emails before they clog your email inbox.
2. PERSONALIZE THE URL FOR YOUR PROFILE (2 minutes needed)
This is a must, as you it makes sharing the website address (URL) of your LinkedIn profile easier. Until you create your customized LinkedIn profile URL, your LinkedIn profile is going to have a gnarly URL attached to it, full of numbers and letters.
You can easily create your own customized LinkedIn profile URL. Here is how my own customized LinkedIn profile URL looks:
The image below shows you where to look in your Edit Profile page to create your customized profile URL. Look in the top right area on the screenshot below to see the link marked “Your Public Profile URL.”
To navigate to this page, start at your LinkedIn homepage. Look for the Profile tab at the top of the page; click on that and choose the first link in the drop-down menu, Edit Profile.
Once you are on the Edit Profile page, look for the URL for your LinkedIn profile page, which appears just below your photo. Click on the little “wheel” or “sun” icon next to your LinkedIn profile URL. And change it to your own name.
3. BACKGROUND GRAPHIC (5 minutes needed)
This is perhaps the most overlooked element of a LinkedIn profile. If you don’t have a background graphic, LinkedIn displays a generic image behind your profile photo. Very few people take advantage of the opportunity to display a background graphic, so you can stand out this way.
Find an image that expresses a message that supports your Unique Selling Point (USP). You can show a good and clear image of you speaking at an event. You can also look for an image that is symbolic of your work or your industry. I have written an article about finding a good free photo online, here
4. PROFILE PHOTO (20 minutes needed)
The worst is “no profile photo at all”. A LinkedIn profile without a profile photo does not get any view at all!
Don´t put a selfie. If you do not have a profile photo, then take your smartphone and ask a friend to take some photos of yourself. Here is a one minute long Youtube manual for taking a passport photo with your smartphone:
Please note: profile photos that are taken with your camera in “zoom mode” are much better than using normal mode. Best is using the “portrait mode” on iPhone 7plus or similar!
5. JOBS SECTION (10 – 20 minutes needed)
I use my LinkedIn profile as a comprehensive overview of my past, in case that someone wants to use me as an Expert Witness. Apart from that, it tells viewers a lot about your personality and where you are coming from. That creates trust. So, take some time to review your chronological job history and ensure it’s accurate and aligned with your resume.
6. ADD A SUMMARY SECTION (10 minutes needed)
Best is to have a written summary section with your USP, but if you do not have time to write a complete summary, just start with adding some keywords that help people to find you. In my case it is “patents”, “trademarks”, “Singapore”, “Germany”, “Munich”, “business methods” and “gearbox”.
The keyword “lawyer” is useless. In the first place, I do not do a general lawyers´ work. I am an expert for very specific legal aspects, and I do that, only. Second, there are ten dozens of general lawyers for a dime out there. My own USP is as sharp and focused as a laser pointer.
Think about how people refer to your own preferred areas in law and include those keywords in your summary and also in your job descriptions.
7. PERFECT YOUR HEADLINE (5 minutes needed)
Your headline is the 120-word line that appears immediately under your name.
Again, put those keywords that support your USP, that helps people to find you. In my case is “patents”, “trademarks”, “Singapore”, “Germany”, “Munich”, “business methods” and “gearbox”.
8. UPDATE YOUR SKILLS SECTION (5 minutes needed)
Almost nobody keeps the “skills” section up-to-date. You can add up to 50 skills to your profile, but LinkedIn will highlight your top three skills. Manually move those three skills to the top that truly set you apart from other patent attorneys, according to your USP. But add all skills that are relevant.
20/80 Pareto Principle
You could spend much more time on each of these eight tasks – and you should plan to do so once the current crunch time is over. My laundry list above with eight (8) areas provides quick fixes that can be done in only one hour´s time and that solve 80% of the potential issues. This is more than enough to stick out from the masses.
Call to Action
As you read these lines, open a new tab in your browser, open LinkedIn, – using the right mouse button – click on your profile picture on the top right of the present webpage. This will open your LinkedIn profile in a new browser tab.
Then click the little pen in order to access the edit mode.
Then start editing.
Do it now.
Martin “better marketing” Schweiger