Whether you have your profile up and running or you’re just getting started, there are a few things you can do to help market yourself on LinkedIn.
- Use a Professional Photo
Make sure your photo is appropriate. In a perfect world, get a professional head shot created. But, if you aren’t quite there yet or lack the resources, no problem, just choose a clear, close-up picture of yourself. Avoid wearing a hat, sunglasses or anything else that can change the way you look. People want to see the person they are connecting with, they want to make sure you are the right connection they are searching for, why not make it easy for them. Also avoid using a picture with an animal, wearing too casual of clothing or using a picture with a adult beverage in your hand. (Sounds obvious, but I’ve seen it)
- Customize Your Title
Your title will be defaulted to your job title you enter into your experience section. (Owner at Business USA). Instead of using a generic title, why not get creative. Focus on what you do, what your specialty is, where you operate your business, etc. For example, if you are a real estate agent who specializes in beach front property, instead of using Realtor at Main Street Realty try using Residential Real Estate, Beachfront & Luxury Property Specialist. When people search for what you do, they will find you easier if you have those keywords in your title.
- Customize Your Connection Request
Don’t just send a blanket, one-size-fits-all connection request. If you met someone at a networking function, remind them how nice it was to meet them at that event and you’d like to be connected on LinkedIn. The worst thing you can do when reaching out to someone new is to send a connection request stating “Since you’re a person I trust, I’d like to add you as a connection on LinkedIn”. You just met them. How do you trust them already?
- Utilize your Summary
Your summary is a chance for you to show a little bit of your personality. Why do you do what you do? What drives you? What is your ‘WHY’? This is a perfect opportunity to give these types of details. This should not be a cover letter. Write in first person. Speak directly to your audience. Use key words you would like to be found for in a search. If you have a target market, speak to them. Give examples of your ideal clients/customers, how you help them and why.
- Recommend, Recommend & Recommend some more…
No, this is not endorsing. Which is the most overrated thing someone can do on LinkedIn. It’s too easy to endorse someone. I’m referring to giving someone a recommendation. You should reach out and recommend at least 10 professionals you’ve done business with or can vouch for before you ask for a recommendation. Be specific in your recommendation as well. Don’t just use words like ‘awesome’, ‘hard-worker’, etc. Be descriptive and real. Play on how the connection made you feel or helped you do your job better. And make sure you end with a phrase involving you recommending them to others. Example: “I highly recommend (Connection) to any professional looking to grow their business.”
There are many more tips and strategies in marketing yourself on LinkedIn. These are just a few to get you started. Remember to always be genuine and helpful. Be a resource. Help others before asking for help.
BONUS TIP: Spend some time in Pulse, daily. Follow industry leaders, channels and influential businesses. Share the ideas that you find interesting or that helped you in your business.