Stretch your professional profile

  • By
  • | 12:00 p.m. August 19, 2013
  • | 5 Free Articles Remaining!
  • News
  • Share

Are you connected on LinkedIn? Or Facebook?

Hopefully, you answered yes.

Social media is becoming an indispensable medium and branding tool to help you and stand out to your target audience.

In the past few years, LinkedIn has emerged as a powerful Rolodex and professional business tool to connect, stay connected or reconnect with others.

There is much we can do to take advantage of this digital platform to grow our networks and practices.

Here are some tips to create and keep your profile fresh, relevant and current.

• Create an all-star profile that is 100 percent complete and interesting. Upload a current, professional picture. This is the first item people look at right after your name. Be creative with your profile headline and include more than attorney or lawyer. Your headline is key to search engine optimization. Highlight your practice and list your affiliations, publications, education and interests. Use keywords in the summary section to enhance your visibility. Make it interesting and memorable. Take advantage of the many options offered to personalize your profile to best meet your goals.

• Find contacts and request connections. Is your network current? I typically contact people I meet before the meeting to review their profiles. Review your connections and invite others to connect with you. Build your network by connecting with colleagues, organization leaders, clients, prospective clients and others. There are many ways to find connections based on your profile and contacts.

• Sending and accepting invitations. Send a personal message with your connection request. Be cautious about who you invite and accept in your network. Unfortunately, some people use this medium for aggressive self-promotion. If you find yourself with an unpleasant connection, you can directly remove the connection from the person's profile. The quality of your connections is more important than the quantity.

• Post distinct, valuable and interesting updates. Your connections form an impression of your knowledge and value offerings based on your status updates. Post articles and links of interest. It is nice to receive and give comments and likes from posts.

• Link your profile and broaden your exposure. Add links to your website and blog posts. Showcase your work and affiliations with links to videos, presentations and images. Use these features to make your profile more appealing.

• Stay posted on the latest information from the Florida Bar Association about online social networking posts. Rules regulating this platform are changing as more people are using social media to grow their networks.

• Set a limit to the time you devote to this medium. Social media cannot replace your in-person relationship building efforts. It should only enhance those efforts. Schedule 15-30 minutes daily or weekly to refresh your profile, comment and monitor your social networks.

• Become involved in relevant group discussions. LinkedIn provides forums to ask and respond to questions from the members of the groups you belong. By engaging in the conversation, you have an opportunity to demonstrate and share your knowledge.

• Consistent long-term engagement is key. Social networking is a marathon not a sprint — this is another reason why I tend to like this medium. It should be a long-term commitment. Be consistent at creating and providing meaningful content and interactions.

I look forward to Linking up with you.



Special Offer: $5 for 2 Months!

Your free article limit has been reached this month.
Subscribe now for unlimited digital access to our award-winning business news.