The Importance of LinkedIn for Immigration Lawyers - Joorney Webinar with Roman Zelichenko Overview
It was a pleasure and delight to have the founder of GMI Rocket and LaborLess, Roman Zelichenko, on our first Joorney global webinar: Improve Your Game With LinkedIn Marketing for Immigration Professionals.
Joorney decided on a non-immigration webinar to support our partners in a field they might need to gain experience in digital marketing.
Social media for business is not the same as for using it in personal life, but it remains one of the vital promotion channels. We invited a LinkedIn coach experienced in immigration law.
Roman is an immigration lawyer and an entrepreneur who shifted his career towards a passion for tech and marketing. Today he provides coaching and consultation services through his company, GMI Rocket, and he’s also the founder of an immigration tech startup called LaborLess. His goal is to help immigration professionals develop their digital presence.
Our host, Global Director of Sales & Marketing Marianella Manzur, discussed utilizing your Linkedin Profile to attract your target audience and build your brand to get new clients.
You can watch the entire webinar below.
This article will share the most useful advice you need to consider regarding your presence on social media.
Q: What are the foundations of building your LinkedIn presence?
A: Your LinkedIn profile is the foundation of your LinkedIn presence. It is sort of your landing page. LinkedIn is virtually the same idea as a web presence if we are going to be talking about B2B digital marketing. You need to have a really strong profile as your presence or your website.
Tips on having a strong profile:
Your photo – The humanistic tendency wants to look at a face that’s smiling, that feels like it’s inviting. There is a positive emotional association with it. Make sure that your picture is of you, whether it is a real big smile, a small smile, or something else. Make sure you make your profile feel inviting. If your picture is too zoomed out, try to zoom it in. Remember that the picture is small.
Your banner – The banner is that rectangular image above your photo.
Anybody who is discerning on LinkedIn will say this person’s profile is incomplete, and therefore they would not pay attention to their presence. Put something on there, whether it is the name of your law firm or business, or a picture of the city that you are from to show a little bit about you or something about your target market. It is the only space beside from profile image to say something about you.
Your name – For lawyers, or if you are a certified or registered immigration consultant in Canada, I think putting “comma Esquire” or “comma JD” conveys that you are a lawyer but not necessarily immigration. However, adding RCIC is actually better as it connotes or denotes that you are in the immigration space.
Your headline – The headline explains what you do, e.g., “helping tech companies bring in foreign nationals,” “helping reunite families in Canada,” or “supporting the oil and gas industry with visas and immigration.” Remember that people don’t know what industry you’re in and that can create friction between them going onto your profile or not going.
Q: How important is the “About” section on LinkedIn? What should be included or avoided in this section?
A: The other important sections are your “About” section and your “Experience.” You should always be really critical of who your audience is, what service you provide, and where certain things should be amplified.
The “About” section is important because it is kind of your mini biography, and it gives you an opportunity to share with people what you are about, what you do, and so on. As an attorney, I have seen that a lot of people use the profile that’s on their law firm website and copy-paste it into their about section.
The problem with this is it’s in the third person. The website of your law firm is a separate entity, whereas your LinkedIn profile is your personal profile where you use the first person.
The other thing I would say is to stay away from posting accolades. For instance, “Roman Zelichenko graduated from Brooklyn Law School in 2013. He was awarded the president of this and the award for that. After graduation, he was awarded “Superlawyer” in 2015, 16, 17, and 18.” So, instead of sharing all of these accolades that you may have won and rightfully deserve, you should rather share something about you that you think will help them connect with you. Tell them why you became an immigration lawyer. Tell them what you are passionate about. Maybe write about a particular case you worked on
Q: Should we connect to everyone who sends a request or should there be a strategy to connect with new people?
A: There are different people who have different theories about who they should connect with. The foundation of LinkedIn is that when you post content, LinkedIn takes your followers and it shows your content to a subset of your followers. It sees how that subset of followers react to your content and if it sees engagement, LinkedIn shares it with more people, and keeps multiplying. Eventually, the people who follow your followers, your second or third connections may start seeing it and that’s how you grow the audience of a particular post.
