L is for LinkedIn!
I’ve delayed putting out my blog on LinkedIn as each time I was going to put pen to paper, or more accurately fingers to keyboard, LinkedIn introduced more improvements or changes. Their ‘divorce’ from Twitter and the new LinkedIn Company Pages are just a couple of examples. Such is our challenge in the ever-changing world of social media!
The B2B Social Media Platform
LinkedIn used to be the forgotten social media platform, though less so now as companies and individuals realise how relevant it is as a B2B network. It is also used extensively by job seekers and recruiters for identifying potential employers or candidates. It’s a great place to research information on a company or person and find out more about them. It’s the first place I go to find out more about someone I’ve just met.
In classifying social media networks, I like to compare them to our usual social environments. I look at them as the equivalent of where your friends would hang out. I think of the four main networks as
- LinkedIn = the office (professionals)
- Twitter = the coffee machine (short time there, only 140 characters to fit in)
- Facebook = the pub/bar (where people socialise)
- WordPress/Blog = the dinner party (more time for an in-depth conversation).
Back to LinkedIn Basics
I’ve recently been adding profiles and building connections for a couple of my clients in very different businesses. I’ve been surprised at how many small businesses, particularly those offering professional services like accountancy, are not on LinkedIn. This made me decide that, rather than focus on all the shiny new options on LinkedIn, I’d just go back to the basics which I hope will be useful.
Know your goals
There are three key goals you want your LinkedIn profile to score:
- Get found
- Attract your ideal client
- Stand out.
I’m only going to concentrate on the first goal of getting found on LinkedIn. My top tips are:
Write your profile in a client-focused manner, clearly having identified before who your ideal client avatar is. As with any marketing if you try to appeal to everyone you will dilute your message
Complete your profile fully – LinkedIn has a 100% complete indicator and gives you useful suggestions of what you need to do to achieve this
Make sure you have a good, recent professional photo on your profile
Keywords – what words would your potential client use to find you? The Google keyword tool is great to use to find these
Optimise your whole profile in at least the following 5 areas with your keywords:
- The Headline
- Current work experience
- Past work experience
- Your website URL, you can customise how this appears
- The Summary section
Just taking these simple steps will greatly improve your chances of making the connections you want and being able to start to build a relationship with potential clients.