LinkedIn is the Facebook for entrepreneurs all around the world. Founded by a former Yahoo! honcho the site is used by professionals for connecting and networking with each other, thus making it easier to meet and interact with people who might have various suitable business prospects. It is only recently, however that the site’s importance has spiraled, with more and more people realizing its potential. As if the site was not good enough already, it has made acquisitions of several internet applications like the slideshow app Slideshare, the news reading app Pulse and the contact importing service and news provider Newsle. With all these improvements and its growing popularity, it is high time one made one’s professional LinkedIn profile more robust and prominent on the site, in order to leverage the power of social community!
Improve your profile’s URL and your relationship with your customers
Make life easier for those attempting to find you and in the process make yourself seem more capable. The profile page on LinkedIn is usually a long one and difficult to remember with various numeric values in the address. It would be much better if the URL pointed simply to LinkedIn and your profile name, which is possible by using the site’s vanity URL service.
Moreover, realize that your customers are the most important part of your business. And to that extent, make the effort to better manage your relationship with them, taking advantage of the fantastic CRM tools already at your disposal on LinkedIn. Study your prospective clients, possibly even interact with them if you can and create notes regarding points of interest that you then gain about the person. Use LinkedIn’s reminder feature to remember to maintain the relationship, once established. Then use the various tools like Pulse to find out what your new client might find useful. Organize your contacts, arranging them in such a manner that makes it easier for you to keep up with their statuses. If one is able to create lasting relationships, one has overcome a major hurdle in establishing a successful business.
Observe those observing you and make sure you get noticed by those you cater to
One of the most useful LinkedIn features is the ability to look at those who have checked your profile. Chances are, they weren’t wasting their time and might actually have need of your services, which makes it so much easier, as you don’t go find work, in this case work finds you.
However, having said that, it is equally important to decide to what kind of people you wish to sell your services. In order to find prospective clients, one needs to know who they are or who you want them to be. Having done that, you will find your work to have greater potential of being discovered by your targeted group, as you will begin posting content that is important to them and help them in noticing you and your potential. They will be able to know your field of specialization and expect such work as you provide. This in turn makes it easier to connect with them as they are more receptive to someone they know specializes in what they offer.
Use Twitter to share updates on your profile and also use the ability to mention others
Although LinkedIn no longer allows one to seamlessly synchronize their profiles with Twitter to utilize tweets to share LinkedIn profile updates, they are still capable of doing the reverse, a fact that many miss or forget. You can use LinkedIn itself to make your posts accessible to those who follow you on the other social networking site by tweaking the options available for sharing what you post.
Also to remember when making LinkedIn updates is the ability to attract the attention of someone or a few people by directly mentioning them on your posts. An update in 2013 introduced this ability, where you may ascertain that company or client looks at what you post by writing their name preceded by the sign ‘@’, a feature already available on Facebook. This has two benefits, one being the obvious ability to ensure that they see it and also advertising them in the process of linking their profiles in the update, which other interested users can access while looking at your post.
Streamline your targeted audience Group Statistics and utilize Pulse
A beautiful feature that unfortunately often gets overlooked is the ability to get access to the statistical information on any of the groups present on LinkedIn, including the ones you are not a part of. What this allows one to accomplish is that you can use this data to make decisions such as whether your time would be well spent in joining the group depending on what they offer, the kind of members constituting it and groups who are potential clients of the services you offer.
Speaking of underutilized features, Pulse is a newsreader app that allows LinkedIn to publish news and various kinds of information. What makes Pulse so amazing is the ability recently introduced for anyone to be able to show up on the news that they publish, provided their posts on LinkedIn’s blogs are worth it. The potential of Pulse is amazing, requiring one to keep posting content that is relevant and of interest to land up on the app, broadening their ability to reach new audiences significantly.
Make your profile SEO-friendly and your links more attractive
Another often overlooked aspect is that, like most content on the internet, your profile will also appear when the relevant searches are made on LinkedIn. So make sure your profile contains words that pertain to what you can do for your clients, so as to ensure that prospective customers seeking these services see you profile popping up on their search results.
Also, while you’re at it, go ahead and get creative to the links that lead to your company’s website or a blog that showcases your professional skills. Generic terms like ‘Blog’ and ‘Website’ are boring and do not entice people into clicking on them, but tasteful or humorous link anchors often arouse the curiosity of those checking your profile.
LinkedIn can be turned into a platform to look for jobs
Another feature of LinkedIn is that it is a huge recruitment ground. Your LinkedIn profile that displays all your valuable skills can easily be converted into a resume using in-built option called the ‘Resume Builder’. This allows one to select a particular template and then edit the same in a variety of ways.
After obtaining the resume, one may begin to look for jobs on LinkedIn itself, as it also has a Board with Job listings on it.