LinkedIn built its niche in the social media arena as the professionals’ hub. Originally designed for job seekers to get hired, it has expanded into much more. In a recent informal survey of several hiring managers, each one reported that LinkedIn is their #1 go-to place to look at potential employees. None of them looked at paper resumes! Whether you are looking for a job, potentially hiring others, staying current in your field, or promoting your business, LinkedIn is the professional person’s place to be.
No matter your area of expertise, LinkedIn is the place to design your presence as a professional, or expert in your field. Begin by building your professional profile. Other platforms, like Facebook, capture personal facets of your life; on LinkedIn keep it businesslike.
That doesn’t mean you need to be stodgy! There are plenty of places to list areas of expertise, special skills, and other things about your uniqueness as an individual and expert in your field.
Wayne Breitbarth, author of The Power Formula for LinkedIn Success, urges users to think this way about social media platforms for business and professional growth:
Your Unique Experience + Your Unique Relationships + “The Tool” (in this case, LinkedIn) = The Power
When you have completed your profile page detailing unique experience — (and don’t wait for it to be “perfect” — you can always work on it more!) — it’s time to start connecting. Use the People Search option to build unique relationships; find colleagues or other professionals in your area to connect with. Add your LinkedIn URL as part of your email signature, and send out requests asking friends and other professionals to connect with you.
Other Ways to Connect.
Many people put all their contact vehicles (cell phone, email, Facebook, Skype and other social media handles) on business cards, and cross-link social platforms to websites, blogs, etc. Make it easy for people to reach you on all platforms!
Recently, LinkedIn debuted “Company Pages.” For any business owner or senior executive, these are pages where you create an Internet presence for your service, shop or business. Set up your personal professional page first, and another one for your business.
Follow the same steps for your business, and include pertinent information like the address (which you might not put on your personal page). Tell people about awards the company or staff has received, the philanthropic endeavors you support, etc. In short, make your business as professionally personable as you are yourself. As with your own professional page, ask others to follow you, connect with other individuals and businesses … and you’re ready to maintain your LinkedIn profile(s).
Maintaining Your LinkedIn Profile(s).
It is important to keep your pages fresh. At Three Girls Media & Marketing, we recommend posting new, interesting and relevant information three to four times weekly for best visibility. Focus on information that will make you stand out in your field, highlight an achievement or acknowledge someone who helped your business. Giving before taking is a good standard practice in any kind of networking; however, don’t be shy about sharing what you know as an expert in your field.
Joining and Posting to Groups.
An advantageous LinkedIn feature is the ability to join and post in groups to engage with other professionals in your industry, or potential customers. We recommend that you find one or two industry-focused groups, and one or two potential customer groups and post several times a week to each, asking a question, offering an answer or article, or beginning a thoughtful discussion. The more groups in which you participate, the more exposure you get.
Another networking standard practice is not to over-promote yourself, or be excessively self-centered. Offer insightful, useful and compelling information or articles. Properly attribute sources if you don’t own them. Raise your profile by focusing on others, allowing them to get to know and trust you. Build long-term friendships and relationships as your power base.
The professional staff at Three Girls ghostwrites LinkedIn posts for our clients. Our purpose is to represent them accurately and according to their goals. Our aim is to keep our clients as “Top Influencers.” This distinction appears on the right side of each group’s page, showing a profile picture and links to the top three most active peoples’ profiles. This provides an additional level of exposure, credibility and influence.
Managing a career takes time and thoughtful effort. We direct our clients to the best ways to use their precious resources, while promoting them in a conscientious, effective way. LinkedIn has established itself as the leader in professional online networking. Use it to your advantage!
Special Offer: Three Girls Media & Marketing Inc. loves working with small and emerging companies to raise their brand awareness and name recognition. We offer a complimentary 30-minute phone consultation. Email [email protected] to make your appointment today!
Photo Credit: Coletivo Mambembe