I've been running Red-Fern for nearly 15 years now, and what a journey it's been so far.
LinkedIn has helped the business a lot over the past few years: it's helped me recruit employees, become part of the web design and inbound community, create partnerships with businesses, and prospect for new partners. Here are my 20 LinkedIn profile tips for business owners.
How Do I Make My LinkedIn Profile Stand Out?
1. Focus on your LinkedIn profile page
It goes without saying that a profile page is both the heart and soul of every social platform, including LinkedIn. Make sure you evaluate each of its features and available options. Ensure you've optimised it as a good profile page can determine whether someone reaches out to you or responds to a request.
2. Pick the right name
Again, a bit of common sense plays a part in this one. If you’ve got a BA Hons in engineering, would you want that on your title if you’ve got 15 years experience in the industry? Contrastingly, would it be worth having if you’d just graduated?
There’s also a trend of people creating their titles, Developer Swami or Tea Drinking Queen for example. Consider how you would like to be perceived as a business owner and the audience you want to attract. For me, I like to tell people what I do and keep it at that. Simple.
3. Use a pro LinkedIn profile picture
When it comes to your profile picture, use the one you would usually include in your CV, or the one that says what you want it to mean. This social network is all about professionalism and an impeccable business attitude. So, make sure you don’t forget that when you choose your profile picture.
What may seem 'cool' to you may be off-putting to others. My shot is from a shoot we did in the office, we wanted to make it fun and get everyone smiling, so we tried to steer away from the straight-faced passport photo.
4. Be creative with your headline
You’ve probably noticed that an overwhelming majority of LinkedIn users insist on almost identical headlines. Why? Well, they hope to promote themselves better in the eyes of LinkedIn search engines and results.
The catch is that you need to stand out with short, powerful copy that gives the reader a clear indication as to what you can offer them.
5. Shine with your LinkedIn summary
Give prospects a reason to get in touch with you with a LinkedIn summary that tells them what you can offer. You only have a few lines to do this, so make it short, snappy and punchy. Include what you do, and what benefit you can bring to their business.
6. Share your experience
Again, here’s a chance to keep it simple. You can use work experience sections from your CV. The advantage LinkedIn provides you with is that you can combine your experience with a portfolio. This is a great way to show a connection between your experience and specific portfolio items, and crucial if you're trying to attract clients to your LinkedIn page. They want to know you can deliver what you say you can provide.
7. Show your statistics!
As a business owner, you should always back your work up with relevant statistics. It shows that you deliver on what you claim to provide, and separates you from those who say they can do something to those who can!
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8. Think about your skills
This can be a tricky one to work out! It’s probably not a great idea to list a skill like Microsoft Excel if you haven’t used it since secondary school.
Think about your technical skills and the tools you use to do your job, your industry knowledge and what your interpersonal strengths are.
So if you own an architecture firm, may have experience with 3D printers, industry knowledge about plastic brick houses and have an inventive mindset.
My top skills are the things I'm known for in my industry and with my partners and colleagues. Make sure you put your strongest skills in this section as it's where the client gets the most value.
9. Location — be honest about it
You were already the citizen of the world when you decided to join this and other networks. There’s no need to try to impress your potential employees or customers with a choice of your dream location. If you live 40 miles from the city centre, don't set it as your location!
Freelancers, bare in mind that LinkedIn ProFinder works based on the location you provide.
10. Customise Your LinkedIn URL
This is a great advantage LinkedIn allows you to use. You can create a fully customised and simple to remember URL. Again, you can be creative, but don’t get carried away. Mines, nice and simple, my name!
11. Choose your words carefully
Whether you’re writing a comment on a post, appearing on video or writing your headline, you should always consider how you’re going to come across to your audience. A business owner can deal with many types of people from different industries, so remember not everyone's the same.
Don’t be afraid to show your personality though, and your industry can often determine how you speak. Follow these points:
- What’s your style? Someone working in corporate law would have a different style and tone to someone working in children's entertainment.
- Consider whether your audience will understand you: ‘ATS’, ‘RTW’, recruiters may know what these mean, but not everyone does.
- Get your spelling and grammar right — if there’s one thing that’s frustrating for anyone, it’s poor spelling and grammar. The odd mistake will be forgiven! Bt if u cn’t read the txt its a problem, you’re making yourself and the business come across in a bad light.
12. Don’t (EVER) write in the third person
Stacey graduated in 2004 with a degree in fashion design before moving on to work for some of the biggest companies in New York. She’s a fun, hard-working girl who works hard and plays hard!
Who are you talking about? Is it you? Or someone else. Plus, it sounds a bit creepy!
13. Follow people you admire
It may be your dad, it may be your business idol. Whoever it is, make sure you follow them and listen to their advice.
Neil Patel is my marketing guru. I love his videos and the detail in his blog posts, and have you seen is metrics?! Slightly jealous, slightly in awe.
14. Follow hashtags
If there’s a particular area of business or your profession that interests you, follow the hashtag and get related information.
All you have to do is click on the hashtag in the communities tab on the homepage, and LinkedIn will show you content that has the hashtag in it.
16. LinkedIn learning
LinkedIn is a great place to learn: from business strategy to improving your writing skills, there are plenty of opportunities to expand your professional knowledge. The first month is free, but you’ll have to pay after that.
17. Contribute to your company page
Your company page is where the heart of your business lies, so as the driving force of the business, you have to take part. Get your social media person to create a LinkedIn strategy and distribute your most relevant and engaging content on it.
Find out more about creating a social media strategy by reading our social media ultimate resource.
18. Join LinkedIn groups
There are thousands of LinkedIn groups available for you to join. Undoubtedly, this is a fantastic opportunity to achieve your professional goals or reach more professionals. At the same time, it’s advisable to be moderate when it comes to your contributions and announcements within the group.
Just imagine a situation where every single group member wants to post or publish something on a daily basis. That’s why you need to respect your group if you're going to present yourself as a professional member.
It's also advisable for you to take an active role in the group’s discussions and forums. There’s no better way to introduce yourself to other members and see first-hand who-is-who in your LinkedIn group.
19. The art of LinkedIn publishing
Have you ever thought about LinkedIn as a leading publishing platform? You would be surprised how many distinguished professionals write top quality articles on a regular basis. LinkedIn publishing allows you to run a personal blog.
When it comes to publishing, LinkedIn Pulse is a great place for you to share and read articles. You need to tag your posts before making them available on Pulse publishing platform. But remember that you can use only three tags per post.
To start publishing on Linkedin Pulse, simply hover over interests in the main menu and click on 'pulse'. Once you've done that simply click 'publish a post' and follow the instructions.
20. Start posting videos!
LinkedIn is becoming the video platforms for professionals, and as a business owner, it's a great place to show your personality. Be yourself, explain what you do and what you have to offer. The marketing team and I released a Christmas marketing advent calendar where each team member introduced themselves and their role along with an expert tip.
Ask Yourself This Question...
Do you think a LinkedIn profile page would benefit you? As you've learned from these 20 tips, it does! It's certainly helped me grow my business and it can help you too.