In this article LinkedIn specialist Sue Ellson provides 10 more LinkedIn Techniques for Businesswomen.
11. Observe what your contemporaries are doing on LinkedIn
One thing I like to do is ‘reverse-stalk’ – to see who has looked at my profile. If it is a current client, I am really happy because I know that they are doing their homework! It also tells me how my LinkedIn profile is performing and if I am reaching the people I want. I can ‘anonymously-stalk’ other people by going in to Privacy and Settings and changing myself to ‘Anonymous.’ I do this when I am working on behalf of other clients. I do not recommend this if you want to stalk a past girlfriend or boyfriend on a regular basis – that is not nice. If you were doing some due diligence about a potential business partner or new employee, you may feel more comfortable by looking at their profile anonymously. I always turn myself ‘back on’ afterwards so that I can continue to see who has looked at my profile (I only have the free LinkedIn service).
12. Add some bling to your profile
It is vital nowadays to be perceived as up to date with a reasonable level of digital literacy and to have a quality digital footprint. You can add images, videos, PDF’s etc to your profile in relevant sections. Give good quality descriptions for each, remember your keywords and help share your story, particularly to people who are visual (and 70% or more of the population is visual). If you use images, try and overlay words on the image as the words over the image are often read.
13. Keep adding more information in the future
Your goals right now may be very different to your goals in three or six months time. The internet is basically a publisher. So you need to make sure that your ‘book’ tells the most relevant story. If you have spent hours creating content but it is not converting viewers into clients, consider what you may need to change and be willing to adjust your message and also add more information if required. LinkedIn is constantly adding new bells and whistles to the platform, so review all of your menu choices to make sure that you are maximising your return on investment.
14. Ask for feedback and suggestions
When you meet your new client, ask them for some feedback on your LinkedIn profile. What stood out? Why did they decide to do business with you? What could possibly be improved? What did they want to know when they looked at your profile? Try not to take any offence to what they say and remember, it is only their viewpoint. You still need to decide, based on your purpose, whether you will make an adjustment or not. One anecdote is not a good enough reason to change your entire strategy and tactics.
15. Always add any new email address you have
But never remove any – just change the primary email address. This way, anyone who knows you from a previous email address can still ‘find’ you on LinkedIn and connect with you without prompting the creation of a new LinkedIn profile. Also consider closing any duplicate profiles (export your connections and content first). Even if you have multiple businesses, you must only have one LinkedIn profile because you are only one person. I have multiple businesses and I can share company information via the company profiles and my main message via my personal profile.
16. Support other women (and men) on Linked
In As a businesswoman, you can always politely and privately offer some constructive assistance or mentorship to others. Publicly, you can join in the celebration of achievements! Social media is about sharing 70% of useful information, 20% of sharing someone else’s useful information and 10% of the time sharing a sales message. Authentic and genuine contributions help you and the other person – so why wouldn’t you want to support others? I know that there are plenty of other LinkedIn specialists out there in the marketplace and I am excited by that, because their ideal client doesn’t necessarily look like my ideal client and to be really frank, I only like working with people who will do their homework so I can take them to the next level. I am not someone who wants to try and guess what the person is trying to achieve and make something up! At the end of the day, there is enough for all of us.
17. Actively support your professional association or membership
By showcasing your membership on your LinkedIn profile, you add credibility to your profile but you also add credibility to the member organisation. This raises the value and perception of you both. If you have a member number, you can include this as a ‘certification.’
18. Maintain your networks
If you have a former school, university or employer alumni association, remain connected. These groups are often wanting to source expertise from within their network – so you could easily become first pick if you have a niche presence in that environment.
19. Stay positive in your approach
If you are starting today with an incomplete profile and no recent activity and very little practice using LinkedIn, it could take up to six months for people to automatically say that ‘Sue is an Independent LinkedIn Specialist’ and remember that without prompting. On the other hand, LinkedIn is not something you need to spend all of your time on either – the most effective place ultimately to publish your content is on your own website and then use various other online networks and platforms to broadcast that content. If you adopt the attitude that it just won’t work, then ask yourself if you are on purpose with your strategy and if you are using the tactics that suit your strategy. There is no harm in updating these at any point, learning from any mistakes and apologising if you do make any mistakes.
20. Keep accurate records
I have found too many people with ad hoc lists of usernames and passwords, inconsistent identities online, outdated information and no reminder system for keeping details up to date and relevant. If you haven’t already, create a User List of all of your login details for everything you can think of related to your business. Create your statistics lists and update them every three months. Plan for extra things you may complete in the future (for example, in my view, you must have a Google+ profile and page). Keep all of your saved copies of your LinkedIn profile and your connections in a folder on your computer and/or the cloud. Schedule time in your calendar to do your LinkedIn activity and your LinkedIn maintenance. Review your strategy and update your tactics if required. Be positive and ‘share the love’ around online. In conclusion As mentioned multiple times in this article, stay on purpose, focus on keywords and adjust as required. LinkedIn, the free version, has provided millions of people with all sorts of opportunities. By keeping your details up to date, you increase the value that LinkedIn can offer its paying clients, so don’t feel as if you are exploiting the system – by generating user content, you are actually helping them sell their products – so everyone wins!