As every business owner knows, having a presence for your company on social media is a must in today’s world. As a business professional, LinkedIn is one of the main places you want to be featured. With more than 400 million users, this online platform offers businesses the opportunity to connect with new leads.
But how do you stand out from the rest? Below is a checklist of eleven ways to highlight your reputation through your LinkedIn profile.
1) Keep things current. Your profile should have current and complete information on your business, awards, skill set and networks. Critical details should be featured at the top of your page so people immediately know who you are, what you do and how you can help them. Keywords should be included in all descriptions.
2) Feature a professional headshot.
A profile with a photo featured is 14 times more likely to be viewed by others according to research presented by LinkedIn.com. Your face should take up most of the frame; we don’t recommend having a wide-angle photo for these small profile pictures. We also recommend wearing solid colors and a professional outfit. Please… no selfies.
3) Position yourself as the authority.
LinkedIn has a platform to publish articles and blogs. Create world-class content that is tailor-made for your target audiences. Include keywords that relate to your business and industry in your verbiage. These keywords make your profile easier to find while organically pulling your page to the top of the search pages. (That also applies to Google search engines, but that’s a discussion for another time.) Include samples of your work or articles you’ve written that relate to your industry.
4) Share your good news.
Status updates are a great way to stay in front of your contacts. Be sure to share any news items your business has, such as new hires, anniversaries, speeches or awards. All of these updates show growth and development in your field.
5) Connect with your community.
Do you know who are the movers and shakers, the decision makers, in your area? Reach out to them. Don’t get caught up in just selling yourself, your expertise or your products and services. Create trust and build a relationship from the start. These contacts will generate referrals and business leads.
6) Connect with specific networks.
LinkedIn has groups for all kinds of industries. Ask to join these groups. They can provide you valuable information on specific topics. It’s also important to stay in touch your industry leaders; positioning yourself with these leaders is very powerful. Get in on the conversation.
7) Segment your contacts.
Since you’ll have multiple audiences, you should use segmenting and tags in LinkedIn to make sure each group gets only the content that is relevant to them.
8) Don’t preach – ask questions.
When you participate in a LinkedIn group discussion, it is as powerful to ask questions as promoting your own content. Asking questions elicits responses in ways that posting content cannot and allows you to direct readers to useful sources.
9) Take off the cloak of invisibility.
You are on LinkedIn to connect with other professionals and businesses. If your profile is “anonymous,” your efforts are going to be lost within your cone of invisibility.
10) Solicit endorsements.
Asking your networks to endorse your skills is a great way to build up your reputation online. Think about the pro-Bono clients you work with, the nonprofit organizations, the in-kind sponsorships. It’s a great idea to get the organizers of these projects to endorse your professional skills.
11) Be patient.
Building relationships and creating trust takes time. Learn to be patient. If you try to rush the order of events that occur during relationship building, your prospects will notice.
When all is said and done, learn to truly enjoy developing meaningful relationships, sharing your knowledge and helping others solve their problems. By following these 11 suggestions, you can control your reputation and promote that you are the authority in your field.
Cynthia Wright is the junior partner of Carriage Trade Public Relations™, Inc. and Cecilia Russo Marketing. Contact Wright at firstname.lastname@example.org.