We recently had the inspiring Joanna Michaels host a f:Entrepreneur breakfast session. Joanna is a social media expert and the founder of Beyond Social Buzz and presented a session on LinkedIn and its importance for small business owners.
It was a great session – thank you so much to Joanna and for your contributing blog here:
There is no doubt about it, LinkedIn has changed tremendously over the last few years.
In the past, the platform has been often seen as a boring CV portal, with no interactive/visual content and filled with spam. LinkedIn also suffered from a lack of active users; for example, in 2017 LinkedIn hit 500 million members but only 50% of them where logging in monthly. Then the platform started introducing a lot of changes since 2018 and, as a result, the platform has undergone a complete transformation.
It is now a leading networking and content platform and a powerful search engine.
To start I want to explain how exactly LinkedIn works and why we should care about it.
- Creativity is the top soft skill that companies are looking for on LinkedIn
- Profiles with professional headshots get 14 times more views
- 39% of LinkedIn users pay for LinkedIn premium
- LinkedIn is 277% more effective at generating leads than Facebook and Twitter
- 49% of key decision makers, across different industries, are active monthly users
And here are some key business benefits that cannot be ignored:
Personal Brand boost – Google loves LinkedIn, hence if someone looks your name up on Google, your LinkedIn profile is likely to come up before your website.
Fab Networking Tool – it is not only about your First Degree Connections but equally important, second degree connections. Let me explain: your first-degree connections can facilitate introductions to their contacts (your second-degree connections) and we all know the power of introduction in business.
What’s more, whenever your first-degree connections engage with your posts on LinkedIn, everyone in their network can potentially see it, widening your visibility and opportunity for further networking.
Here are some specific profile optimisation tips that will elevate your presence on the platform:
One of the most important parts of your profile – your professional introduction; a key piece of your personal branding.
It has only 120 characters and followers you everywhere so make it engaging to encourage profile views. The default option (pulled by LinkedIn from your experience section) may not be very engaging.
An example is:
John Smith, Owner at Carpets Direct / John Smith, Commercial and Office Flooring Specialist I Central London.
Write down the key things where your company provides value.
Identify who your perfect customer is.
Write down any keywords that your clients typically ask about
2. Background Photo
To showcase your brand and communicate important information; select an image that demonstrates your standing in the industry, add elements of your brand (logo?) to maximise the impact.
Find an image that best supports your niche and your brand; or create an engaging image using Canva. Do update it frequently with current promotions; miniature portfolios; credibility building publications, photos of you in action, etc.
The golden currency of LinkedIn; and it takes a lot more effort than a skill endorsement; completely transparent (think website testimonials). Other professionals are vouching for you.
A form of social proof – they provide third-party validation that you are an established and credible professional. If you don’t yet have any recommendations on your profile, it’s time to start asking for them.
Try to obtain a recommendation from each position or each project you have been involved in. Target people who are influencers or established professionals. If you receive a poor recommendation, or one that doesn’t showcase your skills well, it can be deleted from your profile.
If you would like to find out more about Joanna’s regular online social media workshops please do get in touch!