LinkedIn is undoubtedly the best social media platform for business professionals to network and demonstrate their expertise. Any professional serious about building their online presence will have a LinkedIn account and actively use the platform for expanding their business network.
The first stage in using LinkedIn effectively is to establish your presence. Make sure those that view your LinkedIn profile not only find the information they are looking for, but also gain a positive impression. Below is an outline of areas that must be optimized to establish a strong LinkedIn presence.
Your LinkedIn Profile
Your profile is your calling card for your LinkedIn activities. Many people visit profiles to find out more about someone before they get in contact. With this in mind, yours should be fully completed and ready to showcase your business potential. A complete profile will also show up more regularly in LinkedIn searches, which means you will be found more often by relevant people.
Here is a breakdown of the sections of LinkedIn that need to be completed.
Your profile picture should be a professional head-shot. It shouldn’t be a picture taken in a social setting or a photo that doesn’t clearly show who you are. Refrain from using your business logo as people like to put names to faces.
Your job title should be more than just “Business Owner at ABC”. This doesn’t mean a whole lot. Your job title is one of the most important features on LinkedIn because it is what most searches are based on. Use this space to grab people’s attention and let them know how important you could be to them and how good you are at solving their problems!
Compare this job title for inspiration: “Dynamic Business Owner Who Loves Delivering Financial Freedom in Houston”
Location and category
You don’t have to be ultra-specific with your location – your state will do fine. Make sure to choose the correct industry, or the industry most suited to your services. If, for instance, you are a Management Consultant for Health and Fitness organizations, choose the Management Consulting industry and not the Health, Wellness and Fitness category.
If you want people to get in touch with you after looking at your LinkedIn profile, then it’s a good idea to provide as many contact details as possible. Make it easy for someone to contact you in the most convenient method possible for them.
Your profile summary should be as thorough as possible. To a degree, the more you write – the more people can find out about you. It should be arranged so it is at the top of your LinkedIn details, under your contact details.
Think of your summary as a mix between a call to action and sales copy – it should highlight your service benefits, achievements, authority, specialties and action incentives. It should also showcase your personality and working identity, so it doesn’t have to be a repeat of your CV covering letter.
It’s also possible to include media items in your summary. If you have a Slideshare presentation, YouTube video or online brochures, then you can add these items to your summary for added value and visual aids.
Fully complete this section so people can get a good idea of your industry authority and what you’ve achieved to date. Your job descriptions should be concise yet thorough, demonstrating your full professional background.
This section should be fully completed and details your educational background. Consider briefly describing any significant academic events that relate to your existing job position.
You can add up to 50 skills to show people what you have been training in or what you think are especially significant attributes to your position. LinkedIn now allows people to endorse these skills for validation. You should ask all your connections who you have worked with to endorse you and consider reciprocating the good gesture. Endorsements not only indicate authority but affect your LinkedIn search visibility too.
Interests / Honors / Awards
If you have any specific accolades that can boost credibility or authority, then list them in this section.
Having other professionals recommend your services is a valuable asset to any business. It assures people of the quality in your services and provides proof that you know what you’re doing. You should ask every customer for LinkedIn recommendations and be willing to reciprocate the gesture if applicable.
Bonus: Your LinkedIn Account
Behind the scenes of your LinkedIn profile is your account and its administration. There are a few things that should be paid attention to in order to get the right set up for how you intend to use LinkedIn.
Check your account settings and make sure that they are all up to date. One setting in particular worth noting is the option to hide your profile to anyone not in your network. If you tick this, then it would be very hard to build your network.
Privacy is always a concern in social media. There are various options to set that allow your data to be shared with 3rd party applications or allow LinkedIn partners to send you emails. If you’re not keen on this, then untick all the boxes.
If you’re a member of various LinkedIn groups, then you should also make sure the frequency of group emails is set accordingly (it can get overwhelming to receive daily digest emails from 50 groups!).
LinkedIn is a powerful tool for any business professional. Once you have successfully established your LinkedIn presence, it’s time to start ‘getting out there’ and networking.
Do you use LinkedIn to add value to your business?
Have you attracted any new customers using LinkedIn?