How LinkedIn Can Help Build your Network and Client Base
By Staples Canada
June 22, 2020
Small Business & Entrepreneurship
Figuring out how to make the best impression using LinkedIn can be a challenge at the best of times, but there are some tried and true tricks that can help keep you top of mind and position you in your career as a one to watch. Consultant and LinkedIn training specialist Stacey Maynard shares her top tips for helping you stand out on social.
Focus on the top part of your profile
There are multiple elements/fields, and each one does a specific job. Together, they paint a clear picture of who you are and what you offer.
First is your header image. This is an amazing opportunity for you to see what you’re all about at a glance since people don’t always read what you have to say before they look for visual clues about you. Are you a public speaker? Feature an image that shows you in action. Are you a facilitator? Use an image that shows you leading a group. Are you in the business of selling products? Choose images of your products and use that space to showcase what you offer. This is prime real estate and not to be wasted!
Second, and it may seem straightforward, is your name. You may be compelled to play around with it as you would on other social platforms, but on LinkedIn use your own name and nothing else. The same goes for your profile picture. Use a professional picture of yourself. It doesn’t have to be professionally shot, but it should be you in a professional environment (even just against a white background), rather than you at Canada Day celebrations.
Third, your contact information should be complete. The email address should be professional and you should, if you feel comfortable, also include your phone number. The more ways people have to get in touch, the more likely they are to reach out.
Fourth is the About section. It’s important as it’s a chance for you to write about yourself. It may feel uncomfortable, but take those 200 characters and give the highlights — things you’ve published, associations you belong to, maybe even awards you’ve won. Essentially it is a summary of everything that comes after.
And lastly, but in fact, most importantly, is your headline. The first thing you have to do is understand that your profile really isn’t about you. It’s about your prospect. Meaning, the only thing a prospect cares about when they look at your profile, is what’s in it for them. So, when creating your headline, make sure it includes who you are, what you do and what you do for others. Maybe you’re a photographer who offers wedding packages to capture that special day from start to finish. Or you’re a marketing manager who develops strategy to deliver return on investment. Regardless of your job, your headline should include those three key elements.
The headline not tells your whole story in an easy to digest nugget, but it follows you everywhere. It’s in your profile, it’s in messages you send and it’s in any content you create. It also helps people identify your relevancy in a search.
Make sure the body of your profile is complete
From former positions you have held to your education, is vital that the rest of your profile is complete and up to date with information for a prospect to have. Be thorough and there’s an opportunity highlight your successes and expand on some of things you touched on in the About section.
Stay engaged and create content
Staying engaged and creating content of your own is a great way to position yourself as an expert in your field. Commenting on other people’s content not only reinforces your expertise with insightful contributions, but also establishes you as a trusted resource in your industry. It also provides you with visibility to people in their network, exponentially increasing your reach.
Get in touch with your contacts
Put out the word that your profile has been updated and encourage your connections to take a look. Don’t reach out to everyone though, only those that are most relevant to your career growth.
Get social off social
It sounds contrary, but the whole point of social is to get off of social. What you’re really looking to do is drive people to your website, or to get them on your email list, or have a virtual coffee, or even get them on the phone. Use this social tool to get off social and accelerate your career.
Have more questions? Connect directly with Stacy Maynard on LinkedIn at @stacymaynard.