Too many people think LinkedIn is solely for finding a job. Since small business owners have jobs, they often overlook the site’s potential. LinkedIn has 800 million users (according to its about page), an increase that more than doubled since 2015. If you want to improve your personal brand and your company’s visibility, this site is a great place to start. Here’s what you need:
Add a Recognizable–and Professional–Headshot
Select a high-quality image that looks like you look now, not twenty years ago and not Photoshopped to the point someone sitting next to you viewing your profile wouldn’t recognize you.
Leave out pictures of pets and kids, unless it has something to do with your business. Also avoid the awkward crops where you still see someone else’s shoulder pressed up against yours.
You want to add a picture not only so people can recognize you but because profiles with a photo are 11x more likely to be viewed in search results on the site than those profiles with the “egg.”
Work Your Professional Headline
The professional headline is the line or two of text that appears under your name on your profile. Many people add their most recent title here. If you want to include your business, fine, but don’t stop there. Try something like:
Sales at Green Ford, helping people afford their dream car
Use this valuable real estate to set yourself apart and tell how you help or add a recent award or title you’ve received. This is much more appealing to others.
Jazz Up Your Summary
This should not be a repeat of your job duties. There’s a space for that. Think of this space as a verbal commercial for yourself. Again, speak to your audience and their needs. This is not a spot to list all of your awards or publications. There’s a place for that too.
Your summary should be enjoyable to read, spaced out nicely so the words are not too dense, and show off your personality. Answer the simple question of how you help (complete with subtle use of keywords).
Add Featured Content
LinkedIn allows you to add featured content to your profile. This gives you the perfect spot to highlight company or individual content including content from others sites like YouTube.
This is an ideal way to help people get to know you and your business. You can rotate it as often as you would like.
Build Your Connections
Although there have been a few changes to the kinds of things people share on this network, LinkedIn is largely professional. For that reason, you may feel confident in connecting with people you may not usually connect with on social media, like people you know professionally or don’t know very well. With other social networks you may feel self-conscious inviting near strangers to connect, especially if on those other social platforms you share more of yourself. If you go to a chamber luncheon or event and meet someone, don’t be nervous about sending them a connection invitation. With LinkedIn, you can stay in touch without your professional contacts seeing how you spend your weekends.
Monitor your stream once a day or so and interact with the things people are posting. Congratulate connections on new jobs, like the articles they post, share their content. This will help you stand out in their minds and it only takes minutes a day.
If you have additional time, contribute content of your own, and publish on LinkedIn. Building your reputation as an expert in your industry will yield much more than improved personal branding, it will mean more customers for your business and additional professional opportunities for you.
If you want to build your connections on LinkedIn, feel free to add me at https://www.linkedin.com/in/madlensaddik/