Many professionals see LinkedIn as ‘a place they keep their CV online and maybe have some connections with people they know professionally…not as a place to get business intelligence, to research problems, to establish an online presence where other people in the network can find them’, commented LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman recently. Nevertheless, LinkedIn has now established itself as one of the leading Social Media channels and is an interface for professionals who want to find out more about you – use it to benefit from the buzz about your business.
A LinkedIn profile helps you to:
- Showcase your skills and experience
- Be found for new opportunities
- Stay in touch with colleagues and friends
LinkedIn is very different from more casual social networks such as Facebook and Twitter and the language used to communicate with fellow LinkedIn members more formal. As LinkedIn is a professional network, offer business discussions, events and opportunities instead of personal Updates. Be mindful of the purpose of LinkedIn – although it is great to share what is important to you on LinkedIn, achieving a balance is equally crucial.
LinkedIn is all about connections and nurturing your network so you should really be asking yourself what you can do for your contacts, instead of requesting that they do things to benefit you. Much the same as Facebook’s ‘Like’ button, you can ‘follow’ your favourite or similar companies to your own and receive automatic Updates in your LinkedIn feed. Read their pages and the profiles of their members – what keywords do they use? What LinkedIn groups do they belong to? What connections do you have to these people?
You are your Brand
Users with 100% complete profiles are 40 times more likely to receive opportunities through LinkedIn, which will not only open avenues to more connections, but demonstrate that you actively wish to participate and are ready to engage with fellow users. A 100% complete profile (a prerequisite of which is a minimum of 50 connections), also automatically ranks you higher in search results because the more information you input with relevant keywords, the easier it is for people to find you which in turn influences how high up you appear in a search result.
Use a professional, clear and current photograph of your face which is appropriate for business. We are visual creatures and your photograph will be the first thing people notice before even looking at your work experience or qualifications, so first impressions really do count particularly if you have never met in person.
Choose a custom URL for your public profile, e.g. www.linkedin.com/in/katherinehanson. Google is more likely to display your name in a search and you will appear more reputable (assuming your profile is also complete of course). You can also better control what people see when they search for your name on search engines which will also return the most recent information about you.
Click here for a copy of my LinkedIn ebook:
- 2013 Power Boost! 5 Ways to Rock Your LinkedIn Profile & Company Page (amsterdamprinting.com)
- Are You Being Found on LinkedIn for Your Ideal Search Terms? (deswalsh.com)
- Work it: LinkedIn endorsements explained (pcadvisor.co.uk)
- 8 Creative Tips to Help You Maximize Your New LinkedIn Personal Profile Page for 2013 (windmillnetworking.com)