In some respects, LinkedIn is like an onion, with many layers that can reveal hidden treasures in terms of lead generation, marketing and research.

Like other social networks, you can easily get lost on LinkedIn or just complacent by doing the same things when you’re on the site. Little did you know that there are obscure features that will allow you to, among other things:

  • Keep your connections private so only you can see them
  • Send a message to someone you’re not connected to
  • Get new leads emailed directly to you
  • Find prospects that already have something in common with you
  • Customize your connection requests
  • Automate posts to the groups you’re in
  • Set follow-up reminders
  • Search a client’s connections for referrals
  • Find out what a prospect is interested in
  • And more!

This list of secret LinkedIn tips was created by HubSpot last year and updated recently to incorporate the latest changes to the site:

Whether you want to connect with non-competing attorneys, non-legal professionals, or potential clients, the demographics on LinkedIn speak for themselves:

  • 67% of users are between the ages of 25 and 54; the largest age group is 35-54.
  • 44% of users report an annual income of more than $100,000.
  • 50% of members have a college degree; 28% have a graduate degree.
  • The average CEO or executive with a profile on LinkedIn has 900+ connections.
  • 41% of people worth at least $1 million say that they use LinkedIn.
  • 48% of members have some form of a decision-making position where they work.

LinkedIn members are highly educated and affluent. Is this a demographic you would like to reach? For most attorneys, the answer is obvious.

The key to utilizing LinkedIn effectively is to be involved and be consistent. You need to commit to investing at least 30-45 minutes every week to log in, post an update or a link to your blog, reach out to your contacts, answer any questions that are sent to you, and make yourself visible. Simply setting up a profile will not lead to more referrals any more than a having a business card will automatically get you new business.