I’m all over this latest trend in law firm bios. I first saw it debuted at a Legal Marketing Association presentation, and now I’m seeing law firms actually adopting it.
The hook? Put the lawyer front and center, but from the perspective of the client.
Think Like a Client When Writing Lawyer Bios
Before listing credentials, practice group or law school, firms are leading with a quote about what it’s like to work with the attorney, what clients see as their specific strengths, or what the attorney reports is their professional passion.
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But here’s the rub. Unless you are self-aware with a quote at the ready, a top-ranked Chambers attorney with reviews, or have a bank of client testimonials, like most of us you are probably caught flat-footed. And when it comes time to freshen your bio, sometimes even the biggest talkers among us find ourselves tongue-tied.
Drum roll and enter stage left, LinkedIn recommendations. This is an easy-to-use, socially acceptable way of asking peers what they like about working with you. And yet only some lawyers take advantage of this. Why? I’m going to chalk it up to being unfamiliar with the process, and a bit of shyness in asking for a compliment.
50 Lawyers Doing LinkedIn Recommendations Right
So, I’ve compiled a helpful list of more than 50 lawyers from a wide variety of practices around the country who have mastered the art of LinkedIn recommendations. You’ll find solos, attorneys in big firms, in-house counsel, neutrals, those with corporate practices, consumer practices and more. Lawyers who went to top-tier schools, a few from night schools, and everything in-between. Practitioners who have decades of experience and those just out of law school. (Full disclosure: The list includes a few clients and Attorney at Work columnist Ruth Carter. Click here to download the PDF.)
My advice: Study this list. Find practitioners whose voice and style resonates with your own. Then start asking for recommendations. They made it work, and so can you.
Asking for Recommendations
You can ask for recommendations while working on your own profile, or when you are on a connection’s profile. Here are the simple steps from LinkedIn.
Sometimes I email a peer, tell them I am working on my profile, and let them know they will be receiving a recommendation request. Some connections will know exactly what they want to write, while others may appreciate some direction, such as “I was hoping you might have some feedback after our work together on the Clarkson case.”
Other times, I prompt them to provide comment on a specific skill if it’s a strength I want to highlight.
Keep Recommendations Current
Because you can choose whether to make the recommendation public on your profile, you have the luxury of including only those that are spot-on.
Choose which to post based on the quality of the shout-out and the work you are currently seeking.
As you mature in your career, eliminate recommendations from early years, unless it comes from someone with gravitas who recognized an important strength early on. And when your practice pivots, you can weed out recommendations that no longer fit with the mix of services you are selling.
These recommendations are a boon to your LinkedIn profile, but can also be used for your website bio, other marketing collateral and RFPs.
Let Your Clients Toot Your Horn
An important part of selling yourself is knowing what resonates with the marketplace. Listen to your clients to learn which strengths are most valued. And then let them toot your horn.