LinkedIn is a social media site primarily for business and for professional networking and career and business development. Think of it as a business Facebook, but with “connections” as opposed to “friends”. Used properly at whatever stage of your career it can create opportunities, raise your profile and generate business for you. This blog focuses upon how to write a great profile to help you market and showcase your business and its goods and services.
It’s free to join LinkedIn and easy to create a basic profile. You can pay a subscription and join LinkedIn Premium which includes seminars and courses but for most people and free version is sufficient.
Here are some tips and tricks to create or improve your profile and personal brand on LinkedIn:
- When creating or reviewing your profile make the most of your introduction as everyone will see that; use a good photo, mention your business name and your website (if you have one), add some taglines.
- Make sure you fill out all the Contact Information (you will be amazed at how many people don’t!) with your name, website(s) and telephone numbers.
- The “About” section comes next: this is where you showcase you, your business and your skills set, and market your business. Set out what problems your client or customer faces, and how you and your business are the solution. Who do you want to attract and what are their challenges? Invite them to contact you. Don’t go into huge detail about your last job or role that comes in the next section “Experience”.
- Ask clients and former colleagues to endorse your skills and post a Recommendation (review) on your LinkedIn page. To do this scroll to the bottom of your LinkedIn page and click on “Ask for a Recommendation” and follow the instructions. I tend to send an email to my clients asking for a review for my website. If they are happy to give one I thank them and then send a request via LinkedIn and repeat the review they have just given me and invite them to copy and paste it into a Recommendation.
- It’s easy to build up Connections on LinkedIn. LinkedIn will ask to access your contacts and suggest Connections based on that. Alternatively you can search for people and then invite them to connect. It’s best to customise the invite by adding a personal message, such as we know each other from….. As you meet business contacts Connect with them on LinkedIn and if they have a company page Follow that page. Do this with your existing clients too. If you see them post something you should then like and comment upon it. They will appreciate it and it shows you are taking an active interest. Connections are currency. You may find out that someone you know has a shared connection (for example a second or third connection) and you can ask them to introduce you. Don’t connect and instantly try a hard sell – no-one on LinkedIn likes it. Take time to build up a relationship, ask them about themselves and their business and be interested.
- Write articles (these are longer like a blog) and posts (short form content usually of a few sentences) on LinkedIn as this will raise your profile and you will become a trusted voice. Use photos, images or videos as these will make your article or post stand out. You can add some hashtags to each LinkedIn will suggest some based upon content or you can create your own.
- Posts can include events you are going to or have been to – just a short note about how much you are looking forward to it or thanking the speaker/organisers is always welcome! You can ensure LinkedIn signposts your comment to someone by mentioning an individual or business by name, just type @ and then the start of their name and LinkedIn will pop up a list of names. Just click on the right one. The name will then be highlighted in blue and LinkedIn will notify them that they have been mentioned in a post.
- If someone comments upon your article or post always acknowledge their contribution by liking (or even loving!) their comment and replying if appropriate. Again tag them in as before with @ and their name if replying. Be helpful to others, share, comment and engage.
- If you see a great post or article and/or you want to support someone share their post with your Connections. This raises both your and their profile and is a sure fire winner! Or be more targeted - if you see something that you think will be of use or interest to someone in particular send it to them with a brief message.
- It's a matter of personal preference but you can include personal content in your posts, articles or comments. Yes LinkedIn is primarily a business socia media but increasingly personal content is used. Interestingly I have found that my posts with some personal content usually are read, liked and commented upon more. Having some personal content reveals more of who you are and is more authentic. Posting about failures or where something hasn't gone according to plan invariably sees supportive and helpful comments.
- Think about where your actual or prospective clients may hang out and ask to join any groups that look interesting. It’s probably better to join a handful rather than every one going.
- Finally this is a long game – don’t do a lot on LinkedIn for a couple of weeks and expect overnight results. Be consistent and regular – keep yourself in the forefront of someone’s mind and make it a habit. Schedule some time to spend on LinkedIn. Be engaged and engaging.
- Your personal brand
- Your ability to find the right people
- Your engagement with insights and
- Your relationship building skills
If your score is less than 30 you need to do some work. Between 30-50 is Ok, 50-60 is good and 60-70 is excellent. You can look at the SSL breakdown to see in which areas you need to do better.
I hope that you have found this blog useful – if you have any queries or want some help with your LinkedIn profile, or any other aspects of it such as assistance with managing or increasing your LinkedIn activity, please do get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 07719 760636.