LinkedIn has over 332 million members as of 2014, with 2 new users joining every second.
As one of the most powerful social media sites outside of Facebook, Twitter and Google+, LinkedIn stands in its own right as the social networking website for business professionals looking to connect with others in their field.
It’s estimated that 1 in 3 professionals on the planet are on LinkedIn and it’s the ideal platform to share business posts, reach out and connect to other professionals and more.
Business networking has forever been transformed since the popularity of Linkedin emerged. It’s an excellent place to share your skills and experiences, connect and network with others in your industry.
In effect, LinkedIn acts as an online resume of your skills, previous employment, education or volunteering that has shaped who you are today.
LinkedIn provides an excellent opportunity to establish yourself as an authority within your chosen niche, a go to ‘expert’ for others to network with and send business your way, should you choose to accept it.
Using Linkedin to ‘Sell Yourself’
You can generate business leads by selling yourself on LinkedIn and learning how to use this social media tool effectively. It’s possible to make real connections or follow through with them by building a profile that shows your business acumen and is an authentic representation of your skills.
Use a professional ‘headshot’ photo
A clear photograph of your face should be used in your profile photo if you want to portray a professional image of yourself to others. Ideally you should be looking into the camera and a smile indicates that you are both friendly and approachable. You don’t want to add your best drinking photos or wild party face up there!
Write an elevator pitch
This is the summary box in the first few lines of the profile. You should write this section towards whoever you want to target it to. Every time you write this, focus on adding value or on how you can bring this to other people. Include some of the keywords that recruiters are looking for and you are more likely to be found in online searches who are looking for potential candidates like yourself.
Include your full name and website URL
You should include your full name and a link to your website in your public profile. Add the actual title of your website rather than leaving it as ‘My Company’ or ‘My Website’. This establishes the branding of your business/company in the viewer’s mind, enabling them to further identify your list of specialities.
Be truthful in your resume
Don’t lie! Be transparent in your presentation of your skills, don’t bend the truth. Say it as you see it, but emphasise your skills and how important they were for your own self-improvement and what value you provided for your previous employers, voluntary organisations or more. Always be truthful, don’t exaggerate as lies get found out in the end.
Have a consistent social media presence
You can automatically connect your profile’s RSS and twitter feed to your LinkedIn profile. If you have a wordpress blog then you can use a wordpress application to display the blog within your Linkedin profile and more.
Be sure to share your blogs, twitter and facebook posts regularly so as to create a consistent social media presence. Remember to keep adding content to your blog and you will have automatic content that’s posted onto your social media channels.
Refresh your profile regularly
Updating the content of your LinkedIn profile every few months means you’re more likely to show up in LinkedIn search updates and recruiters like to acknowledge that you’re staying active within your industry, whether it’s for netowrking opportunities or new recommendations or product launches – you never know when a recruiter could spot your profile and want to connect.
The beauty of LinkedIn is that unlike the traditional CV (Curriculum Vitae) or resume that may lay dormant in a folder on your desktop for months even years, with LinkedIn you are automatically connected with others. This opens up a world of networking opportunities for you as a business person and means your CV is working for you – without you even trying.
The key is to stay safe and not to post anything online that you don’t feel comfortable with others seeing. Follow the above rules and you’ll find more business coming your way, so it’s a win-win situation for both parties.