In other words, if you have people who are following you and connecting with you are random and have no interest in what you have to say, you start diluting your followers with people who are not going to engage with your content. In that case, the likelihood of a post that may be really relevant to your target audience starts getting in front of people who are not your target audience. When that happens, there would be no engagement and it would end up giving LinkedIn an indication that it is not a good post. As a result, the chances of that post getting seen by more and more people diminishes.
On the other side, think about who you want to connect with. Revisit your professional goals to find out if you want to grow your business with a particular client demographic in mind. If it is someone from that client demographic, but you don’t know who they are, it is perfect. That is exactly what you want as they can become your potential client.
You can also go outside your target demographic and connect with people who your target demographic works with. For instance, if I am working with HR people because I am an immigration professional, then connecting with HR and in-house immigration people is great. But who else do they work with? They work with corporate tax relocation and international compliance people. So, you can connect with them as well because those people work directly with the people who you want to sell to.
Q: What kind of content can you share on LinkedIn?
A: You can share pictures on LinkedIn. In my view, sharing a combination of professional pictures or photos related to what you’re doing as a professional along with maybe a speaking engagement.
I think it is really powerful. It gives people a complete picture of who you are as a person. Images are really powerful as people scroll through linked pictures and text. They first will stop at an image that catches their eye, and then they go to read the text.
The power of videos is that they allow people to hear your voice and see the way you move. It gives them a stronger connection. The challenge is that people are a bit more nervous to show up on a video. However, as far as I know, video posts get less reach on LinkedIn as compared to photos.
Text-only posts are great. There are some personalities on LinkedIn that only share texts. I personally don’t love doing it because when you are scrolling on a LinkedIn feed on your homepage, a video or a picture would take up a whole box. There is an image and text above it. However, if it is text only, you quite literally take up less screen real estate, and you don’t have that visual stimulus to stop someone from scrolling endlessly. If you want to do text-only, it is great if you really have something to say.
You can also share articles. You can publish articles within LinkedIn through their own publication platform, and that creates a LinkedIn post. You can also create a newsletter now, that goes to people’s inboxes. You can do a regular newsletter. So, LinkedIn does have different variations of how you want to publish and create content. Articles and newsletters allow you to kind of do longer forms of content.
You can also upload a document. People don’t do this enough, and I actually think it would be really great. Let’s say you have a 5-slide overview of a global talent stream that you would like to share as a freebie to your clients and upload on LinkedIn. The nice thing about it is that when you upload it on LinkedIn, it automatically creates a carousel. So, you click the button and it goes through the different slides. Secondly, people can download it as a pdf. Also, it does show up as an image on the news feed, giving people a reason to stop scrolling. Now, if you do decide to upload a document, make sure that the document you are uploading is visually attractive.
The last thing you can do is create an event on LinkedIn. You can both create an event page for an in-person. So, let’s say you want to do a meet-up, or you are an immigration professional who wants to do an “Ask Me Anything” (AMA) at a community center or your law firm or want to have breakfast with prospective clients and talk about business immigration…. You can create an event for all of that.
You can also do a LinkedIn Live, which I love to do. It is a live stream format that allows you to either interview people or just have a live video on LinkedIn. So, all of those types of content are different ways that you can put something out into the world.
Q: What is the correct frequency of LinkedIn posts? Should it be quantity or quality?
A: It depends. I know that is not a great answer, but I am going to go back to the idea of doing or posting something over nothing. I love this question because everyone has it, but it is what trips people up the most and keeps them from posting because they think if I am not doing it every day, then I should not be doing it at all. I can only start posting when I have the freedom, or I hire someone to help me do it every day. Not true. I think consistency is the most important. Consistency can be every Wednesday, at 3 o’clock, when I am posting a post. Or, it can be something that totally depends on what you are able or capable of doing. Maybe, it is not a great answer. Maybe, some people want to hear that you got to do it twice a week. But that is not true. There’s no hard and fast rule. Do the thing that will allow you to start putting out more content and allow you to hit your goals.
