LinkedIn has become one of the fastest-growing social networks, with over 660 million users having joined since its creation in 2002. Two new members join LinkedIn every single second, so it’s important to make sure your personal profile is ready to make connections with future clients, employees, or even business partners.
Create the Perfect Professional LinkedIn Profile
Oftentimes, connecting with a company’s profile loses the personal connection that users prefer. Company profiles can feel stiff, impersonal, and even automated. Using your personal LinkedIn account to be a voice for your business will help you avoid these pitfalls.
Make sure to choose a high-quality, professional photo. Since the image is non-expandable, approximately 60% of the photo should be your face. Avoid using filters, busy backgrounds, and group photos to limit distractions.
Set your profile picture visibility to “Public” so future connections can put a face to your business. This can be set by clicking the edit button in the upper-right of your profile section. Select your profile photo and change the visibility on the right-hand side to “Public.”
Select a unique header photo that relates to your business. The automatic header photos are impersonal and pictures of cities are overused. Find a high-quality stock photo on websites such as Unsplash and iStockPhoto, if you are unable to take your own.
Our own CEO, Flynn Zaiger, provides an excellent example of both profile and header pictures. His header photo shows both Online Optimism with the brand colors and his own personality with his glasses.
Make the Right Connections
One of the key reasons a personal profile is important for your business is the connections that can be made. LinkedIn business accounts can not accept messages unless messaged first and they don’t allow connection requests. Take advantage of these features on your personal account and build relationships through private messaging.
Sync your contacts. Add all the contacts you happened to receive at a networking event or even a coffee shop. Connections are just as important online as they are in person.
Send a personal note with your connection request. There’s a lot to consider when accepting and sending requests so take a moment to answer these questions before they’re asked.
- How do you know them? Who are your connections in common?
- How did you find their profile and why do you want to connect?
- Do you both have similar goals?
- Is your education or past work experience related?
- What do you like about their work and/or profile?
Focus on connecting with potential clients, influencers, and employees. Remember that you do not have to accept every connection if you don’t feel their views align with your business.
Share Your Expertise Regularly
Post consistently. If you remain consistent, there is a greater chance for your connections to engage with your posts and ultimately grow your connections by exposure.
Evoke discussion. Ask questions and start a discussion on your posts to boost engagement and build awareness. Questions that require thought out answers are more likely to drive commentary than simple yes/no questions.
Write how you speak. Business accounts are often viewed as impersonal. By speaking on your account as you would in real life, and not with a brand voice, you can build more authentic relationships.
Share company updates and your expertise in the field. Every post your business makes should be shared on your own page, with a personal message about the update. What insider information of the announcement could someone gain by being your connection? Additionally, write and share articles. This gives you a chance to show your knowledge and give advice on relevant topics. Aim to post these once every month or two and don’t forget to tag people in your field who would enjoy the topic.
Get comfortable. People connect with people, not brands. Share posts and pictures about your personal life but make sure to keep it professional.
Don’t be afraid to humblebrag. After all, your personal page is about promoting your business so talk about your awards and excellent reviews!
Engage With Your Connections
Consistently engaging with your connections not only boosts your awareness but also shows your knowledge and involvement with your field.
Like and comment on your connections’ most recent activity. Posts with more engagement get increased visibility. So by engaging with the post you’re not only boosting its visibility for the poster but also boosting your own visibility with your comment.
Join groups. This is an excellent way to engage with professionals in a similar/same field, share common experiences, and relate goals. Interacting consistently in groups can lead to future clients or business partners.