LinkedIn is an important part of your digital presence – and it starts with your LinkedIn Setup strategy. What started as a digital space for your resume has transformed into a powerful network for attracting your ideal clients. Our owner, Jennifer Gardella, credits LinkedIn as a central part of the growth of her social media consultancy. Your presence on LinkedIn should be completely professional (no posting pictures of your lunch) and should include these important pieces:
Your descriptions: LinkedIn gives you the opportunity to highlight all aspects of your professional life and you should take advantage of each and every one! This includes an overall summary, expertise, experience, education, and awards. Each chance you get to write a unique description about yourself, business, and products/services. Make sure to write unique descriptions – for instance, the wording in your summary should be different than your website bio as well as the information you provide under your current employer. Use your keywords, but do not stuff them and make sure you write as if you are speaking to a client or customer. If you are in the edit function, you will see a bar on the right hand side showing how complete your profile is at that time.
Your Connections: Your initial goal is to connect with 500 individuals – and while this may seem overwhelming at first, it is actually quite easy to do in just a few weeks. Start by connecting to individuals from your email, and those you know from your academic life (high school, college, graduate school). You can easily search on past employers, non-profits you have been involved in, and anyone from your networking groups. When sending connections make sure to include a personal note. Lastly, LinkedIn claims it only wants you to connect with individuals you know. This means that when you send an invitation and the receiver indicates they do not know you LinkedIn takes note and may shut down your ability to connect. Be careful.
Singing your praises: In all sections do not be shy! Make sure to be clear about your expertise and accomplishments. Include presentations and slide shows to highlight your expertise. If you have been inducted into honor societies, held any positions of leadership, and been given any awards, scholarships…you name it – LinkedIn has a section to include the information.
Recommendations: Recommendations are worth their weight in gold in the LinkedIn system so set a goal to ask for a few per month or week. They should include current clients, vendors, employees, supervisors, professors, and others who can not only vouch for your expertise but also the success you bring to the work that you do.
Editing your Profile:
You can always edit your LinkedIn profile to update information, include new information, and change around information. Any time you want to edit any part of your profile, just click on profile in the top navigation bar, edit profile in that menu. Page through your profile to the area you would like to edit, and click the edit feature on the right had side of that section. When you are through click on the save button to the left.
As soon as you get the get the basics set-up, connect to me: http://www.linkedin.com/