As you prepare to create a successful JD Supra profile for your organization, imagine that you are sitting across the table from a client, prospective client, media member, corporate executive, colleague, referral source, or anyone else whose interest and attention matters to your business.
The person across from you has just read from your organization's portfolio of thought leadership. It sits open before them and they look up at you, intrigued, interested to know more. They'd like to better understand how you can help them:
"Tell me more about what you do..."
This is the context in which most visitors will arrive at your profile on JD Supra.
Most likely, they will have just read (or listened to, or watched) your content as they investigate an issue of importance to them – and, next step, they will have clicked on your organization's name/byline to learn more about the source of this valuable information. (Or, perhaps they start at your profile on their way to your content, having heard positive feedback about you from a referral source.)
In other words, your JD Supra profile and portfolio go hand in hand, each reinforcing the marketing and business development themes and messages contained within the other. With this in mind, as you flesh out your profile consider:
1. Directly mention the people you serve/help
In the same way your publications should explicitly speak to the people you are trying to reach – the clients you serve – use your profile's Description field to do the same.
For example, the opening sentence of this effective description: "Littler Mendelson is the largest U.S.-based law firm exclusively devoted to representing management in every aspect of labor and employment law."
Or from Fenwick & West: "From emerging enterprises to large public corporations, our clients are leaders in the technology, life sciences and cleantech sectors and are fundamentally changing the world through rapid innovation."
And Foodman CPAs & Advisors: "...one of Florida’s most respected forensic accounting and advisory services firms ... [w]e serve attorneys, financial institutions, large and small businesses, government entities, not-for-profits and individuals."
In short, let the people you are trying to reach know that you are talking to them. You do this by addressing their needs and concerns in your thought leadership, and by mentioning them directly in your organization's description on your profile page.
2. Mention the industries/sectors in which you operate
Listing the industries and sectors in which your organization operates, you will be able to cast an even wider net as you establish that direct connection with your readers ("Yes, I am talking to you.")
For example, see in the following image how the advisory firm Ankura lists the industries in which it operates on its JD Supra profile, along with a short line articulating the solutions provided to clients in each space. Excerpted/truncated for this post:
Or consider the following from law firm Shook, Hardy & Bacon, which combines industries with another crucially important data point, areas of practice: "...with attorneys and professional staff serving clients in the health, science and technology sectors, in areas ranging from product liability defense and commercial litigation to intellectual property prosecution and litigation, environmental litigation and toxic tort, privacy and data security, and regulatory counseling."
3. Mention your (strategically important) areas of practice
As you complete the fields of your profile, you will have the opportunity to select all of the practice areas that pertain to you firm.
Those fields will be displayed in the left-hand column of your profile page (as show in an image here.)
However, along with completing this list, also mention your strategically important practice areas directly in the text description of your organization.
Again, keep in mind that many of your profile visitors will have just read your thought leadership and, as such, are warm leads, interested to know whether you are a valuable, ongoing connection.
Don't leave the important details to chance; explain what you do, and for whom you do it. An example from Troutman Pepper: "The firm's litigation, transactional, and regulatory practices advise a diverse client base, from startups to multinational enterprises."
4. Add a human touch
As the old adage goes, we like to do business with people we know – and a human touch, where appropriate, certainly helps with this.
On a platform such as JD Supra, where the primary focus is often complex regulatory or corporate issues, our clients includeThe Personal in a number of interesting ways. For example, this excerpt from one profile:
And another: "Everyone at Hogan Lovells is asked to volunteer at least 25 hours a year as part of their normal work duties. Around the world, our people are making a difference through pro bono activities, community investment, and social justice."
Sometimes the personal touch can be captured just in the way you construct a single sentence. The following example is about practice areas, but by making the subject of the sentence The People who happen to practice in those areas, the firm creates a much more personal picture (italics ours):
"Lawyers at Zuckerman Spaeder offer substantive knowledge that encompasses such diverse areas as FDA law, legal and professional ethics, health care fraud, bankruptcy litigation, tax controversy, intellectual property, American Indian law, executive-level employment law, and nonprofit law, among others."
Make people the subjects of your sentences.
5. Make it social
And by this we mean: include links to your other key digital properties (including the major social networks).
Along with your organization's description, also complete the additional information available on your JD Supra profile. For example, fill out the "Links" module, whose fields are self-explanatory:
These links don't only appear on your profile but also on each piece of your content on JD Supra. In other words, this is an opportunity to invite your readers to travel from your JD Supra profile and every one of your content pages to your organization's website, blog(s), and profiles on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.
Additionally, when you include your organization's Twitter account in this field, we are able to credit (aka @mention) you directly when we distribute your latest publications to various subject-based feeds and followers on Twitter - as shown here (note the title of the publication as well as the "by @Cadwalader" included in the tweet):
6. Location, Location, Location...
Along with practice areas and outbound links, also list your essential contact information, including your primary physical address and phone number. Profile visitors will be able to access and use this information. Along with the "Contact" button located on every profile page, this is a key way for anyone to contact you directly, as needed.
Additionally, scan the lists of States and Countries in which your organization operates and click all that apply. That information will also be listed on your public profile, clarifying not only what, how, and whom ... but also where you offer your service to clients.
7. Round out the picture
Don't leave blank any profile field that is available to you. This includes filling out the fields for any relevant Professional Associations and Memberships, as well as Honors and Awards.
Does it matter? Of course it does. Your thought leadership has compelled a reader to learn more about your organization. Every relevant detail completes the picture building upon that first impression.
When you are in Profile Edit mode, before clicking to "Save Changes" scan all fields, from your Firm Logo at the top of the page to Practice Areas at the bottom, and be sure to complete each with your organization's own distinctive details.
The end result? A meaningful, effective answer to that reader's essential question: "Tell me more about what you do..."