LinkedIn is a tricky business, you hear of it working wonders for some people and yet it never provides anything more than irrelevant connection requests and relentless inbound sales messages for you. Don’t give up just yet, once mastered, LinkedIn is a great tool to connect you with potential clients (and have them come to you), elevate your business and create increased brand awareness. Plus it’s free. Sounds pretty good, right? Let’s get you started, here are my three top tips to take you from a hater to a lover of the social media giant of the business world.
1. Be a tortoise, not a hare.
Getting LinkedIn to work for you is a long game. Number one piece of advice is to stay committed and keep at it, even when it feels like you’re getting nowhere. A great way to stay focused is to plan ahead. In a calendar, map out articles, videos or statuses you’d like to share for the coming month. This simple task of being organised means that sharing on LinkedIn becomes a habit. Keep the content relevant to you and your brand. Don’t feel disheartened if you get low likes, or views, this will happen from time to time. It’s LinkedIn’s way of keeping you on your toes!
2. “Say, CHEESE!”
LinkedIn profile pages are a representation of you. When you go to a client meeting, or turn up for work, or attend a networking event, the chances are you always look your best and deliver your best self. Your LinkedIn profile is an extension of this. A well lit, crisp and “on-brand” profile picture speaks a thousand words to any present and future connections. No dodgy selfies, avoid Bambi eyes and too much pouting, pictures where you’re clearly on a night out are a definite no-no too.
Hiring the experts is not a bad move here and don’t assume that they will ask you to do a square-on, corporate head and shoulder look when they pick up their camera. You can find some great photographers who will do a “branding” shoot with you – here is a great example of some branding photographs. Those photographs aren’t corporate but are professional and perfectly encapsulate each person. If hiring a professional is out of your budget, then persuade a friend to be a photographer for the day. Grab your smartphone, choose outfits that represent you and your business, venture out on a bright day, find a nice spot and get snapping!
3. Long time, no speak
It’s easy to connect with people and then never speak to them. It’s time to change that! Reconnecting with your connections is a great way of reminding people that you’re there, but also that you’re interested in, and value, what they are doing professionally. Scroll through your contacts list, find a couple of people you haven’t spoken to for a while (if at all) and drop them a note. A simple “Hi, how are you? I realised we haven’t spoken in a while so thought I would drop a note to see how things were going in the world of [finance]”. Or perhaps someone has shared something that particularly resonates with you, message them and tell them why it resonated or impacted you. LinkedIn call the people you engage with “connections” and looking after your connections is an important part of building up traction on the platform. If people know you care about what they are doing, they will care about what you are doing.
There you have it, three simple but effective ways for you to boss LinkedIn – starting from today! There are so many ways you can elevate your LinkedIn profile and so many ways to get it wrong, so if in doubt, get a professional to audit your profile and help you transform how you use LinkedIn to your advantage.