LinkedIn Strategy for the Independent Professional

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If you are a one-person business, the thought of online marketing is probably overwhelming. With the demands of business development, sales, and customer service, there is little time for exploring opportunities online.

Let me help you with LinkedIn.

LinkedIn is a social network your business cannot afford to ignore. More than 562 million professionals worldwide are on LinkedIn.

Once primarily a platform for professionals seeking their next position, LinkedIn is now a key place used for both personal and business purposes to validate the credentials of professionals, find professionals for key services, and to understand professional networks.

Share Your Message

Your messaging on LinkedIn should be consistent with your messaging everywhere else. Use the same value proposition. Speak to your target audience.

Carry your keywords into your LinkedIn presence. Use the same words and phrases that help people find you on search engines.

LinkedIn Profile Tips

For most independent professionals, a LinkedIn profile is all that is needed to have a credible presence. A company page is not required.

The key is to make that profile an accurate picture of your professional credentials and the work you do. It should speak to your target customer.

Images

Use a current professional head shot. When you meet people in person they should not wonder how you suddenly aged 🙂 Show who you are.

Don’t keep the default background image! Use a custom photo that better represents your business and expertise.

Intro Section

  • Don’t use the default headline of your title and company name. Use a headline that uses your keywords and speaks to the service you provide.
  • Make sure your summary section explains what you do and why your services are needed.

Experience Section

Include all experience that relates to what you do now. There is no need to include every job you have had. Focus descriptions on the things that you did that relate to your current audience and your current business.

Skills Section

You can list up to 50 skills. Add as many skills as you can find that are relevant to your expertise and your activities.

Accomplishments Section

List all relevant accomplishments, including certifications, publications, honors and awards and organizations.

Recommendations

Ask for clients and former colleagues to write a recommendation.

Contact Info

List all the ways that connections can contact you. Be sure to keep this accurate!

Engage on LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a social platform. You need to interact for your presence to be effective.

  • Connect your personal profile with all clients and business contacts.
    • For individuals, send a personalized connection request
    • For company pages, click the “Follow” button on the page
  • Ask clients to recommend you on LinkedIn using the LinkedIn tool for this.
    • Go to the profile of any connection>Select the … icon to the right of the profile picture>Select Request a Recommendation>Follow the wizard and customize the message
  • Join groups that are relevant to the types of business you want to work with, to your area of service, and to the services you provide. Comment on posts and consider making occasional posts.
  • Post a status update periodically. At least once a month, share an update:
    • Welcome a new client
    • Share a takeaway from an event
    • Post a link to your website or content you have posted elsewhere online
    • Be creative – anything your target client cares about is a good idea

These basics will help you to have a more robust, findable presence on LinkedIn that is in concert with your website and other online marketing efforts.