According to LinkedIn and Tony K Silver, 97% of people who are on LinkedIn don’t use it properly.
What does ‘using LinkedIn properly’ mean? The expert in this blog, Tony K Silver, The LinkedIn Profiler, says that using LinkedIn properly means putting time into this tool and getting a return on this investment. The problem is that too many people don’t know what to do or how to get the most from LinkedIn.
In this blog, Tony has shared some really useful, practical tips, to help you do just that.
Use LinkedIn as a Search Engine
There are around 632 million people listed on LinkedIn, with about 26 million in the UK. This means that LinkedIn is a really effective way of searching for potential clients, even with the free version.
Start by putting some search criteria into the bar at the top of the page. For example, when I searched for ‘Business Coach’ in People I saw over 5 million results – a list slightly too big to deal with! Below the search bar are some filters that you can use – select the one on the far right – All Filters, where you’ll find lots more options. Check the box for 2ndlevel connections if you’re looking for prospects; choose UK as the location; select an industry, such as Professional Training & Coaching; and put a job title such as Business Coach into the Title box and click Apply in the top right. That gave me a slightly more manageable list of 1064 results. I refined it by going back and changing the location from UK to just Reading and I have a list of 27 coaches. It’s much easier to start reaching out to 27 coaches than 5.5 million!
Be Found Through the Search Engine
When you’re on LinkedIn, you can be found by people searching for someone like you who can help them. You can dramatically improve your chances of engaging with potential clients if you put some time and effort into four areas of your profile:
- The banner – use this to give someone affirmation that they’re in the right place, when they find your profile. It needs to tell people what you do
- The headshot – make sure you have a professional, business-like photo of your head and shoulders. You need to be recognisable and you need to be on your own in the photo
- The headline – this used to be your job title when LinkedIn was just about CVs and recruitment. These days, think about ‘What’s in it for me?’ as this is what visitors to your profile will ask. Tony’s headline says “Do you need your LINKEDIN PROFILE to be DEMYSTIFIED so that it can create you revenue? As the LinkedIn Profiler and author of the Little Book of LinkedIn I can show you how.” He also told me that his headline has more characters in it than you can usually get away with, because he created it through the LinkedIn app, rather than the website!
- The first three lines of the About section – you have about 7 seconds to drive people down to the ‘see more’ link, so make those lines count.
Boost Your Activity
The third area of LinkedIn that Tony encourages people to work on is their activity, as this is what really encourages people to look at your profile. On your profile you’ll see Your Dashboard, which shows you three metrics:
- Who viewed your profile– the numbers/trends not important; what you need to know is who looked at your profile. Don’t pay extra, but check this part of LinkedIn every day – look at who has viewed your profile and look at their profiles, to see if they’re ideal clients for you
- Post views– Tony says not to worry about this number
- Search appearances– this is the most important number. Most people will have a score from 5-50; I’m currently at 63, while Tony regularly gets to 200, increasing to over 300 when he’s really active. The higher this number, the more you’re appearing in searches and the more potential clients are likely to connect with you. How do you boost your activity to raise this number?
- Start a post – post one of your own each week; comment and share on other posts for 5 minutes every day – just make sure that you’re only sharing or commenting on relevant posts
- Documents – you can now can upload tips sheets and other useful documents for people to download
- Add pictures – Tony’s research shows that posts without pictures get more engagement but he’s not sure why!
- Articles – write and post one a month, along with relevant images.
There’s a lot to take in here – especially if you’re not currently using LinkedIn much. Start by working on your profile and then boosting your activity and searching for relevant contacts. And if you still need some help, then book a free discovery call with Tony, to talk about what you want from LinkedIn and how he can help you to develop a really powerful profile. You can also order a copy of the ‘Little Book of LinkedIn’ by clicking here.