With over 800 million users around the world and, perhaps more significantly, as the only business-focused social media platform, LinkedIn is a global powerhouse. But have you considered how it could help you as a legal professional at a personal and even local level?
What was once not much more than a CV library and international jobs board, the platform has evolved over recent years and is now a place where important industry connections are made and business referrals take place. Whilst the growth seen during the pandemic has understandably slowed, LinkedIn is looking to build on its increased profile by making significant investment in its main hubs around the world, including running Creator Accelerator Programmes.
I was very fortunate to recently participate in the UK’s first LinkedIn Creator Accelerator Programme, following on from similar programmes in the USA and India. I was just one of 150 participants from across the country drawn from a wide cross-section of industries.
“Creator” is a fancy name for someone who posts content; I publish posts but certainly don’t feel like a creator! Either way, I was delighted to be given the opportunity to help raise awareness of probate genealogy and the wider wills and probate legal sector.
What then followed was six weeks of intense learning and collaborating, which required some juggling of childcare and after-work plans. From the initial welcome event right through to the graduation event at the start of December, there were weekly online events, challenges, and workshop sessions all aimed at helping create better content.
Highlights for me personally included the in-depth session on “Owning Your Niche”, perhaps particularly relevant to me in my role. This suggested that rather than a niche working against you, an area of specialist interest can be harnessed to create a really engaged and switched on audience. An example in the private client world could perhaps be contentious probate from the wider probate sector.
There was also an excellent session on accessibility was thought provoking on a number of levels. I think we’ve all unwittingly been guilty of some of the following with our activity on LinkedIn including:
- Not adding captions to our videos
- Ignoring the Alt Text option on images
- Using hashtags that aren’t capitalised at the beginning of each word (Pascal case). A famous example here would be #superbowl as opposed to #SuperBowl
This accessibility session has probably had more impact on my content since than any other; it is abundantly clear that improving accessibility for those impacted is a major part of LinkedIn’s drive to improve inclusivity for all users.
Lastly, as a group we we’re all treated to a selection of mentor talks from high profile social media figures. This included talks from influencers such as Harpreet Kaur (The Apprentice winner from 2022), renowned You Tuber Caspar Lee, and my personal favourite, Paul Carrick Brunson.
Not only did Paul’s session talk through his own fascinating career – including working alongside Oprah Winfrey – he also sprinkled his chat with real life practical tips and advice, particularly around personal branding that we could all use.
There were also other goodies and benefits of being part of the programme including access to free trials, free merchandise, and other complementary stuff. We were also compensated for our time, but I think in all honesty all 150 of us would’ve participated in the programme for free (but don’t tell LinkedIn that!).
What’s any of this got to do with you as a legal professional, you might be thinking? Well, LinkedIn could give you a convenient solution to complete some of the dreaded networking that your firm is no-doubt asking to you do – and all from the convenience of your phone or laptop. LinkedIn allows you the opportunity not just to mingle with peers, clients, and potential prospects (not to mention future employers), but also allows you to create a name for yourself through posting content that gets you recognised.
Not sure about posting your own content yet? That’s fine, and the next best thing is to begin commenting on the posts of others. Commenting is the lifeblood of the platform and benefits not just you but the creator of the content you actually comment on too. It’s a simple way of getting yourself seen and heard.
Creating content doesn’t have to be hard – you may already have a back catalogue of articles, white papers, and case studies that you’ve already produced. LinkedIn isn’t necessarily about posting brand new or unique content, so repurposing content is an effective way to go, though you must put your own spin on it.
Look at LinkedIn as a bus. You can either be on the bus, directing in what direction the bus takes, or you can stay on the sidelines. Ultimately, it’s about you controlling your own narrative. And if you spot the next Creator Accelerator Programme being advertised, then go for it!
Joe Lander, Business Development Manager, Anglia Research