Q: How to level up your content on LinkedIn and create quality content?
A: In terms of leveling up your text or content as it is, one of the biggest things I would say is that if you are going to be writing a lot, add white space. It can be annoying as you would not want to keep pressing the space button on your keyboard and adding new paragraphs. But it is important as reading a block of text with no space looks more like a paragraph of black letters on a white background. It strains your eyes, especially if you are on mobile. So, to make it pleasing and easier for people to read your posts or your profile, add a lot of white space. It could be short single sentences, new paragraphs or empty space.
The second piece is to make sure that your first 100-150 characters are interesting enough to pull the reader in. On LinkedIn, if you have a long text, you only see the first couple of lines, and the rest of it gets collapsed. You have to be able to pull in your reader with the text in the very beginning in order for them to click see more and read your whole text. 51:30
Adding a call-to-action button is really powerful. Don’t overdo it. So, I know people sometimes, or I have seen accounts where every single post is like, “What do you think? Let me know below”. These questions do not feel genuine, and it’s just to engage with people. LinkedIn users are not stupid. They can tell if you are really just asking questions for the engagement or if you are trying to genuinely find out something from your audience. Always have a call to action, but don’t overdo it in terms of always having the same type of call to action.
Lastly, the visual. As people scroll down the news feed, having a video or an image or even a document that has a visual, it will help them stop scrolling and read your post. So, the image will help them stop. The first three lines of the text are going to pull them into reading to click the “See more” button. The post opens up and now you have really got them – they are reading your post. If you have the white space, it will ensure that they read the post all the way through to the end and you are building a connection with them by having them read and engage with your content.
Do the same thing continuously. Don’t just say “Update immigration” all the time. Share a little bit about your personal life. You can decide how much of that you want it to be. It can be anything. For instance, you have opened up a new office, and you are excited because you are in a new part of the town. Or maybe you are on a ski vacation or foraging for mushrooms. I posted about that a lot. Whatever it is, share something about yourself that you feel comfortable sharing in order to build your personality on LinkedIn. It gives a personal touch to people when they are reading something you have posted and interacting with you and not just a corporate brand.
Q: How to create sustainable content strategies on LinkedIn?
A: This is a really important. One: because this is the kind of thing that a lot of people say “It is great, but I don’t have time for this”, “I don’t know what to write about”, “I have writer’s block”, etc. If you are super creative and ideas come to you, you consider yourself lucky. Realistically though, that’s not going to be the case. So, a few ways to do it.
- Repurpose the research or other work you have done. If you have done some research for a client or for your partner, your boss; take that research and turn it into a post. Make it shorter, snappier and put it up there.
- If you have done long presentations in the past, especially webinars and you are able to share that non-confidential information. Literally take that hour-long webinar and chop it up into small 15-minute segments and post them on LinkedIn.
- Use answers to client questions. For instance, if someone asks you, “Am I eligible for Global Downstream”? “Is my Visa going to get approved?” Take out the confidential information and make that answer as a post.
- LinkedIn live or hosting a show regularly is easy because you just go on live and you talk or interview somebody. It is content and it could be even easier if you have a guest because really the guest is doing all the work.
- Share your career and life stories. A lot of people are immigrants. So, share your stories like Marianella and I shared our stories. Share your story of how you were an immigrant. Share something about your family members who are immigrants. It helps build trust with your target audience. It helps build good, personalized content. It is obviously related to your business, so that is always great.
- Just be consistent and authentic. Be you and don’t be salesy. Be a real, authentic person.
Q: Should we use the same content on all social media platforms?
