LinkedIn for Lawyers (book review)

December 20th, 2013 | by Jason Alba |

linkedin_for_lawyers_coverI got the chance to review LinkedIn for Lawyers: connect, engage and grow your business.  This was written by Kirsten Hodgson and published by LexisNexis.  This is a sponsored review.

I have given presentations to groups of lawyers and have found it to be difficult because they like to hear from someone who speaks their language and understands their environment.  Kirsten is the right person to write this book, and train the legal audience.  She is deeply involved with law firms, in a marketing capacity, and knows what their needs and constraints are.  The book is about $50 (not US dollars), and can be purchased here.

I’ve been covering LinkedIn for a long time, since 2006.  After reading her book, here are my unadulterated thoughts:

  • I love the case studies at the beginning… she’ll later get into tactics and techniques, but she starts out showing what some RESULTS have been from people who have used LinkedIn proactively;
  • Chapter 3 is about “content marketing,” which is critical to any marketing strategy and especially well-suited for LinkedIn and social channels;
  • Kirsten has multiple “action reminders” in the system to prompt you to actual do something (rather than read the book just to learn);
  • Kirsten gives you specific ideas to help trigger content ideas, like “what does your target audience need to know about new/recent legislation”, etc.;
  • She suggestions you search to see who is there – your competition, your customers, and tells you how and why to do this;
  • On page 36 she has questions that you should (MUST)  answer… your answers to the questions will constitute a good part of your social marketing strategy, and give you focus and clarity in your online marketing;
  • In the chapter on setting up the profile she asks the critical question: “what do clients look for when hiring a lawyer?” She gives you important considerations to setting up the right profile to attract and persuade clients;
  • She has great tips on setting up your company page;
  • She has a great example of how to ask for a well-written “recommendation”;
  • She addresses the important consideration of whether you are using LI as a company, or as a firm/company;
  • As I read the book I was constantly reminded that this is not just a book on the technicalities of LinkedIn, but Kirsten gives great networking advice that apply in LinkedIn as well as in your other networking endeavors;
  • She has great LinkedIn Group advice, including considering whether you should start your own group or not;
  • There are examples of effective status updates to engage, ask, build community and share your brand/expertise;
  • I like how you learn how to interact with people in a group discussion (going further than just putting up, or commenting on, a “discussion”);
  • She recommends LinkedIn Today and why it can be helpful… but my advice is that it’s a waste of time (not enough bang for buck), and can be very distracting with very little (if any) return;
  • She gives you information on how to use the paid advertising platform well;
  • In chapter 12 she talks about taking relationships offline…!! This is critical and I’m glad she included it in the book (since people might assume they’ve finally found the marketing silver bullet)!
  • Kirsten helps you think about how to measure your results, and what metrics you would pay attention to.

Kirsten struggles with the same thing I do, which is trying to cover LinkedIn through all of their changes!  In her book she has plenty of advice on LinkedIn Answers (now defunct), LinkedIn Events (now defunct), LinkedIn Signal (now defunct), and other defunct things.

In spite of that, I wholly recommend her book to anyone in the legal industry.  The networking advice, specific tactics with LinkedIn, how to use LinkedIn with other systems (and offline networking/tactics), and all of this specifically for law firms, I can stand behind this book for lawyers.

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