As a young Marketing Hoe just starting my career “back in the day,” I earned extra part time income as a Personal Trainer. I would get so frustrated with clients who clearly had goals, but lacked the motivation to achieve them. I didn’t want to sit there and count reps for them… I wanted them to see results! “Go hard or go home” was my motto! Many years later I find myself wanting to utter out the same battle cry when talking to people about Online Marketing and especially Social Media Marketing.
Social Media Marketing only works if you work it. Period. There are no “set it and forget it” options. Today I’m sharing with you the first article in a weekly series about using LinkedIn for Online Marketing.
Don’t worry, this won’t be a string of generic LinkedIn Tips but rather real-life, useful examples, that I personally found to be effective with my clients and myself. My advice will work for you, but YOU have to do the work. Get ready to “go hard or go home!”
Up until May of 2011 when it was the first social media site to go public on the stock exchange LinkedIn didn’t really get the attention it deserved. It was the forgotten Social Media site it seemed, as most users relegated it to nothing more than a place to host a “virtual resume.” Not anymore! LinkedIn is one of the fastest growing Social Media sites online. It can be an extremely valuable resource for marketing your small business online, connecting with other industry professionals, or searching for a new job. Let’s start from the beginning and get your profile ready to wow the world.
Know the SEO.
Like any social media platform or site, LinkedIn has its own SEO (search engine optimization) algorithms. Your goal is for your profile to “rank” as high as possible when a user or potential client searches for individuals who provide your particular service. No one can know the exact equations that determine how information ranks when searching because they literally are changing every minute of every day. Each time a user performs a search and clicks a result, the equation changes! Regardless, we want to make sure your profile is as optimized as possible. To do so, your profile not only needs to be complete but it needs to be optimized. Look at it from the perspective of a head hunter searching for qualified applicants, or a potential client looking to for someone who provides your particular service.
LinkedIn ranks incomplete profiles at the bottom of the pile. Log into your LinkedIn profile right now and pay attention to the right hand column where LinkedIn tells you how complete your profile is (i.e. your profile is 70% complete) If you’ve already filled out each section of your profile you will either see “100% complete” or none at all. Good job… you’re on your way!
The best LinkedIn tip ever! Filling out your profile is important. Potential employers or clients aren’t searching for your name (because they don’t know you yet). They’re going to search for keywords. The “skills” section is where you can add some valuable keywords to your profile. You can find this section right below the “work history” section when scrolling down/ viewing your profile. LinkedIn allows you to list 50 skills on your profile… use all of them!
Who has the time to think of 50 different skills?! I sure don’t! Here’s the shortcut… Click on “more” in the top navigation bar at the top of your profile page and choose “skills” in the dropdown menu. Type one of your skills in the search box and click search. A new page appears with a list of related skills. Find the ones you like and click “add skill.” Before you know it, your profile will be chuck-full of skills!
You likely would have never thought of many of them on your own, and you might even find them helpful in creating or cleaning up your job descriptions in your work history as well.
Show what you know.
What good is having a complete profile if no one can see it? For personal interactions on Facebook or Google+ you may not want everyone to see what you’re up to. Those site have gone to great length to allow you to “hide” personal information. However LinkedIn is a professional social media site. I have never met a client, colleague, or business owner who didn’t want to make more money, get new clients, or be offered a better job! Make sure your profile is visible to those potential connections.
Access your Privacy Settings by clicking on your name in the upper right hand corner of your profile. Choose “settings” and you’ll come to the engine of your profile so to speak. Here you can set email preferences, add a twitter profile, and manage what is visible and what is not.
I recommend going thru each of the options under Privacy Controls and choosing to make your activity and information visible to as many people as possible. Clicking on each option will produce a pop up window that is pretty self explanatory.
Spend some time today updating your profile and getting more familiar with its features. Don’t worry about the number of connections you have right now, we’ll work on that next week. For now we just want to build a solid foundation for our online marketing efforts, and to do that we need a well written and complete profile. Later we’ll discuss some tricks and tips for getting your newly optimized profile seen by people who matter!