We live in a connected world. We no longer look for jobs in the newspapers or send paper CVs out in the mail. Today, we can look for a job, for clients and for business partners directly online. With the click of a button, we can send a contact request, a CV, share somebody’s expert articles, follow companies’ updates and much more.
Such behaviour came from the uprise of social media, especially through Facebook and LinkedIn. For this article, we will concentrate on the latter as it is a unique and oh so necessary professional tool in the 21st century…
LinkedIn used to be quite straight forward: you create a professional profile i.e. quite literally an online CV, and start adding new contacts to your profile, most of which are originally people that you already know personally.
But as time evolved, the social media platform became more popular and people started seeing new opportunities for connexions and business.
Today, we could say LinkedIn is a mix between a professional Facebook page and a micro blog, which for many people can be quite overwhelming to use.
So we have decided to share with you the ‘TLC’ way to make sure you implement the right strategy for your LinkedIn profile that will stand out from the crowd and get you on the road towards success.
1/ Testimonials – Out of everybody that you are connected with, chances are you’ve already worked with / for some of them. A good way to make sure that your profile is strong is to show that you are a professional and reliable person. And what better way to do that than to get recommendations from the people who’ve already tested your capabilities?
It’s easy! Thanks to LinkedIn, two solutions are available to you. The first one is to remember, next time your work with/for someone, to ask them to give you a LinkedIn recommendation upon completion of your project / mission. The second one is to ask the contacts whom you’ve worked with in the past, if they’d be kind enough to write you one.
Disclaimer: Due to their own time constraints, some people might ask you to write it yourself and send it to them for validation. While this isn’t a solution we’d recommend, if you do decide to do this, make sure to stay true to the project that you carried out and to be honest regarding the quality of the work you delivered. That way, if a prospect or future employer decide to do a background check before hiring you, you are not risking to find yourself in a fraudulent situation.
2/ Literature – Most companies create their own LinkedIn pages. Influential people within any given industry generally have profiles that you can follow without needing to add them as contacts (request that they will probably reject because well… they don’t know you!).
Whether they are companies or influencers, they generally keep their pages up to date with latest news, expert articles etc… This means that if you follow these profiles and pages, you will have access to a wealth of expert literature from your industry that you will be able to share directly on your page.
LinkedIn enables users to add their own caption to any piece of content that they share. This means that you can use these sharing opportunities to showcase some of your own knowledge and expertise on the given subject that you are sharing. Simply put, you can use somebody else’s content and expertise to put forward you own profile too and show people that you are an expert in your field as well.
3/ Content – In addition to sharing other people’s content, it is necessary to create your own! You can write a blog post on your website and share the link to it on LinkedIn, or you can simply write your own expert articles directly on LinkedIn under the ‘Write and Article’ section in your status updates.
Several good ways to find inspiration for your own content are to read what your competitors, partners, providers and other influencer talk about on LinkedIn. From there, you will be able to spot the trendy subjects to talk about and to put your own spin on them.
You can also simply ask your own clients or users about the problems that they are facing relative to your sector of activity. Clients are the best sources for inspiration as they deal with the direct consequences of using your products and services. Therefore, any problems or questions that they might have regarding what you have to offer are the number one subjects that you should focus on finding the answers to.
Writing your own content makes a very strong statement: you are listening to your clients’ and prospects’ needs, you are trying to answer them instead of ignoring them and you know the ins and outs of your sector, which goes to show you are a reliable person.
If you are looking to strengthen your LinkedIn presence, start by implementing all three steps listed above and you will see a real difference in how people find you and approach you. Start attracting more prospects, converting more leads or simply finding more job opportunities now!