Editor’s Note: This is the first in a two-part series.
Would it shock you to learn that one out of every three professionals on the planet and two-thirds of working-age Memphians are on LinkedIn? Perhaps even more surprising is that only one-third of LinkedIn users report fully leveraging it. That’s an enormous amount of unproductive effort and missed opportunity.
What’s more, of all of the social media giants out there today, LinkedIn is one of the few still offering solid readership of your unpaid content. While Facebook has essentially become all “pay to play,” with LinkedIn, users can still see your content without you having to pay to boost your posts.
Given the critical mass of business professionals concentrated on this single platform and its ROI potential, make today the day you begin leveraging LinkedIn as part of your company’s growth strategy using these best practices.
First of all, it’s vital that you have a professional profile photo, as it increases your profile views more than 11 times. Invest in a professional photographer, dress to impress, and ensure you’re looking at the camera directly. A head and shoulders shot is ideal. Cropping yourself out of a casual group shot is just not acceptable.
Now let’s talk about your skills. You can choose up to 50 skills to feature on your profile, so don’t be shy. These skills highlight your areas of expertise, so be thoughtful in your selection. Your level-one connections have the opportunity to endorse you for each of those skills, so it pays to have a large LinkedIn network. The best way to get endorsements is to give them – simply due to the rule of reciprocity.
So why does it pay to have a photo, skills, and endorsements on your profile? It improves your search results within LinkedIn, which improves the likelihood that a prospect can find you. Then when they visit your page, their impression of you is rock solid, encouraging them to make contact. Even if you made initial contact with a prospect through another channel, odds are they will pull up your LinkedIn profile before you meet with them. Do you want your profile to boost or detract from their first impression?
For more LinkedIn best practices for growing your network and building virtual relationships with that network, check back next week for part two in this series.
Lori Turner-Wilson, CEO and Founder of RedRover Sales & Marketing Strategy, can be reached at www.redrovercompany.com.