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How to make Linkedin love you

Linkedin heart made from ribbon

Some business owners feel happier on Linkedin than Twitter. It’s less frivolous. It focuses on work, side-stepping the ‘I’m eating an apple’ updates that some people find irritating and pointless. I’m not saying they’re right – I love Twitter – but I know what they mean.

But if you’re looking to win more work and putting all your eggs into Linkedin’s basket, you really need to make the most of it. So how do you do that?

First of all this means filling it all in properly. Linkedin makes it easy for you – just fill in the boxes with all your contact details, your previous experience, and some testimonials, and you’re away.

That’s a good start, and lots of people leave it there, but they’re missing out. Past experience and recommendations are important, but what can really sell you is the summary and specialities section. Not filling these in is like going to a party and sitting in the corner not speaking to anyone. This is your chance to answer ‘and what do you do?’ in the most compelling way, so give it some thought.

As much thought, I’d suggest, as you would your website home page. And in the same way that your home page should demonstrate how you help your clients, make it clear here how your experience solves clients’ problems.

5 ways to write a better Linkedin profile

1. Make it clear what kind of projects you’re looking for – what work do you want? There’s no harm in being upfront, and it makes it easier for potential clients to find you. Don’t leave contacts to read between the lines to find the things you might be good at, spell it out for them.
2. Tailor your experience to fit the projects you want. Linkedin works best when you treat as more than an online CV, so pull out the details that are relevant to projects you’d like to have and add them to strengthen your case. BUT
3. Be succinct. I don’t mean all the details. Pick and choose, and think in headlines rather than essays.
4. Think about clients needs first. A section on ‘how I can help’ makes your profile stand out. Ask for help yourself here by getting feedback from clients, or asking a copywriter to work on your message with you.
5. Keep it up to date. Linkedin profiles are easy to edit, so there’s no excuse for not keeping it current.

And finally, update regularly, read other people’s updates, comment, think, join in. Recommend the good people you work with, and they’ll return the favour. Linkedin is a networking tool, so get networking.

If you need help shaping your Linkedin profile, give me a call.

4 Comments

  • 1
    June 17, 2011 - 4:48 pm | Permalink

    Thsi is a great article, especially as I try and fathom Linkedin! But now i’ve somehow managed to create two accounts as I have two jobs, do I merge or keep seperate?!

  • 2
    admin
    June 17, 2011 - 6:55 pm | Permalink

    Thanks Zoe. I think I’d go for one profile that focuses on you and your skills. You can talk about both jobs, but you’re the most important thing, not your current role(s)!

  • 3
    November 14, 2011 - 9:30 am | Permalink

    Great stuff on maximising your LI profile.

    May I add that it helps a lot to be active on this platform, too.

    Not always easy when we all live such busy lives, but posting updates, answering questions and entering discussions is a good way to be noticed.

  • 4
    January 10, 2012 - 5:40 pm | Permalink

    Great post Sharon, as ever.

    As you mention at the end I think using the status update box on LinkedIn is a good way to communicate a bit of news and share some useful content. I wouldn’t update it as much as Twitter – about once, perhaps twice a week feels right to me: LinkedIn has a slower pace than Twitter or Facebook or Google+.

    Linking it to your blog is a good one too. I’ve seen people share some enviable Slideshare presentations too. Lots you can do if you really want to make it work for you. It’s a great tool for professionals in any type of business.

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