Last week’s brilliant networking session wasn’t just about meeting a Dragon Slayer – I learned some really interesting things about using LinkedIn to your advantage as well. Here are some of the top tips I came away with, kindly imparted by the fantastic Jules White.

Make the most of your profile images.

Your profile picture and banner are your first introductions, so use them wisely. Choose a photo of yourself that radiates the image you want you (or your business) to have. Are you traditional, fun, subversive, serious, ground-breaking? Find a picture that is sympathetic to that.

Your banner showcases your business more directly, so find an image – or make one – that says a bit more about what you do. Don’t overload it with text though, and remember where your profile picture sits on the page layout; whatever is in that position on the banner will be obscured by your image.

Come up with a good headline.

After the visual introductions, it’s time to give your connections their first verbal taste of what you’re all about. It’s only 120 characters – the same as an old-school tweet – so you need to be clever with it. This is your chance to explain to the reader what’s in it for them.

Then there’s the bio (or summary).

This is a much longer – 2000 characters for you here – so you can really get stuck into your story. Get personal, give some background away. People buy people, so tell the story of why you’re here and how you got here. You never know what chords you might be striking with others.

 Remember what it’s for…

…And it’s not for selling. Well, it is, ultimately – but not direct selling. Blatant attempts to sell your services to your contacts, push your products, or regular and irrelevant sharing of your website is frowned upon, because it’s tedious and annoying to have adverts pushed in your face all the time.

So you need to do it subtly. It’s all about relationships. Connect with people, share interesting posts and articles that are relevant to your line of work, and keep your profile in their consciousness. Then, when they need to find someone who can do that job for them, or supply that thing for them, they will think of you.

If there’s a chance to connect, take it.

If someone likes a post you’ve put up and you’re not connected to them already, send a message and offer. They’ve obviously seen something in what you’ve shared that’s resonated with them, so take advantage of this, and offer to connect. The more people you’re connected to, the more people will see what you’re sharing, and the better reach you’ll have.

Quick tips:

– Populate the work experience and qualifications bit, but don’t spend ages on it – people spend very little time reading them;

– Post consistently – around three times a week is good;

– Recommendations are useful – copy yours from your Facebook business page!

– Sharing your page or web links won’t get you as much reach as sharing the link in the comments. Copy and paste your blog as an Article, or post the link in the Comments.

If you’re having trouble crafting the perfect social media profile info, I’m here to help – contact me to find out more, and make the most of being LinkedIn.

RLC Words LinkedIn 2

(The title of this nice handshake photo was “adult agreement beard”. Fascinating…what’s the agreement, and what’s the beard got to do with it? So many questions…)

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