If you’re not getting leads through LinkedIn, you might be making this mistake

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:

  1. Your name and profile picture
  2. Your professional headline (job title)
  3. 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 hello@timesavingheroes.co.uk and we’ll be happy to help.

 

 

 

LinkedIn Premium: Is it worth it?

One of our areas of expertise at Time Saving Heroes is LinkedIn management and training.  When people first approach me about doing any work with them on their LinkedIn profile it’s usually because they signed up forever ago, and haven’t touched it since.

Once we’ve gone through the basics, updated their information, and optimised their account we usually end up talking about the Premium version.  Ultimately they want to know whether paying for something they’re currently using for free is worth it.

Well, is it worth it?

To be honest, it’s a difficult question to answer, and I don’t say that to be awkward.

Think of it this way – is a gym membership worth it?  Well, if you go and actually use the facilities, then yes, it probably is.  If the membership card sits festering in your wallet for the next 10 months, not so much.

LinkedIn Premium is no different.  If you’re not going to use it to its full potential then no, paying for it is an utter waste of money.

Far be it for me to tell you what questions to ask, but a better one would be “what does LinkedIn Premium offer that could be beneficial to me?”

What’s new?

Over the last few years the Premium offering has changed quite significantly.  One of the best things, I think, that has come out of these changes is the introduction of LinkedIn Learning.

This new feature provides a wide variety of videos and PowerPoints to help you enhance your skills in a number of different areas.  There’s courses on writing killer headlines, Excel for Mac, talent sourcing and Facebook marketing to name just four.

The topic areas are by no means exhaustive, but there’s plenty in there for everyone to get something out of it.  If you do nothing else with your Premium account (and you should) it would still provide you with good value for money.

 

Have you got the new LinkedIn layout yet?

Some of you with your finger on the pulse are no doubt well aware of the changes LinkedIn is bringing to its user interface throughout 2017. For some, the new look has been available since late 2016, for others it is still in the process of rolling out.

Which side of the experience you sit on seems to be pretty random, from what I can tell.

For those who have already been swapped over, or for those who are still waiting the Big Change, I thought I would run through a few of the main differences between the two versions, to help you get your bearings.

The Colour

As changes go, the move to teal isn’t really a big deal (unless you’re colourblind, perhaps) however, LinkedIn has been a variation of grey, black, white and blue for, well, for ever, so the change takes a bit of getting used to.

According to LinkedIn logic, the change is to synergise with their app, so things will hopefully be a little more intuitive for those switching between mobile and desktop.

The Home page

When you go to the new home page you will see a snapshot of your profile on the left hand side. This will show your background image, profile picture, headline as well as how many times your profile and latest article have been viewed.

Personally, I prefer the new layout as a lot of things I am interested in looking at are now all in one easy to find space. However, I do think it’s a shame they have removed the ranking feature, which was always a good way of establishing what was working, and what wasn’t. Fingers crossed they bring it back.

Share an article, photo or update is now all on one line; making it easier to access in some ways, but may prove confusing for some. Equally, the publish an article option is now on a separate line, and seems to be a much quicker way of getting to write and post an article. Some people have been complaining about it, but personally I can’t see any issue.

Other than the ads, nothing is really different with your timeline at all, other than, in my opinion, it looks a little cleaner and easier to navigate.

Your Profile

We no longer have a profile section, instead it’s just Me. You can still access it by clicking on your circular photo on the right of the tool bar at the top, and a drop down menu will appear offering you a variety of options including view profile, as well as all the standard settings etc.

When you look at your profile you will see that the background image has changed dimension. LinkedIn suggest that 1536 x 738 works best, but in reality, 1800 x 300 appears to.

Your profile photo is now smaller, and circular (which I think improves matters), and your summary section is no longer completely visible. People will have to click See More to view it all, which means it is imperative you make those first two lines count! It might well be worth reviewing your content at this time.

One downside is you can no longer move sections of your profile around to customise what is important to you. This might be a feature that is brought back in time, and admittedly isn’t the end of the world, but it was a nice to have for a while.

Next week I’ll cover what other people’s profiles look like from your perspective, as well as the new My Network section and Notifications.

In the meantime, if you want to take advantage of this new layout to create new content for your LinkedIn profile get in touch for a review or advice: call 0161 883 2024 or email hello@timesavingheroes.co.uk