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LinkedIn Strategy for the Professional

LinkedIn is an important platform for all professionals, and especially for those who need to build their own contacts. People who work in insurance, financial planning, personal training and more need to build a base of connections.

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.

Know Your Keywords

Before you work on your LinkedIn presence, you need to know your keywords and your messaging. What words and phrases do people search to find people like you? What are your key differentiators.

Your profile needs to be an extension of your online brand. That means you need to have a laser focus on the keywords and message that represent you best.

LinkedIn Company Page

Creating a company page is helpful even if you are the only person on your team! A company page expands your presence and branding on LinkedIn.

Setting up a page is quick and easy. You will need to complete the following fields

  • Company name
  • Background image
  • Logo
  • Company Description
  • Specialties
  • Address
  • Website URL
  • Company size, industry, year founded, and type
  • Select up to three featured groups

Personal Profile

When you create an account on LinkedIn, you create a personal profile by default. However, you need to take steps to create a complete, compelling profile.

Profile Image

Use a professional head shot of you. This will help people to know they are connecting with the right person. Save the family shots, kids and pets for Facebook!

Background Image

Change the LinkedIn default photo! Use a custom photo that better represents your business and expertise.

Intro Section

  • Create a headline that goes beyond your title and company. Highlight your expertise using your keywords.
  • Use your keywords and messaging for your professional summary

Experience Section

  • List all your relevant jobs. No need for a complete work history. List the jobs that contribute to the expertise you use in your current position.
  • Connect your current job to your company page.

Skills Section

  • Add as many skills as you can find that are relevant to your expertise and your activities
  • Make sure your settings allow connections to endorse your skills

Accomplishments Section

  • Make sure that all relevant accomplishments are listed.

Recommendations

Ask for clients to write a recommendation. Few people will think to write a recommendation, but most will be happy to do so if asked.

Contact Info

List all the ways that people can reach you. Make it easy for them to connect.

Next Steps

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

Post on Facebook Like a Pro

The most important way to gain visibility on Facebook is to post interesting content. Your content should appeal to your target client, use your keywords and represent your expertise.

Posts should be made by members of the team and should reflect the style, tone and expertise of the person making the post.

  • Follow the 80-20 rule: no less than 80 percent informational, no more than 20 percent direct promotions.
  • Keep posts brief, 40-125 characters.
  • Use images and video whenever possible.

Facebook Content Ideas

  • Address a question commonly asked by clients. Whenever possible, link to relevant content at your website (preferred) or to authoritative content at another site for more information.
  • Share events that you will be part of:
    • If you are the presenter and the event is open to the public, create a Facebook event.
    • If you are the presenter but the event is not public, share a photo and details about what you said after the fact.
    • If you are a participant, share the event (if there is one) and/or make a post during or after the fact about the event (use any provided links or hashtags to connect yourself with the larger audience around the event).
  • Share an article that has helpful information your target audience will appreciate. Start with your 2-3 sentence take on why the information is valuable and then include the link to the article. (The link will automatically generate a preview image and text; you can delete the link from the post once the preview is present).
  • Post about personal happenings such as a recent vacation, family activity or milestone, or an experience in the community. People want you to be personable on Facebook.
  • Use Facebook Live to share an event in progress or capture a moment with a client.

Get Posting!

Post regularly. Gauge the frequency based on your audience. Once a month might be fine. More likely you want to post weekly or a few times a week.

Post on different days of the week and at different times. Use the Facebook Schedule Post option to make this easier to manage.

After you have 6 months of posts, look at Facebook Insights to determine any patterns for best days and times to post to connect with your target audience.

Groups Getting Renewed Focus at LinkedIn

Groups have been part of LinkedIn for a while. Their prominence on the platform was decreased a while ago when they were sidelined in favor of other services.

Now, LinkedIn plans to reintegrate groups into the main website and mobile app. The changes are expected to roll out by the end of the month.

What LinkedIn Group Changes Mean to You

  • Access will return to the main site (Currently you have to click the ‘work’ tab in the top right of the webpage and then find the link for groups)
  • Group activity will be added to the LinkedIn main feed
  • Group members will be able to edit comments
  • More capability to post video

Changes for Group Managers

Group managers will now be able to manage groups on mobile devices.

However, there is a lot of concern about another aspect of the change. LinkedIn has said that moderation queues will be temporarily disabled. This could open groups up to more spam and off-topic posts.

LinkedIn promises that improved moderation will be available a few months after the change.

Group announcements will be removed.

Short Term Pain, Long-Term Gain?

All these changes are sure to give group members and managers a few headaches. We all get in a groove with social and change can disrupt that. However, bringing groups back as a core part of LinkedIn is sure to be a benefit.