What is Linkedin and how are you supposed to use it for business?
I joined Linkedin a few years back because there were rumors that people were using it for business and we were supposed to be on Linkedin. So I jumped on the bandwagon and filled out a clunky profile, added a picture and then went back to Facebook.
Every once in a while I would get a text message that someone endorsed me for a skill that was listed in my profile, for which I am very grateful, but didn’t know what to do with that information, so I just smiled, and it made my day and that was that.
I know, I know, those of you who have earned millions of dollars from your Linkedin connections are chomping at the bit to sell me an online training program that will whip my Linkedin butt into gear. And you’re probably asking why I never buckled down to learn about Linkedin.
Here’s the truth: I didn’t need it. I’ve been the proud owner and operator of a huge residential cleaning company in the Southeastern United States and we’ve had more business than we could handle for many years, working primarily off of referrals from satisfied customers.
In my late 30’s in pursuit of a hobby to balance out my busy work life, I stumbled into an exciting world of acting, voice over and independent film. I didn’t have many connections, so this was my profile on Linkedin to target the film and TV world and to keep it specifically separate from my “job” because now I was a member of SAG-AFTRA and I had IMDB credits, and a talent agent, and I was submitting auditions regularly to Actors Access. In fact, I didn’t want anybody to know I was paying my bills through house cleaning.
So we’ve learned that success is success wherever you find it – even if that means being paid handsomely for cleaning toilets and toasters.
In January of 2016 I launched an online training company (Savvy Cleaner Training & Certification for independent house cleaners) and proudly launched a Linkedin profile for my house cleaning training. Forgive me, I’m still figuring out how it all works and what I’m supposed to be including in my bio. The little bubble on the right says I’m at expert level, Yay! But that doesn’t mean much since I only have 16 connections. Hey good news. I have 16 connections. You’ve got to start somewhere am I right?
What is the fast track to Linkedin Success?
Fortunately, I stumbled onto the blog of John Nemo who is Mr. Linkedin Riches, and he offered an amazing template to create an effective Linkedin Profile – chock full of examples and a mesmerizing short video.
He teaches you to think in terms of your target audience when creating your profile and how you might help them – not just a swift complimentary pat on your own back. Examples from John Nemo’s free template:
WHAT I DO: I help [Target Audience] achieve [their goal] by providing [product/service].
WHO I WORK WITH: I partner with [Target Audience or Industry Type] including: [Insert bullet list of job titles, industry names etc.]
And so much more – I don’t want to give you any spoiler alerts, but if you sign up for his free newsletter, on the free template page, you can have access to all his tips, tricks and upcoming paid training. Thank you John – I’ll be working on my profiles the rest of the weekend.
Pamela Vaughan on the other hand has mastered the art of Professional Networking using Linkedin for business and marketing.
Her ideas in 35 Tips to Professional Networking through Linkedin are quite good and very thorough in the explanations of what she recommends and here are a few of Pamela’s tips I will get to work on this weekend:
- Customize your public profile URL
Rather than the default hyperlink with a bunch of meaningless gibberish, you can tailor your Linkedin URL to your personal name or company name.
Customized mine looks like this: https://linkedin.com/in/savvycleaner
How about you give it a try now. Follow these instructions to customize your Linkedin URL
- Create a profile badge for your personal website or blog
A Linkedin profile badge links from whatever site you post it on, to your public profile. You can choose from various designs. Follow these instructions by Randy Duermyer to create your own badge.
- Publish content on Pulse (Linkedin’s publishing platform)
Everybody has publishing power on Linkedin now. All you have to do is click on the link under your profile that says “View More” and a series of small boxes appear.
You can scroll to the bottom and there is a section called “Posts.” When you click on it, it opens up a window where you can just start typing or cut and paste an article you’ve written somewhere else. (I write my posts first in Microsoft Word so I can take advantage of the spell check options before pasting. Shush don’t tell.)
This big screen with all of the boxes only appears the first post you make. After that, you will find the publishing post options in the same place, but it will look like this:
Because Linkedin is considered a business network, you will gain valuable credibility by posting business related content on your Linkedin page. This is not the social network where you post pictures of your lunch, or favorite cat video (unless of course, you own a restaurant or a pet store.)
Ashley Tate suggests checking in on your Linkedin page every day for a few minutes, and once a week for about half an hour. You need to make an effort to connect with others, otherwise the network won’t work for you – like it hasn’t for me since I randomly created my account and then forgot about it.
I now realize that all of the people endorsing me and trying to connect with me were the little red numbers alerting me at the top of my screen that I simply ignored because I didn’t know what they meant. Sorry guys. I’m learning and I will do better to connect. I promise.
With more than 380 million networking Linkedin professionals, It’s time we all take a second look at what Linkedin offers and get creative about how we might use it to boost our business.
Free Social Media Tips
John Nemo – Blueprint for Generating More Business via Linkedin
Pamela Vaughan – 35 Tips to Professional Networking through Linkedin
5 Tips on How to Use Linkedin Better – by Ashley Tate