LinkedIn has forever changed the way professionals network online, offering a social avenue to exchange ideas, meet, and build business relationships. If you’re looking to extend your reach online and harness the power of LinkedIn’s platform, you’ll need to go beyond simply having a static profile. The good news is, optimising your LinkedIn presence is easier than you might think.
Update your profile
First things first – ensure your LinkedIn profile is up to date. Include a recent photograph, cast your eye over your work history and make any necessary revisions, and check your online and social links are directing online to live and maintained pages. Make sure your headline and summary are attention-grabbing and best reflect your current professional situation. If you’re looking for new clients or potential partnerships, say so!
Your profile is your opportunity to make a great first impression online, so give it a good once-over to put your best foot forward.
Post updates regularly
Whether you use this space to share links to your latest blog posts or interesting news items, your updates will be displayed in the newsfeeds of your connections, making them the best way to maintain contact and exposure.
Network, network, network
LinkedIn is all about networking and expanding your professional reach, so get busy building your contacts. Look up colleagues, past employers and team members, as well as contacts you know outside of work, such as friends, alumni, club members. LinkedIn recommends only contacting people you know or have some existing relationship with, but users are increasingly utilising this platform as a tool for expanding their professional network beyond real-world relationships.
If this is your focus, search by keyword for other professionals in your industry, or check out the connections of your existing contacts. Don’t be tempted to invite every Tom, Dick and Harry to connect, since this can be seen as spammy, but do invite those whom you feel there is the genuine potential for beneficial networking, making sure to include a personalised invitation message.
Optimise for search
If you want to expand your network, make sure people looking for your products, services and specialist knowledge can find you. An increasing number of users are searching for prospective employees and contractors via LinkedIn, usually by searching keywords, locations and industries. To give yourself the best chance of showing up in LinkedIn search results, optimise the copy of your profile for relevant keywords.
Get your profile seen. Try some of these additional methods to optimise your LinkedIn presence:
- Create a company page
- Link from your website
- Link from Twitter, Facebook, and other social platforms
- Include a QR code on your business cards
- Invite existing contacts to connect in your email signature
- Include calls to connect on any B2B marketing collateral
- Write about LinkedIn on your blog, including a link to your profile
Be an active member of the LinkedIn community
If you’re serious about increasing your presence on LinkedIn, put the time in and be an active member. Join groups of interest, participate in group discussions, offer advice, ask questions, and comment on your connections’ posts as they appear in your newsfeed. Engaging your network and making the most of the platform is the best way to expand your reach, build a meaningful network, and ultimately drive traffic back to your website or blog.