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How many years ago did you set up your LinkedIn profile?  When was the last time you updated it?  How active are you on it?

If you are not seeing results from being on LinkedIn, perhaps it’s time to review how you are using it.  For many years, people saw LinkedIn as nothing more than a place to post the equivalent of a CV: they added details of their education, work history and a photo, but never really got any more involved.  For professional services firms, in particular, many business owners or senior partners saw little value in spending their valuable time on the platform.

How has LinkedIn changed?

These days, LinkedIn is a busy place, with lots to see and do.  Here’s why it might be time to look again:

  • Many of your colleagues, competitors and clients will already be using LinkedIn – there are currently over 260 million monthly active users
  • You can search quickly and easily for articles and discussions relevant to your business using #hashtags
  • LinkedIn has developed into a supportive community where people recommend others and celebrate their business success
  • People are no longer afraid to let their personality shine; it is a great way for potential clients to get to know the people they might want to work with or refer
  • Posting articles, videos and updates will help you cement your position as a thought leader in your industry
  • Likes, comments and shares from your connections and followers, as well as tagging those mentioned or who may be interested in the content, mean your content reaches a much wider audience
  • Targeted advertising allows you to pinpoint your ideal customer base; compared to some other online advertising options, costs are very competitive
  • LinkedIn pages rank highly in Google search results – ideal for expanding your company’s digital footprint

What should I post on LinkedIn?

  1. Tips and advice

Everyone loves getting something for nothing.  Without giving away ALL of your secrets, why not offer something of value that showcases your expertise?  For example, a videographer posting regular videos offering tips on lighting, setting up a shoot or the right camera to use.  A proportion of the people watching the videos will go on to implement the tips and do their own filming, probably never becoming paying clients – but it is likely they would have done this anyway.  The remainder who see the posts will appreciate they do not have the technical skill or time to become a videographer.  If they have a need for video, they will call an expert for help.  If someone else asks, they will know who to recommend.

  1. Company updates

What is going on in the office?  New hires, promotions, awards, charity events or an office move – why not share news with your followers and connections through your company page?  This type of content adds authenticity and personality to your brand and complements other posts about the services you offer. A new feature lets you invite connections to like your company page. This is being rolled out and may not be available to all users - if you do get it, this will be great for attracting more likes to your company page but use it wisely! Don’t bombard your connections with numerous invitations for different company pages.

Remember that prospective employees are on LinkedIn too – they will be looking for evidence that yours is the firm they want to work for.  Having great content will help you attract the best talent – vital for professional services firms (such as solicitors, accountants, surveyors, consultancies and financial planners) where your team is your biggest asset.

  1. Share blogs and articles

If you regularly blog for your company website, or write articles for the industry press, why not share these to your LinkedIn profile?  Use LinkedIn Articles for this – equivalent to a blogging page within your profile.  Your connections and followers can like, comment and share your Article in the usual way.

Being present

If you view LinkedIn as an opportunity to market you and your business, then the usual rules apply.  Good marketing takes time and effort – there are no ‘get rich quick’ methods or ‘silver bullets’!

Take time to get to know your connections and engage with them, much as you would at a face to face meeting.  If you have posted an update asking for advice or inviting comments from your audience, make sure you are available to reply and offer thanks.  If you plan on running advertising campaigns on LinkedIn, you may be reaching out to an entirely new audience – again, be aware that people may like, share or comment on your post – be on hand to find out who those people are and connect with them, as well as respond to what they are saying.

Cal Partners is an award-winning marketing agency based in Newcastle upon Tyne.  We help clients develop marketing strategies to improve their presence on social media platforms, including LinkedIn and have experience of raising brand awareness through advertising campaigns.

About the author

Alison O'Neill

Account Manager, Alison, is a former Forensic Scientist who moved into professional services marketing in 2008 and is a Chartered Marketer and Member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing (MCIM).

Marketing for Professional Services

Cal Partners

The go-to strategic marketing partner for ambitious professional services