Most people have heard of the on-line networking platform, used by businesses and professionals, called LinkedIn. I know this because there are now over 9.5 million personal profiles in South Africa alone and over 800 million globally! There has also been a massive explosion of usage since Covid. It is recognised that, with LinkedIn, your ability to find and connect with whoever you want in the world is now greater than it has ever been. You know that people source contacts through word-of-mouth referral. How many times have you recommended your lawyer or web designer? How many times have you had business referred to you through people you know?
So, following on from my first two articles about why you should be using LinkedIn and the two key sides to LinkedIn – your profile and your strategy – let’s continue to ‘power up’ your profile. So that you can:
· Get found
· Give value to your reader
· Prove your credibility
We have already covered the six key starting points:
· Your banner
· Your photo
· Your name
· Your headline
· Your ‘About’ section
· Your ‘Experience’ sections
Some of the other sections are self-explanatory such as: education, volunteering, publications, organisations and interests. Although, remember my rule – if they are there then use them to serve you. We all have a publication in us – a blog, post, article, tips, document etc. that you can adapt.
Think of the organisations that you belong to, even if they are more personal than business related. You never know who you might share common interests with and this is all about building relationships with others.
One section I often hear people say they don’t value is the ‘skills’ section. You may have had people you don’t even know endorse you! So why not think creatively and list the skills that you want to be found for when we people are searching on LinkedIn?
When a client changed some of his skills from the usual leadership, management etc. to industrial workwear, sanitation equipment (the things they we selling) he got more views and endorsements!
The easiest (and most congruent) way to gain endorsements and to build credibility, is to endorse the people you know you genuinely can. The ‘Law of Reciprocity’ says they will tend to endorse you back.
Where I will invest more time is in the ‘recommendations’ section. Recommendations /testimonials are one of the most underutilised marketing strategies out there. We know that third party testimony sells but there is a way to capture meaningful and powerful recommendations.
Most people will give you ‘fluffy’ testimonials. Try asking these questions, to help them focus on tangible results that will resonate with your readers.
· What specifically made you decide to do business with us?
· What is the main value you have got from dealing with us?
· Why specifically would you recommend us?
Where else can you be using these testimonials? In your quotes, your other marketing, before a sales call? What about video testimonials? Have a look at this eight-minute interview with Marlene Powell– my South African business coach client.
I have, in the files section of my free Facebook group, a heap of resources to help you even more with this, which we will also delve into in future articles. You can join the group here:
Start utilising LinkedIn more effectively and set yourself apart from your competition!