LinkedIn... It's been written about before, by many people, with lots of different things to say... Mostly covering the 'how' rather than the 'why'. Well today baby, I'm all about the 'why'.
"Why do I need to be on LinkedIn?"
Because as a client, potential introducer, business influencer or even future employee I want to know whether you're any good, who you work for, why I need to know you, and whether anybody in my network knows you, or has recommended you. If you're not on LinkedIn, my immediate thought is - WHY NOT? I'm probably going to think that you have something to hide, that you're dodgy, or perhaps worst of all; that you just can't be bothered...
"Ok - I'm 'on' LinkedIn but I don't have a photograph..."
WHY NOT? You wouldn't turn up to a networking event with a paper bag over your face. Would you?
"Oh... well how about this 10 year old photograph from my honeymoon. I've cropped my spouse out - that's ok isn't it?"
No. It's not ok. For a start, you look pretty different now, that mullet is dreadful and you've definitely been to Specsavers since then. Get a professional shot taken. It's not expensive and you can use it on LinkedIn, on your website, for press shots, for Twitter and on your blog if you have one. Your money is always well spent on a great professional photograph.
"Right. I've now added in every role I've had since Uni. Do I really need to complete the summary section?"
I would say so. This is where you talk about what you do and what you're good at. It's also where you get to paint a bit of a picture of yourself. If you don't do this, you miss an opportunity to grab my attention, possibly make me laugh with your sparkling wit and help me to decide whether I like the look of you or not.
Well, that's up to you. I'm not going to force you to use LinkedIn, but I would recommend that you use it to keep a record of your contacts. You could also post interesting content on your page every now and again, as well as any media coverage of you/your firm. Maybe add links to your blog posts every so often. If you wanted to, you could endorse or even recommend a few people. Or join groups, set up your own group, or create a company page for your firm...
Sorry - just realised, I've passed from the 'why' into the 'how'.Hope you don't mind too much...
By Victoria Moffatt
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