LinkedIn is a one of those social media platforms that many local business owners seem unsure about how to use effectively.
Is it meant to be purely professional? Should it be used for more casual discussions and personal sharing? Who should you connect with? Who shouldn’t you connect with? How often should you post?
So. Many. Questions.
I’ve put together some tips for small business owners on how to use LinkedIn effectively to make sure you’re making the most of opportunities on this platform.
Choose A Professional Photo
Whether you’re an employee, a business owner or a freelancer, it’s essential that you showcase a recent professional photo of yourself. This means no cheeky selfies, no group photos and definitely no out of focus pictures!
If you can’t find a good photo of yourself, get a friend to take one for you or set up a timed selfie. Choose a plain background, make sure you’re dressed neatly and don’t forget to smile at least a little. No one wants to connect with someone who looks completely miserable.
Write A Good Summary
All LinkedIn profiles have a summary section. Use this to write a short overview about you, what you do and how you can help others. Don’t simply repeat what’s in your LinkedIn profile already, but rather write a few succinct sentences about yourself and your relevant experience.
Make Connections The Right Way
Don’t invite absolutely everyone that appears in your ‘People You May Know’ section. Chances are they’ve been pulled through from every email you’ve ever sent in your life so do you really want to connect with that random photographer you asked for a family photo shoot 7 years ago? No. No you don’t.
Invite people to connect who are in your industry or people that you’ve worked with before. Make sure you include a personalised message when you ask to connect as you are far more likely to get a positive response than if you use the generic message LinkedIn populates for you.
Ask For Endorsements
Don’t be afraid to ask colleagues or clients for endorsements. Don’t ask absolutely everyone you know – choose the people who have worked closely with you and know you well enough to write a well-structured and accurate endorsement of your skills.
Engage With People
Don’t forget that LinkedIn is a social network. It may be a professional social network but it is still meant to be social. Comment on posts, write your own posts, offer your own insights and opinions where relevant. This can help you to build your personal credibility amongst your peers. Every comment is an opportunity to advertise your business.
Add A Link On Your Website
An easy way to showcase your LinkedIn profile is to add a link to it on your website. If you’re an employee and your company has staff profiles on their website, you could include a link here. As a business owner or freelancer, a LinkedIn icon that links to your profile is a must have. People will want to check you out on different platforms before they decide to get in touch so make it easy for them!
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