Recently I have met with people looking to start their own company, an attorney leaving a firm and branching out on his own and a new company bringing a new product to the market. All of these people need to begin setting up their social media accounts for their business so they can get the word out about their company and products.
Social networks are a great way to connect with new clients. LinkedIn has over 400 million professionals looking for connections. You can use LinkedIn to build an online presence as well as a professional identity. Anyone who wants to extend their reach and connect with potential clients should be using LinkedIn to do it.
On LinkedIn, you are a person, first and foremost. When you signup, you create a free personal account and profile, which includes background and professional information relevant to your potential clients.
LinkedIn offers two types of accounts, free and paid. The main difference between the two is that the paid account does not limit the number or frequency of your actions, like the free account does. With a paid account, you can join more groups, send more messages (InMail) and introductions, view more profile information, see everyone who has viewed your profile, and check references, among other things. Most people begin with a free account and only upgrade if the need arises. So don’t get out your credit card till you need a paid account. Use the free one to you outgrow it.
Whether you have a free or paid account, your profile is the foundation you build on. Let’s go over the parts of a profile so that you can have your information and details ready to add to each section. It’s important to include as much information as possible. Remember, you want people to read your profile and want to connect with you. You want them to like, know and trust YOU!
LinkedIn has set up each personal profile to include information that is similar to a resume. Here, you can include links, images, videos, slide shows, and more. Most of these sections can be repositioned to your liking; however, the headshot is always the first section.
LinkedIn constantly improves the profile area. Whenever there is a change, take note of it and make use of the improved or added functionality. The more areas you complete in your LinkedIn profile, the more likely you are to make meaningful connections. The goal of your profile is to make people like, know and trust you so they will want to connect.
So now it is your turn. Time to go and start completing your profile. Short on time? Try one or two areas every morning. In a week or so, you will have a completed LinkedIn profile. The most important thing is to complete as many areas as possible and start connecting.
In our next post, we will start looking at your business page. See you then!
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