You may be quick to disregard LinkedIn, especially if you don’t work in the corporate world or aren’t job seeking. But the professional business networking site, which has been around for fifteen years (yes, longer than Facebook!), has over 500 million users 4.2 monthly users in Australia alone—and shouldn’t be underestimated as a great marketing tool. In fact, Huffington Post suggests it may be the Most Powerful Marketing Tool of the 21st Century.
LinkedIn is important for a number of reasons. Not only is it an online resume, Facebook-adjacent, forum and a recruitment database all rolled into one but your peers, clients and coworkers can endorse your skills and write recommendations for you. And we know how great social proof is for your personal and professional branding.
‘46% of online adults who have graduated from college are LinkedIn users, compared with just 9% of online adults with a high school diploma or less,’ (Pew Research Center, 2015).
It’s also an easy way to let people know about your industry/work experience, knowledge and expertise. Rather than having to send people your complete resume, you can just share the URL to your LinkedIn profile with them this makes it much easier for sharing in other areas too, such as in your email signature, business card, other social media platforms, marketing collateral and so on.
Why is LinkedIn important for you?
- It’s a great way to share blog posts and articles that you have written (or have been written about you) much like you can on other social media platforms. You can do this via a third party link or publish directly onto the platform (the latter providing better reach).
- It’s a great way for new people to discover you, your business and your services.
- It helps with your SEO and your general ability to be found on the internet.
- It’s another great way to promote yourself and your work digitally.
- Sometimes LinkedIn networking groups can extend to real life networking events, groups or clubs which can be a great opportunity to meet potential clients or have fun.
- Other people share useful business links and resources.
- You can also follow industry related companies and peers and see their updates.
- There’s an option to create a company page (just like you would on Facebook) which is another terrific avenue for promotion your business. You can undertake LinkedIn advertising to boost the reach of your company page.
- There’s plenty of people you can “connect with” via connections.
- You can refine your connection hunt to people with specific roles or industries via LinkedIn Search.
How to maximise your LinkedIn profile:
- Make sure you stand out from the crowd. The best way to do that is by highlighting your work and let your skills, experience, awards and recognition do the talking for you.
- Take the time to fill out your profile well. Just like you would set aside the time to complete a job application. Use past job applications to help you fill out your blurbs.
- Add references and recommendations; between two and six is a good, readable number. Make sure they are specific and the person who has written the reference includes why they are recommending you and what project you worked on together. LinkedIn has an automatic function to help you collect recommendations.
- Include an up to date professional headshot.
- Ensure it is a hundred per cent up to date.
- Keep your profile informative but succinct and readable. Long winded stories don’t belong in your LinkedIn profile.
- Ensure your contact details are current and accessible. A potential client will not bother if they cannot find your website, email or phone number easily.
‘You’re seven times more likely to have your profile viewed if you have [a headshot]. Like a house that’s on sale, the assumption is that if there’s no photo, something’s wrong.’
How to write a great Linkedin profile summary
- Focus on the top one to three things that you want to be known for or want to work in.
- For each job you have listed, describe one to three key achievements that you are most proud of or had the most impact on the role/business.
- Utilise other good copywriting techniques.
- Remember your audience (is it new customers, potential partners or recruiters?)
- Here are some terrific tips on how to create a winning LinkedIn profile.
How many times should you post on LinkedIn?
Studies suggest once per day is best, with ultimate posting time between 10am and 11am. Social media app, Buffer, suggests once per day at 8:14am and not on weekends. Experts say that posting less than twice a week is not advisable.
‘The goal is to be consistently visible and valuable. It’s not about selling. You need to educate and provide useful information.’
What to avoid:
- a suggestive or sexy headshot. Just, no!
- too many updates that clog up people’s newsfeeds (see above)
- the personal pictures of the baby/dog/renovation
- spamming anybody with heavy handed direct messages
- hitting on people via LinkedIn. This is completely inappropriate.
Remember: it’s a professional networking site not a social networking site such as Facebook, so keep it completely professional. Hire a professional copywriting service if you find it difficult to write about yourself.