Many people think of LinkedIn as a resume of sorts. While that's certainly true, it is also so much more.
Get out of the mindset of "traditional resume" and get ready to learn the LinkedIn profile tips you need to know to help further market yourself and your business.
First, let's take a look at why you need a LinkedIn profile as a small business owner. You're not looking for a job, so how can you use LinkedIn?
Unlike other social sites, LinkedIn is not generally a place to push out "fun" messages about your product. Rather, LinkedIn is predominantly a networking site to connect with individuals in your industry as well as find, share and engage with more in depth content.
As 260 million users are actively using LinkedIn, there's a good chance that someone will go to your page at some point to learn a little bit more about you and your company. Especially if they are in your particular industry or looking to learn a little bit more about who runs your company.
This is a perfect opportunity to further showcase your company, and your brand by making sure your profile is inline with that brand.
Follow these tips:
- Use a professional photo. The ideal size for a LinkedIn profile pictures is between 200 x 200 px and 500 x 500 px. Often times your photo will display differently across LinkedIn (see image to the right). It should be clear and professional. If you're trying to come across as a friendly business owner, that's something to keep in mind as well.
- Complete your professional profile. LinkedIn is a place where you can put all of your work experience. Include any and all experience that you think will help showcase your personality and your brand. Keep in mind you don't have the "1 page" rule on LinkedIn like you do with a resume. If there are certain skill sets you want to elaborate on, LinkedIn is a place to do that.
- Your summary. In order to add a bit more of a personal touch to your LInkedIn profile I suggest completing a summary of yourself. This is a great place to talk candidly about why you started your business and what it means to you. Furthermore, if you are looking to gain specific connections on LinkedIn for a certain purpose, here's a good place to point that out. Try to keep it short and entertaining.
- Use keywords. Not only should you use keywords in your profile, but you should also include some keywords in your summary. Often people will be looking for someone with a very specific type of experience.
- Your tagline. This is a great place to emphasize your brand. I highly recommend avoiding the generic. Try to stand out. Instead of just putting "business owner," get fun with it. Or at the very least describe what kind of business owner you are, i.e. "SF Sustainable Furniture Company Owner." (Side note: have fun but try not to come off as arrogant.)
- Connections. Many people are hesitant to connect with just anyone on LinkedIn. However, I recommend connecting with as many people as possible. Don't go out and start trying to connect with everyone in your group, but why not accept an invitation to connect? You shouldn't be posting anything too personal on your LinkedIn account anyway. Why not get your name and your brand in front of as many people as possible?
- Recommendations. Testimonials go a long way for your business, right? Word of mouth is everything. Well the same can be true for yourself. Ask those you've worked with, and even those who have worked for you, for recommendations.
- Groups. Join groups relevant to your industry. After you've joined these groups try to share any unique and original content from your company blog whilst prompting engagement. Furthermore, comment on popular discussions. If you have selected to get weekly digests about updates from these groups you can quickly determine which discussions are generating the most buzz. Go for those.
LinkedIn is not just for people looking for a job. It's a great way to put yourself out there as a leader in the industry you're in.
Make sure you follow these LinkedIn profile tips so that you can stand out from the rest. You never know when or where someone might be looking for new business opportunities!