LinkedIn used to have an outdated layout and design. Users could update their profiles and make industry connections, but it was unclear just how beneficial these connections were, given that people did not spend a whole lot of time on the platform.
Times have changed. Today LinkedIn is a great resource to grow your personal brand or your small business.
You don’t have to take my word for it though - you can look at the numbers. In 2017, LinkedIn reported 500 million users from over 200 countries.
That is a huge reach, and is especially valuable because users of LinkedIn are on there to do business and achieve new career opportunities.
Or get this statistic: there are over 3 million long form posts on the platform, and 130,000 new long form posts generated each week.
This is rich content being published, not your average Tweet about food or a casual Facebook update about politics. Long form posts on LinkedIn are often written by influential players in their niche who are keen to offer their expertise and insight to those who are most interested.
It certainly helps that Microsoft purchased LinkedIn in 2016. The recent design changes to the platform are certainly due to the new ownership.
Whether you fancy yourself an expert in your field, or you are just starting to gain some industry recognition for your small business, the fact remains the same: there are some key ways to optimize your profile to propel your brand.
Tip #1: Professional Headshot
Since you are going to use LinkedIn to make important industry connections, it’s important to get the fundamentals right. That means get a professional headshot for your profile pick.
Tip #2: List All Your Skills
You have to treat your profile like a glorified resume. If you don’t, how do you expect to impress people you have never met in person before?
The best way to impress someone is to list all you skills. That’s the lesson learned from a LinkedIn study that found people who listed five or more skills get 17 times more profile views.
Tip #3: Use LinkedIn Publisher
The best example of an influencer who has mastered LinkedIn is Arianna Huffington. The co-founder of the Huffington Post has been generating a consistent following with her posts about wellness and the value of sleep.
Sounds kind of random? Well it’s not. Ms. Huffington planned to situate herself as a leading voice in the wellness industry before launching Thrive Global, a company dedicated to making sleep the most valuable productivity resource in the corporate world.
That is some exceptional branding by Ms. Huffington, and it can be copied by anyone who has a passion for their chosen industry. LinkedIn, more than Twitter or Facebook, is the place where you can put this passion to use and generate some actionable insights from it.
Tip #4: Make Targeted Connections
You probably frequent industry events. At these events you probably meet some influential people farther up the food chain than you.
To make these chance meetings more permanent, use LinkedIn to target influential people you have met in person and solidify a mutual recognition.
Enjoy The Platform
Today it is much easier to use LinkedIn to your advantage than in years past. The amount of exposure you can gain is incredible, simply by reading and engaging with the rich content that is published every day, and staying in direct contact with some key industry influencers.
All in all, LinkedIn is a great resource for showing you what skills or connections you need to bring your business up a notch.