I’ll admit, LinkedIn is terrible for keeping up with friends and family compared to Facebook. So why bother? Many of us who take part in networking understand that there is a key difference between a Facebook Friend and a LinkedIn Connection. According to Jennifer Holocker, Executive Director of the Arlington Chamber of Commerce, “there is certainly an unrealized opportunity for professionals in the Greater Snohomish area to be building their professional networks.” Here are a few of the highlights from today’s Lunch & Learn that will help illustrate why LinkedIn is so important for your business.
The best way to organize your professional network.
LinkedIn is so much more than just an app for job-seekers and a place to read articles about Richard Branson. A stack of business cards is only so intelligent. Like Facebook, on LinkedIn you can have a Profile as well as a Company Page. Many people do not know there can be a business page for a company that is separate from your own profile.
Representing your profile to be found.
A strong profile has a good professional headshot, a clear headline, as well as these other key ingredients:
- There’s a link to your website and other social media under Contact Info,
- a welcoming Summary section,
- a completed Experience section,
- and a filled out Skills section.
During today’s presentation, one audience member requested a live critique of their LinkedIn profiles using the projector. The most common feedback after looking over the profiles was to fill out the profile with more detail, and to create a Summary section. People want to know more about you, how you got to where you are today, and what matters to you.
Getting started with building your network.
Think about why you are on LinkedIn in the first place. Is it to connect with colleagues and classmates? Potential business partners? Potential clients or potential members?
The more you use it the more you will increase your visibility, even if it’s a minute or two a day checking notifications and looking at a couple recent posts. Try not to let months go by without checking it. You can start small by filling out your profile in more detail and checking for notifications on a regular basis. Once you are in the habit of using LinkedIn, it becomes an enjoyable way to keep in touch with your professional network. I’m excited for you to be more active with it, and the opportunities it will create for your business.