By Kevin O'Keefe

LinkedIn being wrongly dissed in legal community

LinkedIn for LawyersSome folks in the legal marketing circles started a legal marketing LinkedIn group last week. It took off. Hundreds of members within a few days.

Wow, I’m thinking law firms are seeing the light. Wrong. Legal marketing professionals, tethered to the past like a ball and chain and always skeptical about things they don’t understand start dismissing LinkedIn and other forms of social networking as tools of little, if any value, to lawyers looking to market their services.

Here’s just a sample from the nay-sayers.

  • The “buzz” on LinkedIn and social networking makes me remember the dot-com boom and cheers for Nasdaq 5000, and look how well that worked out.
  • Only 7% of lawyers rate LinkedIn as “very helpful” from a professional and or social networking perspective.
  • 81% of lawyers say that less than 20% of their networking was conducted on-line.

LinkedIn was barely heard of in the legal profession until the last year and we now have almost 7% of legal professionals saying it’s an important networking tool. Almost 20% of lawyers conducting their networking online. That rate of uptake is faster than email and websites.

Yesterday I had 8 different people look at my profile at LinkedIn, 5 of which were within our target for prospective clients. Another, I believe, was checking me out to speak in front of their group. I also picked up another recommendation from an existing client who posted it to my profile at LinkedIn.

I also use LinkedIn to network with reporters who interview me or whose stories I blog about as well as bloggers whose content I reference or who reference my content. Those are amplifiers who generate word of mouth discussion about me and my company.

The profiles at LinkedIn tell me and others a heck of a lot more than a profile at Martindale-Hubbell or at a law firm website. Much more of a 360 degree view and if they are not already, they soon will be, viewed by more business professionals across all industries.

I use LinkedIn for free. Have never paid for the upgrade. And it’s working like a charm. Like anything else, LinkedIn is not all I use, it’s a tool I use with a bunch of others.

Let’s ask better questions. Rather than ask how few people view LinkedIn as an important networking tool, why not ask is there an Internet networking tool that has an an adoption rate in the legal profession that far exceeds email and and websites? If the answer were yes, we’d all be running to check it out. That’s why so many people are checking out LinkedIn.

And if you haven’t tried LinkedIn mobile, its great.

And you’d have to guess it, when I rave about LinkedIn it goes down. :(

Kevin O'Keefe
About the Author

Trial lawyer turned legal tech entrepreneur, I am the founder and CEO of LexBlog, a legal blog community of over 30,000 blog publishers, worldwide. LexBlog’s publishing platform is used on a subscription basis by over 18,000 legal professionals, including the largest law firm in each India, China and the United States.

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