“Any individual who is not on Linkedin in 2016 is akin to a small business that was not in the yellow pages, circa 1980. It’s suicide. Imagine this: what if you showed up for a job interview in the 1980s or 1990s and refused to produce a resume? That’s how decision makers and employers will feel about you if you are not on Linkedin in 2016.”
It is no longer good enough to be an expert in your field or to know the right people. Doing business has almost become a full time PR job. These days it is more important to have a proper digital footprint that reflects who you are and what you’re good at, we’ve become a perception driven society.
Therefore, LinkedIn has become a necessity rather than being optional. LinkedIn is not only a site for job hunters and for growing your professional network, LinkedIn is an equally effective tool for generating new business leads and nurturing referral relationships.
Here are why:
1. Creating a good first impression
It takes someone 20 seconds to create a first impression when viewing your profile. Make sure your profile is professionally written and fully completed.
Important to include the following:
- A professional photo (Save the party photos for Facebook, make sure this is a good head and shoulders shot.)
- Customise your LinkedIn URL
- Update your work experience and skills – similar to what you would include on your CV
- Make sure your summary reads like a story. Include an intro, middle and end. (Something personal, professional offering, experience and a call to action.)
- Turn off activity broadcast
2. Creating shareable content that benefits your audience
By sharing content that your audience wants to see and share with others will make them an engaged audience. This can result in expanding your global reach and influence. If it is own generated content you will be seen as an industry expert. If you struggle with generating your own content, there is nothing wrong with aggregating good shareable content.
3. Differentiating yourself from other LinkedIn members
When sharing content share content from your company as well as your own stories. Join LinkedIn groups to gain knowledge in certain areas of interest and also to build connections that can benefit you in the future.
4. Checking in on what your competition is doing
Do some searches on people with the same job title or who operates in the same industry as yourself to see what type of information they are sharing. When setting up your initial profile try and align it to top industry leaders where possible.
Creating strategic business connections
With over 364 million members in over 200 countries and territories the potential of making worthwhile connections on LinkedIn are really good. A fully completed LinkedIn profile appears 40 times more than an incomplete profile, so whether you are in the job market or just focusing on social selling the advantage of spending time on your profile is massive. Try and make as many as possible connections so that you create a perception of being well connected. Once you reach 500+ connections you can start to become picky, as it will always display as 500+ on your profile to members viewing it.
LinkedIn is a great tool for being noticed and it can be a great channel for marketing yourself. Take some time and invest in what your future could turn out to be – get out of your own way. Create a LinkedIn profile you can brag with.