LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network with more than 187 million members in over 200 countries. LinkedIn is adding new members at the rate of 2 per second.
Phone books and local business directories look like chump change when compared to LinkedIn. So why is it that lawyers do not include all of their contact information with their LinkedIn profile?
Lawyers and law firms freely included all of the contact info we had before the net (business phone number and office address) in phone books and local business directories.
Whether your law firm used the yellow pages or not, your lawyers were listed in the white pages. And no one had a problem listing a law firm and its lawyers, with contact info, in the business directory you’d see at the library, the chamber, and in some businesses.
Today, LinkedIn is the directory and networking platform of record for professionals. As lawyers we have additional points of contact by which people can engage us beyond a office phone and address.
LinkedIn is gracious enough to let us list all of our points of contact — for free. All of which can be found at someone’s office desk, mobile phone, or tablet being viewed on a commute.
- Twitter handle
- Email address
- Mobile phone for calls and text (preferred so can reach me at conference etc)
- Skype (preferred by many contacts, especially international ones)
- Office address
Here’s a screen shot of the top portion of my LinkedIn profile. I have highlighted that portion of my profile which depicts my contact information.
This highlighted portion of my profile is displayed when a user clicks on the ‘Contact Info’ text which I have pointed out.
Some of you may think I am nuts to share all of this information so freely, especially my cell phone number. Have I been bothered or inconvenienced by sharing this contact information? Not that I know of.
What I do know is that freely sharing my information indicates I trust folks. I also know my business’ success is dependent on my clients, prospective clients, and business associates being able to reach me when they would like to.
It’s easy to edit your LinkedIn profile. I’d suggest that as a lawyer you include all of your contact information. I’d advise law firms to have a policy that all of the firm’s lawyers include their contact info in their LinkedIn profiles.
The benefits of making it easy for those people you want to contact you outweigh any concerns you may have about disclosing your contact information.