Roberta M. Gubbins, Esq.
I Write Content--You Practice Law

Draft Three / blog

Getting started with LinkedIn

Recently I, along with 1999 other folks attended the ABA Tech show in Chicago. I went for Thursday only, the day devoted to social media along with several other tracks. There were four sessions covering a range of topics such as Leveraging LinkedIn and Finagling Facebook, Maximizing your investment in social media and social media as an information-gathering tool. After a day of listening, I learned that, as of that day, the most popular social media outlets for lawyers were LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. 

I decided to start my social media efforts with LinkedIn so I bought Allison Shields and Dennis Kennedy’s “LinkedIn in One Hour for Lawyers.” There were a number of books available, however I liked the One Hour promise and the cost, which for the ABA, was cheap at slightly less than $30.00, a special rate for the conference.

Once home, I opened the book, set myself up to spend an hour on my computer the end of which I planned to be on page 120, the final page. Of course, that was not so. At the end of three hours I was on page 24, having upgraded my profile and was about to move on to learn about connections. I hope to complete the book with its excellent suggestions within a month.

Why does it take so long?

First, there is the issue of language. If we recall our early days in law school when we weren’t sure what a plaintiff or defendant was and had nary a clue as to the meaning of such terms as per se, pro se, or res judicata, then it is easy to understand why there is a steep learning curve. LinkedIn also has a language that must be learned.

Second, there is a lot of writing to be done. While some facts such as education, current employment and interests can be done in a short amount of time, assuming you can remember it all, it is not so easy to give a summary of your professional experience, goals, and specialties in about 330 words. At this point this piece is a bit more than 330 words so you can see that brevity is vital and knowing what to include could be difficult.

The entire process takes a lot of thought. For example, your professional headline, a one-line description that accompanies your name, requires pondering. A simple line such as partner or associate attorney is not enough. There is room for 120 characters and the authors recommend using them all. They suggest you describe your practice area, your services or your type of clients, information deemed to be helpful to someone outside your field.

Then there is the photo. They recommend a professional photo for LinkedIn. A photo with your spouse, kids, dog, or standing regally on the courthouse steps will not do. That means finding a photographer, getting the time to have the picture taken, paying for it, uploading onto your computer and then onto LinkedIn.

Even though I believe the title of the book was written ‘tongue in cheek’ and one hour is clearly not enough time to achieve all that can be accomplished with LinkedIn, I still recommend it.

It is easy to follow and, so far, at least, has been most helpful. I think my profile looks better. And I found a quasi-professional photo without the dog to upload. You can see for yourself at:
Roberta M.Gubbins | LinkedIn  
Now I will move on to the chapters on getting started with connections, participating on LinkedIn using updates and groups, and finally learn how to monitor my network and optimize my settings.

Then, I guess if I am lucky, LinkedIn will not have been replaced and I can move on to Facebook.
Roberta GubbinsComment