The Mad Clientist

How Clients Hire: Largest Legal Spenders Look for New Law Firms on LinkedIn

By February 1, 2017No Comments

LinkedIn’s day has come. The most demanding and sophisticated Chief Legal Officers in the world are hiring new attorneys through LinkedIn.

Power Users Are the Power Spenders

Top CLOs’ hunger for new approaches leads them to LinkedIn—and to new attorneys. 21% of top legal decision makers are actively using LinkedIn to find new ideas, find new attorneys, network, and stay noticed themselves. But this is no ordinary 21%—these clients are the biggest spenders with the biggest needs. They spend twice as much on legal as other companies and 3 times the amount of those who don’t use LinkedIn.

Are you looking to get noticed? 15% of leading GCs are sharing knowledge and looking for knowledge in return. 1/3rd are looking for and reading articles. We expect these numbers to double in the next 3 years.

Firms can only attract the top decision makers with dynamic and original content—and spiffy attorney profiles. This compels law firms to beef up their content game. Attorneys can re-purpose content for LinkedIn but anything looking like an email alert is skipped over and gone forever. These decision makers only have time to scan headlines to select the articles worthy of their time.

Once read, your prospect now clicks on the attorney profile to check them out. These top clients expect to see a robust profile with lots of connections and something of interest to say. Sparse and stale profiles of an attorney not already known to them will stop these time-starved executives in their tracks. This should prompt every attorney spiff up their profile—now—and make it different from all others.   

More GCs on the Way to LinkedIn

Almost half of all GCs (48.4%) are using LinkedIn, just not to the extent of the power spenders/users discussed above. These early stage users rely on LinkedIn to research attorneys they plan to hire, and to maintain and grow their networks.

Leveraging the Growing Role of LinkedIn

LinkedIn started hitting GCs’ radars in 2015. The same recommendations apply today. Invite every single client you have worked with in the last 3 years to connect, and be sure to insert their name in the invitation to personalize the message. Send a LinkedIn invite to every potential client the same day you meet—not only will you be connected—you will appear committed, proactive, and responsive.

These connections give you the opportunity to go beyond networking to offering curated content—the tool of choice to reach the top decision makers. This alone is reason enough to handover all your contacts to your assistant and send invitations to connect with everyone you know or have met.

Showing You Have Your Finger on the Relevant Pulse

Start by posting short articles or thought pieces. All it takes is an insightful article or a connection to another respected CLO to come to the attention of these coveted potential clients.

No time? Comment on and share articles. Corporate counsel like connectors, too. Sharing articles rather than authoring them can also place you in the rarefied air of valued person to know—the first step in building a relationship.

Regular and continuous sharing will start you gaining traction. Over time, clients and potential clients will start to recognize you as having your finger on the relevant pulse and want to read the items you share. Then, and only then, will they reach out to learn more. 

MBR

*Based on in-depth BTI research conducted on a rolling basis between February 2016 and August 2016. BTI conducted more than 330 independent, individual interviews with CLOs and General Counsel at Fortune 1000 companies and large organizations.

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  • Barbara S Kaplan says:

    The legal services industry needs this post. Thank you for giving legal decision makers permission to use and trust LinkedIn for hiring and sharing thought-leadership.

  • Bless you. I work with lawyers as a business development coach (after 30 years of practice). Only about one third of them–at every level of experience-uses Linkedin even at a moderately effective level. Most are skeptics and maintain weak profiles, sharing virtually no content. Worse, most of their firms have yet to train them or provide the knowledge management support that might generate productive activity. The statistics have been out there for years. Usage by general counsel, at meaningful levels, has been reported for years. But this post is close to impossible to ignore–I hope. It is already clogging up my Buffer queue and embedded in many a client email. Bravo.

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