Do you want to know what the most powerful tool has been for me in my entrepreneurial career? LinkedIn.
Hands down no single other resource has been more pivotal or pertinent to me.
Long gone are the days when LinkedIn was simply a place for you to submit a resume and find employment.
LinkedIn has evolved to be the premier place for business professionals to showcase expertise, level up personal branding and build a worldwide network of connections that is truly unrivaled.
What other platform can you search for a company, and send a direct message, connect or build a relationship directly with the C-Level or executive within? None. Did I mention that LinkedIn has 800 million users and is the fastest growing social networking platform in the world.
So how do you leverage LinkedIn as a business professional or entrepreneur? Well here are a few steps to get you started.
Is your profile up to date? Remember, this is not to seek a job or new career, but instead to showcase your expertise and talents.
Imagery-Be sure you have a current, clean, and professional headshot and cover image. Leverage Canva’s great tools to make a great cover image that matches your brand and personal image.
Headline-Do you have a catchy headline that clearly articulates both WHO you are as well as what you DO? Headlines are CRUCIAL because it is your first chance to catch someone’s eye and really showcase who you are. The beginning of your headline also appears in every comment you make. Helping to further your audience or reach and getting other members to click on your profile to learn more about you and your work.
Try to get creative here. This can be a full sentence or a few parsed-out words or phrases that make you stand out. If you need help, check out THIS great article from my friends at Hubspot.
Experience-Be sure to have your experience fully filled in. Be as detailed as possible linking the company name to the company page. Including a full description of what you did within that experience as well as hyperlinking media. Media can be articles, press or photos of importance (be sure to enter descriptions here).
Fully fill out your Volunteer, Organization and Award history as well. This can help with the credibility of your expertise and industry. Remember to stay focused on the items, as well as copy that showcases WHO you are.
Skills/Referrals-Be sure the skills you list are fully relatable to your CURRENT field and what you wish to be known for. People tend to endorse you for your top three, so choose wisely.
Ask high-level professionals to write you a recommendation. Again this can strengthen your expertise in a particular field!
Okay now that we have your profile filled out let’s talk about CONTENT.
Timing-Think about drafting and scheduling out your content for the month, just like you would for your own company.
How many times a week would you like to post? Since consistency is key, think small. 1-2x per week on the same days.
Editorial Content-What should you post? This is a little harder. Make a list of topics you are passionate about. These can be things like
-Events you go to
-Volunteer or community events
-Advocacy on certain topics
-Expertise or education on a topic in your field
-Sharing articles or posts of places/resources/people that you admire
Utilize these topics to draft your posts for the month! Bonus points for using a social media scheduler like Agorapulse to set it and forget it. Leaving you free to engage!
Who do you want to connect with?
Colleagues-Other people in the same industry (leveraging professionals to see the things they follow or are interested in). This helps you stay on top of topics and trends in your industry.
Community-People you know and follow within the community. Friends and trusted community professionals.
Potential Business Contacts-Maybe there are companies you would like to collaborate with or do business with? Find the right contacts (departments) within those companies and connect!
And how do you connect? NEVER dive in headfirst with a sales pitch. ALWAYS send a connection message and introduce yourself. Even better offer a hand or support for their work or efforts.
“HI (Name) I am (NAME) and I have been following your work at (COMPANY) for some time now. I would love to connect and continue to support each other. I (DO) by (ACTION) with (COMPANY).
Please let me know if I can support you in any way. – (NAME)”
Now that you have built out your profile, have consistent content posting, and have been building your network, next is the most crucial part-ENGAGING!
Be sure to follow, like, and make meaningful comments on your connections posts. This is the key to how this whole thing works.
Allowing your network to know you support them and the things they are doing, but by also imprinting your name within their community.
Again offer insights, feedback or support when you comment. Show your value and expertise.
If you do these things, you will build a powerful and meaningful network of global leaders. Your network is truly your net worth. Treat it that way.
Be sure to download my free LinkedIn Checklist HERE and let me know if I can support you with your content, marketing or sales strategy.