I often hear people share that they find LinkedIn a daunting place to be, or that people don’t know how to use it properly.
Put simply, LinkedIn is the world’s leading social networking platform for professionals.
Launched a whopping 20 years ago, LinkedIn now has a reported 930 million worldwide users (although it has not been established how many of those are active on the platform).
So, how can you best use this platform and stand out from the crowd?
In the words of Fraulein Maria, “Let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start.”
Optimising Your Profile
✔️Do use a clear image of yourself against a neutral/non-busy background.
❌Don’t use a photo that is blurry or includes multiple people.
❌Don’t be tempted to add the picture frames of ‘looking for clients’ or ‘hiring’ as these massively take up room in what is a very small picture. Each time you comment on a post, share your own post or complete any activity on LinkedIn, this very small picture is the only visual that people will see. Using these photo frames detracts from what a potential client will see.
Background or header image
This image is visible to people who click on your profile. Use the space as an opportunity to highlight the type of work you do and how you can help clients.
This is potentially the most important part of your intro section on your profile. Much like your profile picture, every time you do any action on LinkedIn, this is what people will read.
✔️Do highlight how you can help someone.
❌ Don’t add your job title here if it is going to be meaningless to a potential client.
✔️Ensure your intro is up to date with your relevant job title and business listed. You can add as much contact information here as you like. You want to make it super easy for people to contact you.
NB Your company logo only gets shown on your profile page if you have a separate company page.
This space allows you to share a bit about yourself. Write this from the perspective of what your ideal client would want to know about you. Try to use keywords which ideal clients might be searching for.
Further down your profile page, this section is like your CV.
✔️Show current and prior work history.
✔️Where possible add LinkedIn ‘skills’ from past work history that are relevant to your VA work. This highlights how all your work history has helped shape your VA career. You are able to add a total of 50 to your profile, and highlight 5 per job.
At the very bottom of your page is where current and past clients can add their testimonials of working with you.
Simply click on the plus sign and send a message requesting a recommendation. Don’t be afraid to ask your client / colleague / employer / friend to highlight a particular skill or service.
What to do on LinkedIn
Try and check your feed every day. Comment on a few relevant posts that might be seen by current and potential clients. Add value with your comments and avoid saying things such as ‘Great post’ or ‘Well done’ without adding extra context. Why have you found this a great post? What are you congratulating them on?
Remember every comment you make could be seen by your ideal client - make it count.
There is advice out there saying you should post on LinkedIn daily. This is great if you know you can maintain this on a long-term basis, however, try and stick to a routine that works best for you. If that is a relevant, valuable post once every 2 weeks, go for it! You can build up your frequency over time.
Each time you receive a recommendation from a client on LinkedIn (which appears at the bottom of your profile page) highlight that by turning it into a post and sharing your success with others.
Use the search bar!
This allows you to search for people by name, location, business or job title. You can also use this to find relevant LinkedIn groups to join and engage with.
Sadly, LinkedIn have recently announced they will be ceasing use of hashtags across the site. Hashtag use has always been more limited on LinkedIn than, say, Instagram or Twitter (X) but was a great way of searching and helping potential clients to find you.
This is relatively new to LinkedIn but a lifesaver!
Click to create a post and then click on the clock on the bottom right of the box to schedule. It’s still limited in that you can’t edit a post once it’s scheduled, only delete it - so really get that proof reading nailed!
Remember never to post and run! Research has found that if you engage with other accounts in the 15 minutes following you sharing a post, the reach of your post increases.
As with all platforms, the more time you spend on it, the more familiar it will become to you. To find out more about LinkedIn check out my earlier blog ‘Getting Started on LinkedIn’
I am a big fan of the power of LinkedIn. If we are not already connected, send me an invite here.
If you want more support in how to optimise your social media profiles, then check out the Virtual Assistant Visibility Club.