LinkedIn is a social media platform that’s been created specifically for business people to connect and use as a forum for sharing ideas, prospecting, and finding job seekers. According recent statistics, LinkedIn has 500 million users, with more being added every second.
And, it’s estimated that 40% are active on the site every day. This is one of the reasons that consultants should be taking advantage of LinkedIn, as it’s the perfect place to make sure people you connect with know what you can offer them.
So, the key for consultants is maximizing LinkedIn properly. Below are 5 steps that consultants can utilize to help generate leads and create a positive and strong reputation for their business:
Strengthen Your Headline
Take a look at the line of words under your name — what does it say about you? This is what most people see when doing a search and reviewing profiles, even if they don’t click into your profile. Use as few words as possible to describe your value. Do you help companies create a business strategy? Do you advise organizations on how to implement better operations?
This Hubspot post has tips and examples of good headlines that you can use as inspiration.
Tell Your Story
Once you’ve created a strong headline, it’s time to take a look at the summary. This is a chance to tell your story and provide people with information about what it’s like to work with you. A summary can be several paragraphs, but make sure to pay special attention to the first 35 words. The first 35 words are what people see before they click the ‘see more’ button.
“If you have any articles, SlideShares, or blog posts you’re proud of, upload them as media,” says Melissa Williams, a content marketing specialist at Yesware. Her blog post provides tips for making your summary strong and impactful.
Use LinkedIn Publishing
If you don’t have your own content to share yet, you can utilize LinkedIn Publishing. LinkedIn Publishing lets you write and post articles. You can choose subjects that will be interesting to your audience and will position you as an expert. You can also use their publishing platform to repost articles from your own website. “Posting on LinkedIn Publishing gives you exposure to a different audience. And, you squeeze more juice out of your content,” says Michelle Messenger Garrett, a writer and PR consultant. Tip: always include an image when you upload content.
Dive into LinkedIn Groups
LinkedIn groups is a great way to connect with people and build your credibility. Seek out groups that you find interesting and can contribute to. Being a part of groups also makes sure that you’re in the loop with current news in your industry. Don’t forget to like, comment, and share posts that you find important or interesting. These posts will also show up on your profile and add to your activity in people’s feeds.
Share Good News
Besides sharing your own content and engaging with people, you can use LinkedIn to let your network know what you’re doing and creating. Awards, speaking engagements, and even a volunteer work would all make good LinkedIn announcements. Plus, it shows how well rounded you are.
LinkedIn can be overwhelming to a new user, but don’t let it intimidate you. There are so many ways to use it as a tool to help growth your network and connect with other professionals and prospects. With a little effort, your profile will act as a billboard and start funneling leads into your pipeline.