Do you have a profile on LinkedIn? Did you know that LinkedIn has over 500 million global users? What is LinkedIn and why should you start thinking about it?
As a growing social media network, LinkedIn is the platform of choice for those who want to engage with corporate clients. LinkedIn is the most popular network for members of the legal profession, in part because of its professional and more serious tone.
Think of LinkedIn as an online version of your local professional network. When you join LinkedIn, you create a personal profile with your education and career history. You can use it to connect with your colleagues, potential clients, previous employers and other professionals. Used properly, it can really help your career and raise your professional profile.
This might sound familiar – you created a profile once upon a time, but don’t really know what it’s for or why you should be using it. Maybe you think it’s just for people who are in the market for a new job. Lots of people you have never met are trying to connect with you. So you abandoned LinkedIn and haven’t updated your photograph (if you uploaded one) or profile in three or four years.
Well now is the time to start thinking about having an up to date LinkedIn profile.
So how do you actually use LinkedIn to raise your profile and grow your business? Here are five ways to get the most out the platform:
- Have a complete professional profile. This means including a professional photograph, a headline, summary and your experience to date. LinkedIn profiles which have the ‘All-Star rating’ are 40 times more likely so show up in searches. Use specific keywords in your headline to attract your ideal client. For example, instead of “Solicitor Belfast”, use “Solicitor specialising in commercial law at John Smiths Solicitors, Belfast”. Include your specialisms in your summary, and provide information on your education and qualifications. You want your profile to appear in search results, and the best way for this to happen is by using the keywords that your ideal client is searching for.
- Start posting updates on LinkedIn. This is not
Facebook and we don’t want to hear about your weekend wine escapades. However,
LinkedIn has progressed from its early days, and the most engaging status
updates are those which show a little bit of personality behind the profile
pic. You can share articles from your own business website, or news articles,
and make a comment on them. Remember to
be engaging – ask your audience what they think of the topic you are
- Start to publish your own articles on LinkedIn. The best way to raise your profile and show your expert knowledge, is to write articles on LinkedIn Pulse. When you are writing an update for LinkedIn, write it for your audience. What does your ideal client most want to know about your work? This is not a ‘look what I know’ piece, this is a chance to answer your frequently asked questions and engage with your potential clients.
- Connect with your network. When you send a connection request to
someone on LinkedIn, always add a note in the request to say why you want to
connect with the other person. Maybe
you met them at a local business event and you want to extend the business
relationship. Maybe you have a mutual
connection and you are expanding your network.
You do not have to accept connection requests from everyone who sends
you a request on LinkedIn. Have a look
at their personal profile and make a judgement call if the person who sends the
request is not someone already in your professional network offline. Be aware that, unless you know how to change
your settings, that every time you view
someone else’s profile, they will be notified.
- Spend time on the network commenting and sharing other people’s content. By adding value to a discussion, you are raising your profile, and you will get connection requests in return.
Showing up consistently on LinkedIn will pay off. Spending 10 minutes a day checking in on your network, posting one article a week (or once a fortnight if you can’t manage weekly) will start to pay off. Your network will grow, and your business will increase as a result.
If you would like to connect with me on LinkedIn to find out more about leveraging this platform for raising your profile, growing your business and lead generation, connect with me on www.linkedin.com/in/louisebrogan