Five Tips To Improve Your LinkedIn

To most people, LinkedIn is just an online version of their CV. And much like their actual CV, they're not particularly excited about it. So it ends up being one of their most neglected social media platforms.

When I talk to our clients plenty of them have taken the time to set up an account. Some of them even go to the trouble of setting up their business page. And then they sit back and leave them to gather dust. Very few of them continue to actively use the platform, or get the most from it. But with over 347 million users, it's the largest professional networking platform in the world. So it's worth taking the time to get right.

LinkedIn is different to most social media platforms, it feels more grown up. It's pitched towards professionals sharing content and networking with each other. Rather than sharing funny cat videos or holiday photos with your friends and family. It's not the greatest platform for sharing food photos or product shots. And you're probably not going to get the same level of interaction as you might see with a platform like Facebook. But that doesn't mean it doesn't have its place in your social media strategy.

Unlike the way most brands use social media platforms, LinkedIn is about the individual. This is the one platform where your personal page is more important than your business one. You can (and should) share content from your company page. But the focus is more on you as an expert and the content you share. It's a tool that lets you share your knowledge and expand your professional network.

In general LinkedIn is a better platform for businesses selling to other businesses. So if you're B2B and not using LinkedIn, you're missing a trick. But where do you start? Like most social platforms, you need a good strategy. This will help you ensure quality, consistency and frequency in your posting. But before you get into all of that, the best place to start is with a strong profile. So here's our top tips to refreshing and optimising your LinkedIn profile...

1.0 Think carefully about your photo

Where possible use a professional (or professional looking shot) with a plain background. No selfies, group shots or photos from nights out. Yes people want to get to know you, but they want to see your professional side, not your party one. Think about what sort of impression your photo is going to give people.

2.0 Make the most of your professional headline

Your headline appears just below your name. Along with your photo, it's the first thing that people will see. Most people used to use this for their job title and the company they work for. Don't. It's a great way to make it easier for people to understand your professional expertise. So instead use it as a way to list your core skills and professional interests.

3.0 Take the time to fill in your summary

Like your professional headline, your summary is pretty high up your profile. It's the best place to give a brief character description or personal statement that helps people feel like they're getting to know you. Like a personal statement, your summary is where you can sell yourself and your expertise. It's the place to explain your skills, experience and how you can help potential customers, and encourage them to connect with you.

4.0 Use your experience to show your value

LinkedIn is not your CV, so you don't need to list everything. If you're a business owner, you can use your experience section to sell your business. It's a handy way to list the key services that your company can offer customers. Or you can use it to sell yourself and your expertise. You don't need to write a long list of responsibilities that you've held for every job you've ever had. Your profile should be telling your professional story. You should explain how your expertise has improved the business. Maybe you've solved problems or filled a gap in the team's experience. Like your summary, your experience section is your platform to show your experience and your skills.

5.0 Ask for recommendations

Recommendations are a great way to show the impact of your work. If customers are raving about your services, then it's always going to be a good reflection of your business. You can give people looking at your profile a real insight into what value your company has given to your customers. Recommendations from former employers can also be a great because they give people an insight into your personality and help people get to know you.

With these 5 tips you should be well on your way to building a great LinkedIn profile. But having a strong profile is only the start. Once you've optimised your profile, you’ll be a lot easier to find on the site, but you still need to establish yourself as an expert. So the next steps are to work on cultivating your network of connections and sharing content (whether that’s from your blog or website, or LinkedIn itself). 

To make the most of LinkedIn, you need an effective strategy - you need to know what you'd like to achieve, the tactics you'll use to achieve them, and of course, how you'll measure the results. If you'd like to chat more about your social media strategy and how to start using LinkedIn more effectively, email me or call 0191 603 0033 and let's grab a coffee.

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