Is LinkedIn really worth joining? Can it help you get clients? Absolutely!
LinkedIn is a professional social network that is helpful in seeking clients, jobs, and general business contacts. It’s an online resume but offers so much more. A LinkedIn profile is perfect for working professionals, but once you become a small business owner, I recommend creating a LinkedIn company page. But you need an individual profile before you can have a company page.
Here are some tips on creating an individual LinkedIn profile to help you find connections and customers:
After creating a profile on LinkedIn, turn off activity broadcasts, so you do not inadvertently send out messages to your network with every change.
- Your Photo: Keep it professional! This means a simple headshot of just you. You do not have to wear a suit, but you want to appear friendly, yet trustworthy. Options are wearing your company’s polo shirt or standing in front of its logo. Taken from the shoulder up. Recommended dimensions of 1252×626 pixels and maximum file size of 5MB.
- Headline: 120 characters that highlight who you serve (customers, partners, prospects) and your business areas. Use keywords that potential customers would use.
- Location name: Add local area or US if you are an online business
- Industry: select the best fit
- URL: Edit to customize the URL with your name (example: www.linkedin.com/in/JeanneRossomme) must contain 5-30 letters or numbers. (Do not use spaces, symbols, or special characters.)
- Summary section 2,000 characters
- Write in the first person.
- Write for clients, partners, and prospects
- Avoid industry jargon
- Use keywords
- Use bullet points for readability
- Past experience, education, etc. Complete as much of your profile as possible - as you would a resume. Include your current company, companies you've worked for in the past, as well as education, military service, affiliations, and activities. Complete profiles increase the chances your name will come up in a search. Provide complete descriptions of your current and past positions with an eye to what prospects would be interested in: What results did you achieve for clients/employers? What expertise do you have?
- Fill in all Interests, Groups, and Associations. Include your interests that demonstrate your passions and involvement – these often cement the connections.
- Skills: Here you should select from any list of specific specialties
- Professional Highlights: Include designation and media mentions here
- I welcome a connection if you are:
- <<list target prospects description/need>>
- <<list referral partners or distributor description>>
- <<list media or other outreach partners>>
- Manage Public Profile Settings:
- Make my public profile visible to everyone. This is critical. You want your clients to find you!