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Linkedin is one of the most powerful online business to business networking tools out there. There are umpteen articles and trainings out there on how to use it effectively, how to create your profile etc, so there is no need to rewrite the book on this. That said, there are a few small, but key things that are overlooked, time and time again, so I wanted to focus on 6 ways to improve your Linkedin profile for networking.
These tips are easily implementable and fixable today. And if you engage with them, alongside my other micro networking opportunities, you’ll be making great strides in improving your findability online.
1. No Photo
Having no photo uploaded to your avatar. You are now a grey circle. Do I want to build a relationship with a grey circle? Am I going to click accept on an invite with a grey circle?
This goes for all social media profiles. Networking is about building relationships and people don’t build relationships, actually they can’t build relationships with grey circles.
I focussed a whole blog on why all business professionals should invest in professional photography, so have a read and hopefully there is food for thought.
And to bring this a step further, don’t use your logo instead of your own ‘human’ image. People want to know who is behind the profile. So don’t be shy. We want to know you! But please, do make sure it’s a professional photo!
2. Not Using the Header Image
Not using the header image on your Linkedin profile. So many people leave this blue/grey and don’t use this prime digital real estate space to help promote their business, product or service.
You might have a new blog, a new course, a new product…a special offer for the month…why not use this space and tell people about it?
You can set up an account in Canva, which I highly recommend and then you can create graphics to your heart’s content. Or you can get someone to do it for you, but if you want to keep things lean, then Canva is simply amazing.
Connecting with me and immediately selling to me. This is an absolute no no. Just don’t do it. I’m a huge advocate of connecting on Linkedin with people I’ve met and engaged with in business, through my networks and networking in general.
But please don’t connect and then immediately look to sell and promote your service or product. Take the time to build a relationship with me and with your connections.
Likewise, when I get that immediate request to follow a business page, I have to admit that it irks me. I’m absolutely in favour of supporting and following the business profiles of anyone in my network…but here’s a fundamental difference…
- I’m building a relationship with them.
- I want to support them.
- I know why I am supporting them.
A random request from someone I’ve just met – well you just haven’t earned the right to that support yet. If I have to choose to spend time supporting people on social media, it’s sure going to be with the people who are spending time, nurturing and investing in their networks and their relationships.
4. Updated Contact Details
Make sure all your contact details are up to date.
If you’ve changed jobs recently or set up a new company or started writing a blog, don’t forget to include and update all your contact details on Linkedin (and across all your social media profiles).
People are in the habit of doing research on who they are meeting, be it a customer, prospect, supplier or indeed a fellow networker, so don’t lose out on what I call the ‘micro networking’ opportunities.
Tip: when you set up new user accounts on Linkedin, your handle will include numbers. Look to personalise your URL. When you log in, go to ‘Me’, then ‘Edit Profile’ and on the right hand side you’ll find the option to ‘Edit Public Profile and URL’. Click this and you’ll find your unique URL, which you can change. For example, mine is: www.linkedin.com/in/networkingjean
If you’ve got multiple touch points, e.g. a blog, a website or multiple websites, a newsletter etc, I’d recommend setting up a Linktr.ee profile. It’s super easy to set up and update – and I say this as a complete non techie – so if I can use it, you can use it too.
Your Linktr.ee profile will act as a ‘home’ for all your links and you can post it across all your social media accounts as the way to reach you.
5. No Follow Up
I attended two networking events recently and there were approximately 40 people on between the two calls. I made a note of all of the people so that I could connect with them afterwards and start building a relationship with them over time.
Here’s how quite a few of them made it difficult for me: quite a few people didn’t have any Linkedin profile.
What to do?
Well, if this is you, then start building a profile today. If you are employed, starting a business or an experienced business owner, you need to get yourself a profile. If you are an ambitious career professional, you need to get yourself a profile.
Out of 40 people, 2 people connected with me before I started my follow up. Now don’t get me wrong, people will schedule things at different times to suit their diaries, but as I always recommend in networking, it’s best to work on follow up straight after the meetings. To dos are fresh in your head, referrals that you offered to make, are ripe and authentic and it makes all the difference to people to see you acting on what you said in the meeting and really helps build the trust.
When you are inviting someone to connect with you on Linkedin, put in a personal message within the invitation. It only takes a few seconds of time, but makes all the difference. You need to have an aide memoire for why and how you met the person and why you are connecting to them.
I hope that these tips will prove useful. They are all pretty much implementable immediately, so why not take 10 minutes to do a little audit of your Linkedin profile today and see if you can start making a few marginal gains.
Connect With Me
If you have other ideas and suggestions, I’d love to hear them. You can reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can join my mailing list too and I’d love to have you on board.
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