If you’ve not been on LinkedIn for a while you’ll see it’s changed and changing. Gone are the days when it was simply an online CV full of irrelevant job opportunities and updates from people or industries that bore little or no relevance to your interests or business.
Today it is a busy place of activity for business owners, professionals and Branson pops up every so often to share his ‘wisdom’.
It’s a place to do business, it’s a place to find work, it’s a place to find professionals, employees, a place to find answers and it’s a place to share your wins or your losses too.
And the best bit! There are no dramas, no photos of your neighbour’s new puppy or updates on the nieces weening. So, get yourself back on there.
Here are my tips for getting your LinkedIn profile ready for business:
Tip number 1: Before you do anything, turn off profile sharing – you can do this in your settings. This will stop your connections receiving updates every time you blow your nose or connect with someone else. No one wants to know ‘everything’ you’re doing.
Tip number 2: Get a decent profile picture of you. If you have other pictures of yourself associated with your business use the same one, as it’s part of your brand.
Tip number 3: Make sure your headline catches your desired audience and outcome immediately, for example if you were seeking a new job as an accountant, you could write:
Available for accountancy work part time in Wiltshire
Don’t put: Looking for new opportunities that doesn’t tell anyone anything.
If you’re a small business HR expert, you could consider putting: Working with small businesses to deliver HR advice and support.
Take a look at a competitor’s headline and think about your own.
Tip number 4: Make sure your contact information is up to date. I recently completed a LinkedIn audit for a client and their Twitter handle was linking to a competitor! Awkward.
Tip number 5: Have a clear out. De-connect (is that a word?) from people who are boring or don’t add anything to your day. I’ve got connections who I’ll probably never work with but their knowledge or humour interest me and are things I can engage with.
Tip number 6: Everyone’s a lead. If you comment on someone’s article or post on LinkedIn all of their connections and the connections of anyone else who’s commented potentially see your comment and you never know who that might be! So, on that basis – everyone’s a lead.
Tip number 7: Create a company page to link to. If you’re an employee and your employer doesn’t have a company page ask them to get this set up, it’s very professional looking and confirms your employment. If you’re a business it adds to your authenticity.
Tip number 8: Make sure there’s an end date to any positions / businesses that you no longer work at otherwise you’ll look like you’re juggling endless positions and people will wonder how they’ll work with you when you’re so busy.
Tip number 9: Make your summary about what you can do for other people and what it will mean to them if they work with you, not what you’ve done for others. It’s not a CV, it’s a promotion of you. Think about what your audience will be looking for.
Tip number 10: Enjoy it, don’t take it too seriously. Life is all about work/life balance – take time to enjoy every aspect of business.
Originally published in the Aug/Sept 2018 edition of Wiltshire Business Magazine