For those of us selling professional services, LinkedIn is an invaluable social media platform for doing business.
Years ago LinkedIn felt like an online resume. Simply a place to list where you’ve worked and skills you have. Added to that, in Australia at least, it had a reputation for being a sales tool where you were more likely to be sold to than make real professional connections. Over the years it has grown into a powerful platform to grow your professional network and showcase your work in a coordinated online space.
LinkedIn is about putting your best professional foot forward. Here is where you tell potential clients you know what you are talking about. It is also where colleagues, in particular, those who couldn’t be a reference, are able to share their feedback on your work experience and style. For example, one of my endorsements is a colleague who I respect very much but lives in the UK so it’s impractical to have her as a reference – but we worked really closely together and she knows what it’s like to have me a part of the team. There are also a lot of people I have worked with when they volunteered for organisations I was employed at that have been able to support my ability to do elements of my role. Essentially clients and employers get a really broad overview of working with me.
Like most social media there is an option to share content but it’s got to be professionally relevant. For example, I only share my posts related to marketing, social media and entrepreneurialism. This is intentional, it reinforces my knowledge in the space and shows people the kinds of areas I can assist their business with.
In addition to all this LinkedIn is still a great advertising platform for targeting professionals. It runs ads like Facebook/Instagram (boosted posts or sidebar ads) but there is also a third, powerful option to email directly key audience members. For example, let’s say your services particularly support young solicitors you can send them a sponsored InMail (or if you get the paid subscription just email them) to let them know about your work. It’s a way to start a meaningful conversation, extra great for writers who can show off those skills too.
LinkedIn is about your professional self. It’s not about the lifestyle you want to create with your brand but your personal ability to do the job you claim. It’s years of community endorsement for the skills you have. It’s reinforcing that with professionally relevant content. Finally, it is a place to reach out and connect with other business owners. Pretty powerful right?
Use the header image to highlight your work. All pages and individual profiles use the default image unless you change it up. Just like with a number of other social media platforms you can make the image work for you. For me, I use my tag line. It adds some of my own branding onto the page plus it’s a great way to highlight what I do. I worked for an organisation that had a speech bubble as part of the branding and the designer did an awesome job of making it look like everyone’s profile pic was actually saying the campaign tag line. Make it work for you, even if it’s just by incorporating a product image into the header it will make you stand out in a sea of the same background.
For entrepreneurs with professional services, LinkedIn is a vital business tool. For everyone, it’s a great recruitment resource. Take the time to pull together the professional version of yourself online that you would present in an interview (especially when you are working with people you may never meet in person). I’d love to hear how you use LinkedIn in your business?