Those who have spent any time around me since the daunting days of the 2008 Economic Collapse have probably heard me profess LinkedIn Best Practices and felt my ire as I “Passionately” encouraged ALL small business owners (no exceptions) to embrace numerous Free or Affordable Internet-Tools to help market (create awareness) of themselves or their business adamantly via Best Practices for their Professional LinkedIn Profile.
Along the way over the past 8-9 years, I have discovered that there are basically two types of individuals in the workforce; the ones I choose to work with have a “Vision” of their Professional Career; the “Others”, want someone else to create their success for them. Guess who this article is written for?
As I am continually updating this LinkedIn Profile Checklist, I took a look at what I was recommending back in 2008 and there’s not that much difference in what type of Content to include in your Professional LinkedIn Business Profile; it’s just the way we “Get To Do It” — We’re Smarter Now…
We now have better Tools, Methods, and Techniques to let your soon-to-be Customers and Clients find out about you. Give them a chance and a reason to Contact You… by following our Best Practices for a LinkedIn Business Profile … “What’s In It For Them”?
Here We Go: The Sakamoto “LinkedIn Best Practices” Checklist for a Professional Business LinkedIn Profile
Before we begin, a Freebie: Rule #1, Above all else, is be sure to Complete your LinkedIn Profile! This is a reflection of your Professionalism. If you’re an Amateur, never mind, keep doing what you’re doing.
- Pupose: Who, What and Where do you Serve
Does your business serve me or is your mission to push your ego on me. Know Who and What You or Your Business is About (your Elevator Pitch); and “What’s In It For ME”
- Indentify Yourself: A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words (Photo Credibility)
We are ALL Human; we are conditioned to respond to Visual Clues. Use a Professional Photographic Image; “First Impressions Still Matter”; show me that you care and are consciencious
- How Do I Contact You: I need you NOW. Make it easy for people to contact you.
Make sure ALL your contact information is current and updated. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve tried to contact a professional colleague and couldn’t find their contact information… I guess they have all the business they need.
- Optimize your Words: Think Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
This might be fuzzy for some of you, but basically, choose descriptive keywords (not adjectives) that describe you, your service, product or information about your business that Google will easily find
- Be Unique: Customize your Linkedin URL
This is one of the first things that I look for especially if the person I’m connecting with claims to be Internet Marketing savvy. The impression that a link like “linkedin.com/in/scottsakamoto” makes as opposed to a generic LinkedIn link like “linkedin.com/in/123A5620E9xyz” is both subtle and substantive. One communicates that you’re using a straightforward, accessible language and increases the likelihood that people will read your LinkedIn profile and understand what you’re trying to say and the other says “Amateur”; a waste of my time.
- Recommendations: These are Always Nice to Receive
Recommendations allow people who have collaborated with you to express and share with others in your network in a substantive and meaningful way (as opposed to Endorsements, which aren’t as elaborate or informative). I don’t put too much importance on this, but it’s nice to have and know that others Love You.
- Stay Current: Stay on Top of Your Updates and Publish Content that Says So (demonstrates)
This is really important especially if you don’t have another portal to publish your Knowledgable Content (content that demonstrates your Professional “Know-How”); I encourage you to consider publishing a few long-form pieces on LinkedIn that tells your Professional-Story”; the reason Why your potential Customers should hire you… “What’s In It For Them”
- Watch Your Language: Use Common Words that are Understood, Not Industry Jargon
Industry-Specific, Job-Specific, or overly technical jargon can be an impediment to effective communication so put your Ego aside that says “I know more than you” and start to communicate to those you want to reach with your Professional Linkedin Profile by using language that THEY USE and can understand. NOT YOU… “What’s In It For Them?”
- Join Linkedin Groups: Hang Out Where Your Customers Are or Find Other Like-Minded Folks
Joining Linkedin Groups is another way to find others who think similarly to you (collaborators) or find Linkedin Professional Groups where your Customers are likely to belong; find them and engage them; compel them to notice you.
- Quality Network: Be Mindful of Who You Connect With and Watch Your Manners
I know for a few of you, gathering LinkedIn connections is a numbers game, an exercise of your Ego to see how many names you can collect and show off to others your “Prowess”… Baloney!When I reach out to folks that I want to connect with, I ALWAYS include a personal note along with it. It may be a mention of the last time we met; a congratulatory note, an encouragement of collaborating, etc. Note: I NEVER accept a Generic Linkedin Request. I deem them insincere and disingenuous. Tell me WHY you want to Connect with me… “What’s In It For ME?” How is our “Connection” going to make a difference to ME?
So there you have it, my 2017 Top-10 LinkedIn Best Practices for Professional Business Linkedin Profiles. No doubt there are plenty of different ways to accomplish this and many have their methods and processes, but I think you’ll find that this list is basic enough that most will agree; that this is the one to follow.
I’m almost sure of it; when and if I rewrite this in 2018, it will be different, but not by much.