LinkedIn Tips for Professionals
If you’re a professional, business development is at the forefront of your mind, and when it comes to marketing, LinkedIn offers unique opportunities to grow your firm or company. Most professionals have profiles on LinkedIn and many are active on the platform. What was once considered a marketplace for job seekers, it has evolved into a platform to plant the seeds for long term, meaningful business relationships. If you’re not active on LinkedIn, or have not been active in a while, complete your online profile and get involved. How do you do that? A few suggestions:
Connect with others. Make connections with other LinkedIn members. LinkedIn will suggest to whom you should reach out. Search out colleagues you know and connect with them. Be open to connection requests from like minded professionals. Take the time to grow your circle of influence on the platform.
Get to know your connections. Where appropriate, message your connections and discuss issues and topics you have in common. Don’t sell. Just have a regular conversation via messaging.
Take your relationships offline. After exchanging messages, consider asking a connection out for coffee and meeting them in person to discuss your respective businesses. Again, you’re not selling. You’re letting the relationship evolve into something deeper and more significant.
Understand the evolution of relationships. Relationships, whether business or personal, grow or wane, so you are responsible for the proper care and feeding of your relationships. To go from connecting to someone on LinkedIn to receiving business from her, you have to invest in a relationship that takes time, energy and attention.
LinkedIn is an introduction. Understand that LinkedIn is a virtual cocktail party. You can meet just about any professional you can imagine on the platform. Once you do, treat them the way you would treat them if you bumped into them near the bar at a reception. Be polite. Be professional. Be confidant but not egotistical. Be kind. Be pleasant. Don’t sell. And lay the foundation for future conversations. Some connections will happen. Some won’t. Some will want to talk to you. Some won’t. Some will develop into long term business relationships. Some won’t. LinkedIn is an introduction. Use it for that and take it from there.
Understanding LinkedIn is a tool to meet and get to know others, an online networking venue, will help you make the most of it and the most of the time you spend with the folks you meet on it.
Francisco (“Frank”) Ramos Jr. is the Managing Partner of Clarke Silverglate, where he practices in the areas of commercial litigation, drug & medical device, products and catastrophic personal injury. He is AV Rated and is listed in Best Lawyers in America for his defense work in product liability matters. He starts his 20th year at Clarke Silverglate and his 21st year of practice. He has tried personal injury, medical malpractice, product liability, 1983 and inverse condemnation cases to verdict and has spoken and written extensively on trial skills, and as a certified mediator, has resolved various matters through alternative dispute resolution.
In advance of the firm’s mission for its lawyers to be leaders and mentors, Frank has been President of the Florida Defense Lawyers Association and the 11th Judicial Historical Society, and has served on the board of the Defense Research Institute, Florida International University’s Alumni Association, Florida International University’s Honors College, Parent to Parent of Miami, Miami-Dade Defense Bar Association, Legal Services of Greater Miami and Florida Christian School. He serves as a mentor to countless young lawyers and law students through his publications, social media posts, presentations, webinars and his “coffee chats.” He has written seven books for lawyers (The Future of Law, Go Motivate Yourself, From Law School to Litigator, The Associates’ Handbook, Attorney Marketing 101, Training Your Law Firm Associates and SLDO Strategic Planning Manual), has edited four books for lawyers (The Defense Speaks, The Trial Tactics Defense Manual, The Deposition Manual and Leadership for Lawyers) and has written over 200 articles for lawyers and business professionals.
His dedication to young lawyers can further be seen through his development of a Deposition Boot Camp and Art of Marketing Program through the Federation of Defense & Corporate Counsel, a selective defense organization which hand-picked Frank when he was only 8 years into the practice. You can follow him on LinkedIn for daily practice pointers and business tips, where he has over 30,000 followers.
In his spare time, he enjoys writing, reading science fiction and hearing his two boys, David, 19, and Michael, 17, perform classical and jazz music.