When it comes to social media there is only one site that is all business: LinkedIn.
Founded in 2002, LinkedIn provides endless opportunities for individuals and businesses to network locally, nationally and internationally. It has grown to be a place where professionals can connect and develop their sales, where they can market themselves, their skills, their services and products and even find that dream job!
The number of registered uses on LinkedIn is reportedly around 500 million and growing. But what is more important is that 49% of key decision makers are using LinkedIn for business purposes.
Businesses can use LinkedIn to perform competitive analysis, monitor industry trends, find potential customers and to recruit.
Using LinkedIn is all about the network you have – think about your personal network – suppliers, vendors, colleagues, people you meet at events.
Tip: Review your business card collection – are they on LinkedIn? Are you connected?
With LinkedIn’s search capabilities, it’s not only about who you know, it’s about who they know. You can leverage existing relationships to build new ones and grow your network. This is the real power of LinkedIn for entrepreneurs: the ability to tap into existing connections and grow your brand through word-of-mouth. Rather than simply racking up followers and connections, think about how you can develop those relationships to discover new opportunities to grow your business.
Whether you’re job hunting, generating sales leads, or growing your network within your industry, having a professional, eye-catching LinkedIn profile is an excellent idea to make sure that you can be found by the right people at the right time.
First and foremost – remember who your audience is! Here are my top five tips on making your profile as powerful as possible:
1. First impressions matter
Make sure that your profile photograph on LinkedIn looks the part; it should be professionally taken - remember this is your first impression to a potential new employer, vendor or supplier - make it count.
2. Your headline
Consider listing your specialty and speaking directly to your audience.
If you want your profile to be searchable, include important keywords; if that’s not as big of a concern for you, consider getting away from industry jargon to stand out. Try to keep your headline to about 10 words so that it fits on one line in search results.
3. Your experience
Use bullets to make this easy to read and offer 3-5 key summary of your experience. Think about your target reader and then paint a picture of how you can make that person’s life easier. You can also add media files, including videos, so if you are a speaker or presenter, a speaker reel could be a great idea. Keep your work history relevant.
4. Ask for recommendations
Endorsements are great, but recommendations are the currency on LinkedIn; they are a real asset to social proofing. Reach out to past colleagues, managers, and associates and ask that they write you a recommendation.
5. Customise your URL.
Make your personal profile look more professional (and much easier to share) by customising your LinkedIn public profile URL.
And importantly what will really add value is to publish content that is of use and interest to your audience. Ask yourself, what are the real pain points for your clients? What are the questions that you get asked the most? Use this as the basis to create content that is of value to your audience.
For example, I get asked a lot about Facebook and Instagram for business; so a lot of my content focuses on how businesses can be making the most out of these social media platforms. By providing valuable content you are showing that you know what it is you say you know, and you are giving people a reason to connect and follow you on LinkedIn.
Content with me on LinkedIn for more top tips on making the most out of your social media.