Usually when I speak to people about LinkedIn they tell me it’s a waste of time. Initially I was surprised by their attitude because, for me, I’ve always found LinkedIn to be really useful when it comes to promoting my business, expanding my network and generating meaningful leads.
A few minutes and some pertinent questions later I realise that in every single case the individual concerned is using LinkedIn wrong. For most they half-heartedly set up a profile months (or even years) ago, and haven’t done a single thing with it since.
And they wonder why the phone’s not ringing off the hook.
The simple fact is, if you’re on LinkedIn and you’re getting nothing out of it, then you’re using it wrong.
It honestly doesn’t get any simpler than that.
No matter what your ultimate LinkedIn strategy is, it’s ultimately going to involve communicating with your network. In order to do that you need to have a network in the first place, and you can only establish one of those by connecting with other users.
Which leads me on to my tip for this week.
Make sure your profile is optimised
There’s no part of your LinkedIn profile that’s not important; however, there are some bits that are slightly more important than others.
When you send an invitation to someone to connect, the first things they’re going to see about you are:
- Your name and profile picture
- Your professional headline (job title)
- Your message
As a result, it’s fair to say your name, picture and headline are the three most important things you need to add to your profile to make the right first impression.
Admittedly, there’s not a whole lot you can do about your name – you’re probably used to it by now, but do avoid using nicknames. Equally, you might want to give some thought as to whether you want to include letters after your name.
I have a BSc, but don’t include it on my profile because it’s utterly irrelevant.
When it comes to your profile photo you need to make sure you have one. I’ve seen many business owners who decide to use their company logo instead of a photo of themselves. They might think this helps with getting their name out there, but it doesn’t.
If I’ve just met you at a networking event I’m going to remember you, not your logo. You profile photo shows me who you are, and a professional one shows me that you can be taken seriously.
As for your professional headline, this is really important and so many people get it wrong. It is not simply your job title, though you might very well went to include that in there somewhere. Headlines are searchable, which is why it’s key to think of something that not only clearly represents what you do, but is easily understandable to your target audience.
If someone needed your product or service, what would they search for? The biggest problem I see is business owners identifying themselves as “Business Owner.” If I’m looking for a carpet cleaner, or website designer I am not going to type in business owner in the search bar – therefore, I am never going to find you.
You might well be precisely what I’m looking for, but LinkedIn doesn’t know that, therefore I won’t know that.
Here at Time Saving Heroes we spend a lot of time helping people develop LinkedIn strategies to achieve their goals. Part of this includes providing a review on LinkedIn profiles to make sure you’ve got everything you need to make a good impression.
To find out more simply give us a call on 0161 883 2024 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll be happy to help.