Are you using your blog posts as a way to engage clients, prospective clients, and their influencers?

If not, you’re missing out on a heck of an opportunity to stay in touch with people and to meet people you’ve not had the pleasure of engaging. Let me tell one way to do so.

Post your blog posts at LinkedIn with an accompanying teaser comment or question. If you use a RSS reader such as Feedly or Mr. Reader, share your posts directly from there. That way it’s a seamless experience. No copying and pasting etc.

Your post will then be displayed in the LinkedIn feed of your connections and possibly into the general news on LinkedIn. Mark your posts to display to everyone, not just your connections. Your posts on LinkedIn will also show up on your profile.

Take a look at the above screenshot from my iPad of one of my blog posts on LinkedIn’s iPad app. Use an iPad for posting from your reader as well as viewing LinkedIn, it’s far superior to a desktop experience.

Look at the nice display of my blog post title, the image from the post, the teaser heading, and my picture. That’s a pretty slick presentation. But it’s not the networking gold you’re looking for.

Look closer and see the 11 likes and 5 comments. Each of those likes and comments includes the picture, name, and title of the person leaving the like or comment. Better yet, touch the picture and you receive the LinkedIn profile of the user.

What do you do now? On comments chime in, that’s pretty obvious. On likes or comments, it’s time to be social.

What do I mean? On this post, I noticed that a marketing director from back East liked my post. With her profile open, I touched the ‘send a message link’ to drop her a note asking her how she was doing and letting her know I saw her like a post of mine. I met her eighteen months ago and sincerely wanted to catch up.

I received a wonderful response that she was glad to hear from me, letting me know what her firm was doing on the business development front, and sharing some special personal news.

Will that quick exchange lead to LexBlog and her firm working together? I don’t know, but I’ll take my chances and I like helping her firm with feedback and insight along the way anyway. I have made a note to reach out to her if I do not hear back.

In another case I reached out to a lawyer with a large law firm client of LexBlog’s. I had not met the lawyer yet and wanted to exchange notes and let him know I and his LexBlog account manager were here for him.

Staying in touch with clients like that is worth its weight in gold. One, it’s just the decent thing to do. And two, relationships are what make the world go around in business. I want our relationship to be based on him looking at me and my company as trusted advisors.

You need to dig your well before you get thirsty to make this work for you. You need to connect with people on LinkedIn – especially clients, prospective clients, business associates, referral sources, and the influencers of these folks (bloggers, reporters, association leaders).

For those of you with a fair amount of connections, start sharing your posts on LinkedIn. Look for local business leaders who like or comment on a post. You’ll also find clients and prospective clients likely to do the same – including executives and in-house counsel.

You can make exchanges in a LinkedIn message (that’s private anyway) without breaching any confidences, forming an attorney-client relationship, or soliciting business. Being social, or just being polite, does not raise ethical concerns.

A couple tips. One, share some content authored by third parties that you think of interest to your audience. That way you don’t look selfish (look at me) by sharing only your posts. I’ll confess, it’s only a post or two a week from a third party that I share on LinkedIn.

Two, do the posting and engaging yourself. Do not have someone else do the work for you. Real and authentic engagement to nurture and build relationships is what we’re talking about here. Fakes are fakes, and you can spot them from a mile away.

Easy stuff here if you have an iPad and use a reader like I do (Mr Reader). The results can also be much more powerful than the results received by distributing content for traffic reasons alone