LinkedIn now has over 50 million members across the globe and offers a fantastic platform and unique opportunity for growing your professional network and driving new business. However, all too often we see a plethora of mistakes being made via LinkedIn that can deter people from wanting to do business with you.
Nowadays, the Internet offers people the opportunity to research you in-depth as soon as they have your or your business’ name. Just as you invest time and resources into managing your company’s online reputation, you must similarly invest in managing your own.
Unlike Facebook or Twitter, LinkedIn is widely used as a professional networking and information-sharing platform. Therefore, your profile must represent you well professionally so that new and existing customers can build confidence in you and your business.
Key benefits of LinkedIn:
- Grow your network and build awareness of yourself and your company
- Drive new business
- Enhance your credibility and reputation, both through visibility and peer reviews/endorsements
- Share learning and knowledge
- Acknowledge others’ good work
- Discover relevant information and gain access to rich resources
- Join and participate in professional and interest based groups
- Start your own LinkedIn groups, to position you as an expert or person of influence on a topic
- Follow businesses of interest to you or who you compete with
- Establish your business on LinkedIn to gain followers, awareness and promote reach.
So make sure you’re getting the most out of LinkedIn by creating and maintaining an up-to-date and effective profile.
Here are our tips for a top-notch personal profile that drives business success:
- Remember your LinkedIn profile is like an online CV – so keep it professional, clean, relevant and current.
- Personalise the URL for your profile within your editable settings.
- Add a professional photo – this makes you easily identifiable and instantly more personable, but make sure the photo is suitable for a professional network (sensible attire, of a reasonable quality and size, of you on your own, no drinks, etc).
- Include current work contact details so that you are easily contactable.
- Keep your profile up-to-date and make sure your current job is correct and descriptive (go beyond simply your job title unless this is highly descriptive in nature, to illustrate your expertise), as well as listing your business’ URL and any other roles (voluntary, hobby-based, additional jobs, etc) to illustrate the scope of your experience.
- List all your notable achievements, education, training and experience.
- Add your education history, as others’ who attended the same school, university and/or college will then be able to find you more easily on the network.
- Include your location as this allows people to ascertain how easy it is to meet up with you at short notice and where your branch of the business operates.
- Keep your ‘Summary’ up-to-date, descriptive and complete. This section is a bit like a ‘personal statement’ in a CV and allows you to expand on your role, skill set, experience and anything else that makes you and your business unique.
- Ask relevant, close connections for recommendations. Clients and previous employers can provide recommendations that are particularly poignant and meaningful to those seeking to potentially do business with you.
- Join LinkedIn Groups that are of interest and professional use to you. This is a good way to expand your network and attain access to copious amounts of information and resource.
- Follow competitors Company Pages to keep in the loop with their activity.
- Add relevant keyphrases into the ‘Skills & Expertise’ section to highlight your strengths and experience. Colleagues, employers, clients and peers can then endorse you for these skills to further boost your credibility within key areas.
- Under ‘Interests’ include some additional information about your interests outside of work, particularly if they have relevance to your role, as this will show a more well rounded overview of your character.
The Internet is your window to the world and the information you put online stays online. While there is a certain understanding that social media will contain information about your private life due to its informal nature, you can control the privacy of all your online accounts and LinkedIn in particular should be respected as a space for more professional content only.