I love being a freelance web designer but I also love leading workshops and helping people better understand social media, WordPress and web design.
The following is based on a workshop that I led for Leading Women networking. It includes help and tips on using LinkedIn for professionals and for business. Still in the original slide format but fleshed out for readability.
LinkedIn is an “Interconnected Network of Experienced Professionals” It is purely for business and it:
- Houses users’ professional background information and their contacts.
- Facilitates information with contacts, groups and the broader membership.
- Provides a way for businesses to find qualified professionals.
- Provides a way for professionals to get introduced.
LinkedIn for Professionals
Professionals use LinkedIn because it has a strong world-wide reach and so they can stay connected with even the most transient contacts. It is a safe place to collect a lifetime of business connections. More than 80% of members are company decision makers and 20% of Top Level Execs use it to promote business.
LinkedIn is also very Google friendly, so there is every chance that you could get discovered outside LinkedIn.
What does it give you?
- A place to search for jobs.
- A personal home page for your online reputation management.
- Keep your professional profile up to date in one place.
- Obtain professional recommendations.
- Provides a CV builder.
- The ability to make business connections.
- The ability to join LinkedIn groups.
What can you do on LinkedIn?
- View your latest updates and news.
- Manage your profile and see who viewed your profile.
- View contacts and add connections.
- View and search jobs, individuals and companies.
- See your interests, companies and groups.
- Post a job advert (paid service).
- Send messages to contacts and receive notifications.
- Create your profile and use it as your CV.
- Create an account at LinkedIn.
- Fill out your profile as completely as possible.
- Your profile should be complete and compelling to support your credibility, it might well be the most robust information about you on the Internet; and become your main CV.
- Change your tagline, it is important, the default is your job title and company name but you will want to convey your value and market “Visionary Accountant in the Real Estate Industry” sells you much better than “Accountant, Hills Estates”.
- Use the website spaces strategically – add your website address and then keywords in the description space.
- Include Associations and Organisations.
- List Your awards and your accolades, they are important.
When you complete your profile in full you will receive the all important ALL STAR status.
- There are no rules but you should know the person in some way or get an introduction to them.
- Maybe collect business cards when networking and then connect online.
- Personalise your invitations but make sure they are not pitchy.
- Thank people when they accept.
Tips for Interacting on LinkedIn
- Respond to people’s status updates to accelerate relationships.
- Congratulate or say hello.
- Publish your own status updates regularly.
- Answer questions where you can and where relevant.
- Ask questions of leaders in your field.
- Recommend people – recommendations are a powerful way to reward someone periodically.
- Show appreciation to clients and suppliers through general interactions.
Suggested Activity Calendar
It is generally recommended to spend 2-6 hours building your profile to do a proper job. Then …
Weekly: Update your status at least once; invite new contacts to connect; review network updates and interact.
Monthly: Recommend someone, participate in a group.
Quarterly: Review your profile!
LinkedIn Groups provide a place for professionals in the same industry or with similar interests to share content, find answers, post and view jobs, make business contacts, and establish themselves as industry experts. LinkedIn recommends groups for you to join and you can also search to find relevant groups.
Types of Groups
- Corporate groups for peer networking.
- Alumni – university and business.
- Nonprofit – charitable organisations and help.
- Trade Organisations – for industry standards, values.
- Industry-specific groups.
- Only join groups that interest you enough to be participatory, so that you can bring value to the group.
- Join groups where your target clients are also members.
- Help not sell, answer questions and become a valuable member.
- Gain credibility and trust, demonstrate expertise.
Creating a Group
Find groups under work in your LinkedIn menu. In Groups click the create a group button on the right, fill in the required information, decide whether you want it to be open or for members only and create your first update. Easy as that!
Managing Your Group
- You can assign managers or moderators.
- Send invitations for people to join.
- Send an Announcement to the group.
- Approving members can be auto or manual.
- Add your logo.
Business Profiles & Pages
Benefits of a business page
- Millions of LinkedIn members can follow your company, including current clients, potential clients, job seekers and business partners.
- Careers – Employees will search for companies on LinkedIn, find the best talent.
- Market Your Business through company pages.
- Showcase products and services through individual showcase pages.
- Post network updates and company news.
- Share the updates of others regularly to keep you engaged with your contacts and keep you in their minds.
- Offers business to business sales opportunities and lead generation.
- Customer recommendations, ask your customers to give you feedback.
- Join Industry Groups, discuss and problem solve – become recognised as a leader in your field.
- Get introductions to those you most want to meet via mutual connections.
- Use it for job advertising and talent sourcing.
- Engage your colleagues and employees, a free company database!
Research & Intelligence
- Research prospective clients and get warm introductions to them.
- Get pre-meeting information to give you the upper hand, potentially unique information.
- View mutual connections.
- See what groups your prospects are in and join too, as long as they are relevant.
- View common connections.
- View extended networks that are better populated than an in-house client relationship management tool.
- Become more visible with many contacts.
Create Your Company Page
- Upload your logo.
- Incorporate company social media and blog feeds.
- Create a high-level overview to showcase your brand – tell your company’s story.
- Include your USPs.
- Highlight your products & services through separate showcase pages.
- Showcase your employment brand and career opportunities.
- Drive word of mouth at scale.
- Comprehensive company page analytics.
Build Your Products and Services
- Create individual showcase pages for your major products and services.
- Add description, images, display banners, videos, sales contacts and special offers for each product or service.
- Segment your audience to personalise content, so a different showcase page for each target audience if appropriate.
- Attract the best talent.
- Passive and active job seekers.
- Your job postings prioritised by viewer.
- Encourage testimonials from your employees.
- Raise the overall profile of your company.
- Jobs posts are on pay-per-click basis, you can set your budget.
- Follow your company to see your updates on their home page and engage – comment, like and share.
- View People in their network who are connected to your business.
- Explore job listings and apply, contacting your specified recruiters individually.
- Learn more about your company.
- See recommendations and testimonials.
Insights and Analytics
Understand who’s visiting your page and what content they find most engaging. Learn about your follower community and what they are looking for.
Promoting Your Page
You can create pay-per-click ad campaigns on LinkedIn and simply invite candidates to follow your page. Don’t forget to add a follow button to your website and add your company page link to emails and other electronic communication.
Thanks for the feedback!
Good LinkedIn workshop today delivered by @traceyrickard for @LeadingWomenUK – looking forward to getting my profile working effectively!
— Bluesky Business (@Bluesky_biz) February 19, 2014