When heading to a meeting with a new connection, do you look them up on linked in? Well, they have probably looked you up. So what will they see in your profile, and is it an accurate representation of who you are, your expertise and why you do what you do?
LinkedIn, with more than 100 million members is the social networking’s equivalent of a cocktail party, while facebook is the backyard barbeque!
LinkedIn provides a platform for building your professional network by making new connections, strengthening exciting relationships and positioning yourself as an industry thought leader which can lead to business opportunities.
What is your professional brand?
It is interesting to ask your connections “what three words would you use to describe me?” Then think about if these are the qualities and expertise you want to be known for?
By establishing your own professional brand, you will be able to showcase your capabilities, attract the right connections and build trusted relationships.
Crafting your LinkedIn profile
- Photo – should look professional as you would when turning up to a business meeting
- Headline – not just your job title, but the value you offer for your clients and connections, which may include personal interests
- Summary – this should be an engaging introduction including why you do what you do, some history, what you are passionate about and how you add value in your current role. You can also include any awards or major projects that are relevant to those you are looking to attract, as well as attach media such as brochures, presentations, web links or videos.
- Connecting – with those you know or would like to know by reaching out with a personal message
- Following – industry thought leaders, groups of interest and companies you would like to do business with
- Sharing – content that resonates with your professional brand and is relevant for your connections.
- From LinkedIn news feed – if an article resonates with your professional brand, click “like”, “comment” or “share”
- From external articles – click “share an update” and past the URL, then make a relevant comment on why it resonates. Many sites also have LinkedIn buttons to make it easy to share articles
- Write your own – click “publish a post” and write your own article. Make sure you include a relevant picture and how to contact you.
While some have chosen not to engage with social media and social selling, if you don’t have a say in your own profile, others will make one up for you anyway! With a vast array of platforms from the company yammer to Facebook, LinkedIn, Pin Interest, Twitter, Instagram, What’s App and WeChat, there is sure to be a platform that works for you and your objectives.
If you are worried about getting bombarded with messages (e.g. from recruiters) there are various settings for profile views, frequency of notifications and creating rules to divert messages to email folders. So there is no excuse not to take control, build your professional profile, and engage with clients and connections to support your and theirs success.
Oh and whilst you are doing the updates, you may wish to turn off the “Notify your network” so your connections don’t get bombarded until you are ready to share your updated profile.
To complete your new LinkedIn profile, and showcase yourself as a leader in your area of expertise, download this LinkedIn worksheet and follow the 10 steps, including adding some of your project media.
If one of your business colleagues or connections has made an impact, make a recommendation on their profile. And next time you attend a networking event, instead of leaving those business cards on your desk, follow-up through LinkedIn.
About the Author
Stacey Martin is the founder of Expat Advisors Community, a network for professionals with internationally connected clients. Stacey has more than 10,500 LinkedIn connection across Australia and Asia and shares content on Aus-China events and articles. You can connect with Stacey on LinkedIn here. If you are a professional working with international clients you may be interested in joining the Expat Advisors Community LinkedIn Group here.