When I talk to attorneys about LinkedIn, I point out the issue of whether to make connections public. Unfortunately, there are currently only two settings available for LinkedIn – make all your connections public or private. Here are three approaches:
- Share all your non-client connections but tell clients you won’t make your connection with them public
- Don’t share any of your connections whether clients or not
- Share all your connections including clients
Larry Bodine talked with Lisa DiMonte, a legal marketing consultant who points to Brian Burt, a partner at Snell & Wilmer. I agree that he uses Linkedin very effectively and I recommend attorneys look at his profiles for ideas. Its interesting that Lisa mentions his more than 500 contacts but not that he doesn’t share any of them.
Best Use of LinkedIn?
LinkedIn began as a form of referral marketing which requires sharing contacts so you can reference who you know to potential prospects or potential referral partners. If you lockdown your contacts, then you and your sphere lose out on this critical feature of the service. What Mr. Burt’s approach suggests is that LinkedIn can still be extremely powerful even when you don’t share contacts. Would I recommend his approach? It would depend on the attorney, the nature of the practice and whether they worked for a firm that had an existing policy regarding revealing contacts. I wouldn’t be surprised if Snell & Wilmer had a policy for its attorneys about revealing contacts on LinkedIn profiles.
Interestingly, you can see some of Mr. Burt’s recommendations from clients so perhaps Snell also has a rule that if they get written consent from a specific client, these recommendations can be made public.