LinkedIn is all about building networks and connections.
It’s not only about who you know, but about who your connections know.
Gone are the days of your LinkedIn profile simply being an online resume. When used effectively, your LinkedIn profile and the LinkedIn platform can be a powerful networking and lead generation opportunity.
The real power of LinkedIn for small business is the ability to tap into existing connections and grow your brand through word-of-mouth.
So, are you following and implementing these steps to maximise your success?
1. Complete your profile
Your profile is not only public to anyone searching LinkedIn, but also those who use public search tools like Google. This gives you an additional opportunity to add a new search-friendly way to promote yourself.
By completing your profile it will ensure that you show up in any relevant research results and increase your ability to be found online.
2. Use a Tagline
Stand out to be memorable. This is a great opportunity to showcase what you do, your beliefs or your talents.
3. Professional Photo
Forget the pic with the kids or the furkid or even the sipping cocktails in Bali shot. Choose the best profile picture possible which ideally would be a recent professional headshot, but if that’s not possible make sure you use a photo that looks professional.
4. Use a Background photo/graphic
Make full use of all the real estate that you can. If you have a current offer, or program create a professional looking graphic and include the details here.
5. Claim your URL
Its so much easier to share your link with others. And include it in your email signature.
When you know your ideal client and know what they are looking for it’s a lot easier to provide the relevant content. This increases your value as the expert. It doesn’t hurt that it will improve your search views as well as the quality of people who find you.
Knowing your keywords is the first step. Once you have them – use them in your Headline, position titles, summary experience descriptions, projects etc. The but however, is not to stuff them in everywhere without context. See storytelling.
8. Tell a story
Effective storytelling engages people in a way that your qualifications don’t. Story telling focuses on increasing your customers emotional involvement and removes the whole sales pitch angle that turns everyone off.
9. Use Media
Large blocks of text deter most people, so shift it up a level. Use some pictures and video, consider using slideshare or even audio files for potential clients/customers to get to know you.
10. Use Call to Actions
Tel people what you want them to do. Your CTA may be the most important part of your content. For some ideas on the different Call to Actions to use look here
10. Personalise Requests
There will always be some people that you can flick a connection request off to, but endeavour to connect with a note, reminding them when and where you met.
12. Be Active
That includes liking and commenting on posts. Following influencers and industry professionals is also a great way to be seen. Sharing posts will also get you noticed.
13. Publish an Article
You know stuff, so write an article and share that knowledge.
14. Reach Out
If you have seen that someone has viewed your profile, reach out and offer to assist.
15. Get Recommendations
A recommendation is a statement written by a connection to recognise or commend you and your services. People who view your profile will often read the recommendations you’ve received from your connections to see what others have to say about your work.
You may receive a recommendation request, or you can take the opportunity on your own to write a recommendation for your connections.
These are different from recommendations. Including specific skills on your profile is a great way to showcase your abilities. They’re a simple and effective way of building your professional brand and engaging your network.
These skills can be validated by your connections to reinforce their worth. When a connection endorses your skills, it contributes to the strength of your profile, and increases the likelihood that you’ll be discovered for opportunities related to the skills you possess.
You can request a skill endorsement from your connections, so make that a part of your ongoing strategy.
Endorsing your connections skills is a way to recognise any professional abilities that you’ve seen them demonstrate. Endorsing your colleagues can also help you to maintain strong connections with the people in your network.
17. Review Security Settings
There’s no point shutting down your profile completely, how will anyone find you? But knowing where and what to open to public viewing will enable you to use the information available.
18. Connect IRL
Online is great but if you have connections that are within reach, arrange to meet in real life and develop those relationships.
19. Treat your Profile as a Sales Page
A potential client or business partner isn’t interested in your skills and experience—they are interested in what your skills and experience can do for them. And you need to sell that. Your LinkedIn profile needs to be more than that if you want to appeal to valuable contacts. It needs to use the core principles of good sales to attract views and get people interested. See Niching.
20. Avoid Cross Posting
Not everything you share on your other social networks will work on LinkedIn, so be strategic with your posting and ensure content is targeted and of value.
Adding LinkedIn to your marketing strategy can help you expand your network, find clients/customers, and create a professional image for you and your business. Following these tips will ensure your profile hits the mark on search, networking and marketing for you and your small business.
If you require assistance with implementing any of these tips, or developing a social strategy for LinkedIn reach out to Sharon on LinkedIn