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Are You Making The Most Of LinkedIn?

Having a presence on LinkedIn is a great way to manage your personal brand and the impression you portray to colleagues, clients and associates. It’s also useful for connecting with people within your industry and other relevant sectors.

But how many of us are actually using LinkedIn to its full potential?

Here are a few basic tips. You can use it as a checklist to make sure you are making the most of LinkedIn, and get some ideas for improving your presence…

Your Personal URL

Choosing a URL for your LinkedIn profile is the first step to enhancing your personal brand. This will usually be your first and last name, first, middle and last, your first name and business name or just your business name. Any of these are appropriate. For instance, mine is https://uk.linkedin.com/in/bethanykcarter.

Profile Picture

Your profile picture should show your face, not your favourite landscape or your pet. Ideally you’ll be smiling, appearing friendly and approachable with your face shown clearly. It’s worth asking a photographer to take a professional headshot for you (I would advise against a selfie). Pay attention to what you are wearing in the photo, as it’s a professional image and you need to look the part. That doesn’t mean you have to go corporate and wear a suit if that doesn’t fit your industry. For instance, I’m a creative so my current profile picture was taken in the woods and I am wearing a cardigan.

Bethany Carter LinkedIn

Keywords

LinkedIn is a database that is searchable by Google, so it’s important to get keywords into your job title and summary if you want to increase your chances of showing up in search results. Your headline will also be used to compare you to other similar professionals on LinkedIn. Use the text in the summary section wisely, using appropriate keywords and phrases relevant to yourself, your work and your achievements. Concentrate on omitting common buzz words from this section (and anywhere else in your profile!) such as “committed”, “enthusiastic”, “driven”, “motivated” or “passionate”.

Recommendations

Don’t be shy about asking your contacts for recommendations. They’re extremely valuable as they prove that what you’ve said on your profile is true, and people trust them. Potential clients are likely to look you up on LinkedIn and they will be looking for these. Endorsements are not as valuable or trusted, but they are useful for building relationships when you give them to others. Remember though, don’t endorse people whose skills you do not have first-hand knowledge of.

Be Proactive

Growing your network of contacts will increase the audience size of your profile. People will often look at the number of connections you have and use it to make judgements on your influence and how active you are. Consider inviting existing contacts as well as people you would like to get to know. LinkedIn is very helpful with assisting your search for potential people you may know through being in the same industry or through a mutual contact. Always make your connection requests personal, and explain why you would like to connect.

Post Updates

Posting relevant content can go a long way in keeping you high in the ranks of your networks. Ideally you’ll post regular updates that will be of interest to your connections and position you as an expert or thought leader. A combination of interesting articles and updates on your activities usually works well. When you post an article written by someone else, try to add a personal perspective to explain why it is relevant and your opinions or experiences of the topic.

Publish Articles

When you publish an article on LinkedIn, your connections will receive a notification about it. Therefore this is a great way to stay current, get noticed and prove that you know your stuff. It’s also an opportunity to educate people on your industry and current trends, as well as promote your business. Ideally you should publish an article at least once per month, but no more than once per week (unless you want to start losing connections).

Find The Right Balance

There’s nothing wrong with self-promotion, but there is a balance to be found. By all means celebrate your successes, and your connections will rejoice on your behalf. But don’t overdo it. Make sure that you are also posting useful and interesting content that helps people, rather than promotes your business. Indirectly you are establishing yourself as a useful go-to source and an expert in your field.

Build Relationships

It’s not all about you. Your connections will be posting and sharing their own content, and paying attention to them can help you to build better relationships. If someone posts an interesting article, like it and leave a comment. If someone shares an update that captures your attention, compliment them on it or offer an opinion.

There is so much more I could add to this article. Hopefully from these ideas, you have gained something valuable to take away and work on. If you need some more advice or training, please get in touch

Bethany Carter,  November 23, 2016

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