How To Use LinkedIn To Connect with Potential Clients

One of the most beneficial things a lawyer can learn is how to use LinkedIn to connect and attract potential clients. I’m 99% sure most of you have LinkedIn profiles and have also taken steps to make sure they’re fully optimized. If not, please read this post and come back as soon as you’re done!  
Advanced Search and Referrals

Who is your ideal client?  I recommend you jot down your top ten “dream client” list.   Afterwards try and find them on LinkedIn, you’ll be surprised!  
It’s incredibly easy to get started on your search. Log into your profile and click “Advanced” next to the search field:
Make sure you have “people” selected in the drop down box to the left of the field.  You will have a variety of  options on the next screen.  Where does your ideal client live? What industry are they in?  Be as specific as possible. Don’t worry if you don’t get too many results. Broaden your search criteria and try again.  Here are some of your options:

You can also search by relationship and language.  If you decide to upgrade your LinkedIn profile to a premium account you can also search by groups, seniority level, interested in, years of experience, function, recently joined, Fortune 1000 and company size.   This can be extremely useful.  Where else can you find this type of information?  It’s very rare you can find it on the company website!
Take some time and look for your potential clients on LinkedIn. Once you find them the next step is to see if you already have mutual connections. Take a look at one of your desired clients profile page.  In the mid right area of the page you’ll see a box that shows how you’re connected:
(A big thanks to my good friend Natalie Huha for letting me use her profile in this example!)  In this case I could pick up the phone and call Natalie because she’s a trusted connection and I’m confident she’d have no qualms about connecting me with Megan.   LinkedIn even has a specific function called “Get Introduced though a connection” that makes the whole process simple.
Recently I was asked by a new connection to introduce one of his connections to one of of my connections.  I didn’t even know this was possible!  It’s a tough call to make when doing this as I don’t know this connection personally and how can I make a personal recommendation?  What would you do?
LinkedIn Groups
It’s also a good idea to view the Groups and Associations field under Additional Information on your desired contacts profile.  Do you share the same industry? Do you have common interests?  Make sure the connection is authentic before jumping in.  You don’t want to come off spammy.  

LinkedIn groups are forums relating to one topic.  They can be public or private.  It’s a good idea to watch the group dynamic when you first join.  Are they a chatty group? Are there thousands of members? How do they interact? Make sure you keep in line with the groups atmosphere and chip in when appropriate.  
These are two of the ways I’ve used LinkedIn to connect with potential clients and I’ve seen it work.  What’s your experience been like? 

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