A: That is a really great question. I do, because I am okay with sharing what I want to share on Facebook and Instagram. My home base is LinkedIn, and I basically copy everything onto other platforms. It really depends on how much bandwidth you have, whether you have a team to help you, etc. Most social media experts will tell you that instead of trying to be everywhere at once, be in one place really well, and then build from there. So, for me, LinkedIn is the place where I think in terms of what is going to work and then eventually go and reshare that on other platforms, where I have a much smaller following. More importantly, it is consistent. However, if you are going to be on TikTok, you can not share an article on TikTok. It doesn’t work. It has to be a video. So, think about how to rework the content you posted on other platforms. It is not really fully re-sharing the same content but working with the same content across different platforms
Q: How can you measure success on LinkedIn?
A: The one thing I would say again, as the lawyer answers, is don’t care too much or listen too much into what they call vanity metrics. The number of followers you have doesn’t really impact your goals. The biggest and most important thing to check is if you are growing. If your goal is to get a new business, or a new client on LinkedIn, then you don’t need to have 50,000 followers and a million impressions.
You need to have the right people to see your content, and that can be done strategically by following the right people and writing content for those people. I have literally had people reaching out to me just to connect. They were probably spammers with 30,000 – 50,000 followers. When I used to look into their profile, I always looked at their content and their posts and they used to have a few likes, one comment, or zero comments. It cannot be possible if you have 50,000, or 60,000 followers. They were going after the number of followers, that was the metric that they thought would be successful.
I don’t even know what they are doing with those followers because, clearly, the content they are putting out is not getting engagement. As it is not getting engagement, it doesn’t get pushed by the algorithm. So, that is the flip side. On the other hand, I know a few people, and I work with some of these folks who are immigration lawyers in different parts of the world who may have only 2000 or under 2000 followers. They will post once a week, but their posts always get 60-100 likes and a lot of comments. We look at the number of impressions, it is in the thousands, and they don’t even have a lot of followers. An important point is that the followers do care about what they have to say. They are very engaged; their content is always quality. They always reply to comments and engage in dialogue. That is why they are getting a ton of impressions from people that really care about it. It really depends on what your goal is and then think about which metrics, if any, can be a furtherance to that goal.
Q: How does engagement work? Does it work in the favor of the person posting content or the one engaging?
A: Great question! It is hugely impactful to comment on people’s posts. In fact, if you don’t have anything on LinkedIn, engage on LinkedIn every day. Or maybe, they tell themselves, “I am going to post on LinkedIn every day,” but one day, they wake up and they just don’t have time or they don’t have an idea to post. Don’t get off of LinkedIn. Stay and go to your network, go to your prospective clients and engage with them. Engage by commenting and replying to other people’s comments because it would definitely help them. As you want them to help you in engaging on your posts, you can also help them by engaging with theirs.
By the way, there is a big community aspect to it. I comment on people’s posts frequently. They see that, and they will comment on mine frequently when they see my post. So, it is kind of a tit-for-tat in a way. On the other side, it is your followers who will see your comment. They might not see the person’s post yet, but they might see your comment. If they are on their home feed, your comment will show up on your follower’s home feed, at least some of them. You are creating content in a way despite not being the one who is creating the whole source of that content. You are replying to someone else’s posts or prompts. It is really a great way of staying engaged and staying involved.
If somebody else is going to see your comment, it is just another opportunity for them to see your picture, to see your name, and to see your headline. If your headline is what I have recommended, like helping immigrants come to Canada since 1995, it is going to come up on your follower’s feed, from a comment that you made on someone else’s post. If you do that, you are there, right in front of them and that’s the whole point. From my perspective, engagement is engagement.
Thank you, Roman, for immensely contributing to our team and how we handle our LinkedIn presence.
Webinar attendees, thank you for expressing great interest in our webinar. Without you, these webinars wouldn’t exist. If you want some help on LinkedIn, reach out to Roman.
We will use the opportunity to mention that we have a digital division, Joorney Digital, where we make custom-designed websites.
We also provide content for your website’s blog section to maintain your website. We do not necessarily offer content for posts, but we do articles and other types of website additions.
You can also reach out to us about the website and content, and we can always talk about immigration!
Thank you, everyone, looking forward to the next one!