LinkedIn is one of the most useful tools for entrepreneurs and professionals, especially for connecting with the right people, driving new leads, referrals and ultimately new business.
LinkedIn is a place to scope out key contacts, business partners, joint venture opportunities, and talk to potential clients. You can also stalk high profile media and executives and CEOs (ok maybe connect with them is better) through referrals and introductions.
You can have your own personal profile on LinkedIn and a company page – in that way it works much like Facebook.
How to use your LinkedIn Personal Profile
LinkedIn has allowed me to build a network of over 3,000 trusted and engaged individuals. It’s allowed people to connect with me in each country I visit for events, meetups or business discussions.
I’ve also connected with some amazing people as a result for my business as sponsors or partnerships, and to connect further and attract new customers and clients.
Here’s how to use LinkedIn personally and professionally:
- Create and complete your personal profile with a compelling statement of the value you provide – not just Your Name, Accountant
- Write a great `Summary’ of not only your experience but why you do what you do, who you serve and why that matters
- Detail out your experience in previous roles or businesses in a way that shows your expertise and credibility and skillset
- Ask people to recommendations to display on your profile who’ve worked with you and return the favor to them
- Add in applications that extend the functionality of your profile such as your WordPress blog feed, or Slideshare presentations that showcase your work, skills and expertise
Here’s a great example from my friend Kirsten Hodgson. View her full profile on LinkedIn and how she uses it. In my Suitcase Entrepreneur book Kirsten shares specific examples of how she’s built a fantastic amount of business through LinkedIn.
Once you’ve set up your profile, added your career history and core skills and written a compelling bio, then you want to add connections. The more you have the more you increase the likelihood that people will see your profile first when they’re searching for someone to hire or do business with. In addition to appearing at the top of search results, people would much rather work with people who their friends know and trust.
- Connect with people who are interesting, influential and relevant to what you do
- In your introduction be personable and send a personal message and create a reason and purpose for the connection
- Search out service providers, potential partners or even clients on LinkedIn – use keywords, names and company names to search
- Join LinkedIn groups that you can add value to and answer questions in, and also learn from within your industry or niche
Create A LinkedIn Company Profile
If you haven’t set up your Company Profile then login and head to this link now to create one. Check out my one for an idea on how it will look. While you’re at it feel free to follow the Suitcase Entrepreneur.
Then go ahead and:
- Add your logo and company description
- Enter your company specialties as categories
- Enter in your Twitter account username
- Add your blog feed so it displays on this profile
- Fill in the details on company size, no. of employees & year founded
- Add your employees, or better yet ask them to join your Company Profile and link to it on their own profile
- Add in products and services that you offer with details linking to the pages on your website where people can find them
- Get people to leave testimonials on your products (which is great for social proof and you can then use on your website/ blog too)
- Create different versions of your products pages for different countries depending on what services and products you offer, you just click `New Audience’ to duplicate and edit your default page each time.
- Market and showcase your company with up to 3 images (each 640×220 pixels) that give you a rotating spotlight module to display on your page.
- Drive traffic by adding URLs that direct where you want people to go on your website when they click your images.
- Offer specials on your products right there on your company profile and get people to recommend your products too.
Even if your target market is not on LinkedIn (refer back to Day 2 to find out which social media platforms you should be on and why), you definitely need to present yourself, your brand and your business there. Come and connect with me on LinkedIn (and check out my profile too).
Key resources to read
Day 5 Challenge to accept:
1. Write a blog post response to this question
How are you using LinkedIn to establish your credibility, build your professional rolodex and attract new clients, partnerships or business?
2. Share your blog post response, and leave a comment to be in to win:
Share your blog post far and wide from your own blog using your own share buttons and the hashtag #SMC AND post a short description and the URL right here in the comments.
3. Embed the 10 Day Social Media Challenge badge in your blog post using this:
<a href=”https://suitcaseentrepreneur.com/socialmediachallenge”><img src=”https://suitcaseentrepreneur.com/wp-content/themes/suitcaseentrepreneur1/socialmedia/socialmediachallenge.jpg” alt=”Social media Challenge” /></a>
4.Click to tweet this: How to use LinkedIn to establish your credibility, build your professional rolodex #socialmedia
Also if you feel so inclined you can also:
Join the Social Media Club for free where we share tips and strategies for using social media.
Follow the Social Media Tips Pinterest board.