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Friday, 8 November 2013

Friday Guest Blog: Are you getting the most out of LinkedIn?


By Hakeem Adebiyi – Director, Hands Associates

LinkedIn is probably one of the best professional marketing platforms on the market. The question is, why do so few people use it effectively?  

Broadly speaking, on LinkedIn there are three groups in terms of numbers of connections and interaction:

1.Fewer than 500 Connections = Low level of interaction/engagement
2.More than 500 Connections = Low/Medium level of interaction/engagement
3.More than 500 Connections = High level of interaction/engagement
  
The first two categories are where the vast majority of people tend to be and the aim is to move into the lucrative third category, and have a large number of engaged active connections and groups who enable you to build authority in your given area and ensure you and/or your company benefit financially from your marketing activity on LinkedIn.

There are several things that need to be done to enter into that third category and the most important is to maximize your profile. According to LinkedIn, you are 40 times more likely to receive opportunities through LinkedIn if you have a complete profile.

These tips will help highlight four key steps in doing just that:
  
1.    Your Profile Picture

Remember LinkedIn is a professional network - emphasis on the word professional - hence make sure that you have a professional photo. This isn’t the time to have a photo with your pet unless, of course you sell pet supplies or you are a pet groomer then it might be nice to have a photo with your pet. It’s also not the time to see you on the beach or having a good time in Rio if you’re not a travel agent. Always remember that LinkedIn is a business-to-business platform so you want to project that professional image of yourself.

2.    Your Profile Headline

Make sure that you have an engaging headline i.e. tell people what you do and how you can help. For example, if you are an insurance agent, headlines like “Business Insurance Agent” - “Saving Businesses Money on their Insurance costs” ===> “Specializing in…” etc, leave people in no doubt about what it is you do or how you can help them in particular. Also it is good practice to put how they can contact you in the headline, to make it easy for people to contact you outside of LinkedIn. The most effective contact in this regard is a direct phone number.

Contact Information

Fill out your contact info fully paying close attention to:

Industry sector
- Make sure that you have categorized your profile to the right industry and that you use the right keyword in your summary and your job description. (i.e. what are the people you are targeting looking for). The keywords will help people who are searching to find you.


Website
– when you are adding a website use the other category in the dropdown box if you use this category then you can enter a specific name for the website and then put the actual link, rather than the title just saying “company website” or “personal blog”. Again this helps your branding and searchability.


4.    Your Summary
Now this summary is your CV/resume. This is how people know that you’re professional and that you know what you’re doing. So you want to say, what you do and how you can help, you also want to list your services.
Always write the summary as if you are speaking to your ideal customer.  As said before you also want to make sure that your keywords are scattered throughout your summary, obviously do it in a way that reads well but this will further enhance people’s ability to identify you when they are searching for someone who can offer what you do.
Whilst you do want to put your personality across, remember as always the watchword here is being professional, so telling someone that I have two children would be appropriate on Facebook but it might not be so appropriate on LinkedIn.

These are just four quick tips to get you started maximizing your profile and hence increasing your potential of receiving business opportunities through LinkedIn.

For more information and to secure your place on my free webinars, visit: http://trainingforlocalbusiness.com/


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