Soooo….you signed up to LinkedIn….what do you do with it now?

As a professional, LinkedIn has become a valuable, if not necessary tool for networking, blogging and information sharing. If you have a business or are trying to establish yourself within your chosen profession, it is a great asset to have to position yourself as a thought leader in your field – invaluable for business development, marketing and personal brand.

But how effective is your profile? How will you use it? How can it fit with your other business development and marketing activities?

Here we will briefly step you through the 5 most important things to think about to create a compelling profile.

1.  Why am I doing this?

Imagine you are pitching for work alongside 2 or 3 competitors. All presentations are all worthy of winning the work. How can you tip the scales in your favour?

In this day and age it is highly likely that any prospective client will have Googled you and your business. So you need to ask yourself…..what will they find?

It is highly likely your LinkedIn profile will be one of the first search results that pops up.  If you want to leverage LinkedIn for building your profile and marketing your business then it’s important that your profile puts you in the position you want to be!

2.  So what should I include in my profile?

First and foremost your profile should include a professional photo. Photo’s taken on Saturday night at that cocktail party you were at are just not going to cut it if you are trying to attract clients or prospective employers.

You should highlight your technical expertise and competence by including:

  • Contact details help people find you when searching through LinkedIn and Google.
  • A concise summary of your current position, including key words that can be picked up in search results via LinkedIn and more broadly
  • Details of past experience, including keywords provide a broader scope on your knowledge and experience
  • Some details of results you have achieved through your career
  • Your community connections through groups, associations, sporting clubs, boards and committees.
  • Reputation – this can be highlighted by asking for recommendations

Including blog posts, white papers, articles etc that you have written is also beneficial. You can upload these directly or link to a public website.

Adding skills to your profile, using keywords that relate to your business or role is also another great way of ensuring you rank higher in search results. Over time people will endorse you for these skills and this will assist in positioning you as a leader in your field.

3. Increase your network and grow your connections

The LinkedIn search function allows you full access to connections within your first and second degree network, and limited access to information in your third degree network.

You also have name access to people that are members of the same groups as you.

Expanding your network means you have more access to second and third degree connections to expand your reach. A larger ‘total’ network means you have access to more prospects via LinkedIn’s Advanced Search feature.

You can find people that you wish to connect with on Linkedin by:

  • Scanning your second degree connections
  • Reviewing the ‘people you may know’ box that appears on the right hand side of your page
  • Using the search function
  • Profiling other members in groups that you join

When you invite people to connect with you, make sure you tailor the invitation to provide context as to how you know each other, where you met etc.

4.  Engaging on LinkedIn

Linkedin has a number of features you can use to engage others. These include:

  • Status updates – use this to talk to connections, share relevant content and position yourself as a thought leader
  • LinkedIn email –use this to send emails to first and second degree connections
  • Inmail (paid emails via LinkedIn) – use this to email anyone on LinkedIn.
  • Groups – search and join groups to which your ideal contacts belong
  • Advanced Search - use this to identify prospects in specific industry sectors, or with certain job titles or who may be looking for someone with your expertise.

5.  Measure your efforts

To see benefits from any social media platform the key is to be consistently active – listen, engage and measure.

Actively listening means you are taking notice. People may be talking about you – it could be positive or negative – but by being aware you can respond and deal with any potential issue, or acknowledge the pat on the back

Engage with your connections by sharing their status updates, liking a post or actively engaging them with your own update. This is how you can take your digital connections to a more human relationship.

Measure your posts by looking at who’s viewed your profile, who’s viewed your updates and how many people have visited your posts.

Whether it is LinkedIn, or other social media channels, be authentic, build relationships and provide information that adds value to your relationship with your client or colleague

If you want more information or assistance to build a kick ass LinkedIn profile, shoot us an email – we’re happy to help!