Why use LinkedIn?

Here’s 3 very good reasons why you should:

  • LinkedIn now has a UK membership of over 23 million people. Globally there are over 500 million members.
  • LinkedIn is one of the largest websites in the world and if you search for yourself on the internet your LinkedIn profile may well appear at the top of your search results so you need to ensure that your profile says the right things about you.
  • People will check you out on LinkedIn before employing you or doing business with you.

LinkedIn basics

Like any internet search, it’s all about being found on LinkedIn.  The website uses keywords in its search algorithm. Think of a keyword as a skill that you possess. If you mention this skill several times in your profile then LinkedIn will think you are an expert in that skill and will add you to the search results for it.  

Have a good profile

You need the following elements on your LinkedIn profile, if it’s going to attract attention:

  1. A professional photograph (consider paying someone to take it for you)
  2. An attention grabbing headline which includes keywords (so people know what you can do for them)
  3. A summary that includes your keywords
  4. At least 5 skills (a tip here: search for a skill and only add ones that LinkedIn recognises to your profile)
  5. At least one job role (again remember to mention your skills here)
  6. At least one mention of education (another tip: if you don’t have a degree then put the name of your secondary school)
  7. Something that isn’t essential but which will help attract people to you is having several recent recommendations on your profile.

Givers gain

Think about how you can help others on LinkedIn.  Can you recommend someone if they’ve worked for you? Or can you endorse someone’s skill(s)?  If someone asks a question and you share the answer that helps demonstrate your expertise.  The more that you give, the more you will get in return.

Connecting

I highly recommend adding a note to a connection request, especially if you don’t know the recipient well.  This could be a little reminder of how you met or a reason why they should accept your connection request.

Quality not quantity

Less is definitely more on LinkedIn. I only post an update once a day or sometimes less frequently. Everyone is busy nowadays and I share what I think other people will find valuable.

Where to start

  • Complete your profile as much as you can.
  • Build a network.  Connect with everyone you already know, went to school/college with, current and previous colleagues, current and previous clients and so on.  Do this gradually over several months, maybe even a couple of years.
  • Share useful and relevant content in your updates.
  • LinkedIn is a network that will grow with you over the years.
  • If you need help with getting started on LinkedIn or taking it to the next level and learning how to leverage it to win business, invest in some 1:1 training.  LinkedIn is an incredible tool that you should not ignore, especially if your business is B2B.