Tips for Getting the Most out of LinkedIn

Social media is a big part of our daily routines, revolutionising the way we contact, interact and display our lives, from a passing conversation with an old school friend (or frenemy), catching up with the latest headlines during long morning commutes or appealing to a diverse range of potential employers, through social media marketing and content strategy. Small business on linkedinWhat started on the walls and windows of tertiary dorms and precocious dot coms has opened up doors of a new brand of self-promotion, business disciplines and digital networking. While the discomfort of face to face meet and greets will always permeate vertical centric seminars, LinkedIn has removed some of the pressure from ambitious career climbers and time poor employers. Optimising your LinkedIn profile, or that of your small business, may seem difficult and time consuming, maybe a little pointless, but the benefits of a robust professional online presence cannot be matched in results.

What Are Your Goals?

Transmitting your goals beyond a cursory statement and career highlight reel is challenging, particularly if you aren’t comfortable with the platform. A few extra flourishes will help you stand out, dragging a critical audience in by the eyeballs and converting them to possible industry contacts. Make sure you’re clear about what you’re looking for – being an online time waster is akin to THAT guy who interviews for several different jobs and dodges any calls, positive or negative, getting off on feeling wanted, even for a fleeting second. Partners, suppliers, clients and employers all use LinkedIn to expand their working black books – get your name on their favourites list by speaking to them in their language. Promote yourself or your small business professionally, using the LinkedIn headline space as an anchor snippet – be interesting, relevant and brief! The eye naturally glides south of this clever entry to the summary, an ideal opportunity to speak explore YOUR skills and demonstrate what value you can add to their business.

What First Impression Are You Making?

Remember, a picture is worth a thousand words. Putting a face to the name and title will help you build a surface rapport with an audience, making you a memorable commodity in a market of words and titles. Don’t be afraid to show some personality but steer clear of Facebook profile pics and Saturday night selfies – there’s a time and a place for everything. Complement your newfound visibility with an honest assessment of your skills (or what your small business offers), detailing where and how you developed each one and where you’d like to go in the future. Once you’ve established and published a skillset you’re happy with, start endorsing old colleagues and clients, bringing attention to your own profile and putting your name into the hat for return interest. Endorsements and testimonials allow searchers and possibly employers to take a glance at your abilities and cross-check their veracity, measuring a public currency of what other people think of you. It’s not fool proof, but this public kudos is certainly making an impact.

Refine and Feed Your Audience

There’s no such thing as being too picky when building a network of online professionals. It’s not a numbers game, but a people portfolio of quality contacts. If a hypothetical mining supervisor for a recruitment company like combed online profiles for business interests or possible interested candidates, they wouldn’t approach an engineer who pimps their sales career, attracting a high rate of endorsements for customer service and cash handling. They may consider our multi-faceted salesperson however if they continuously linking multimedia articles, videos and audio files, communicating to a recruiter they DO have an interest but lack experience. Little things like this may help you get over the line before assembling for a race.

About Jessica Hannah

Jessica Hannah is a blogger and small business expert on LinkedIn based in the U.K.