My business page has few followers, why? Because I believe it’s due to people want to engage with a person.(Being an independent people want to get to the decision maker.) Someone with a personality that they can gauge with, interact, rather than a logo. (Also I do invest a great deal of time in my clients pages.)
We all need a brand, a logo to trade under, something that identifies you with your workplace and your business and product, but in the end most people want to talk, speak to the decision maker the person that will be their point of contact. They can build a rapport with a trust and also be able to share and discuss any ideas, concerns to find solutions.
Simply in this world of many ways to communicate, automate and progress, people still like to put a face to a name.
Using LinkedIn does just that, utilising a platform (that you can pay for, I do for additional credits, but rarely use them in honesty,) that breaks down a barrier, you can be seen by others instantly, enabling them to gauge a brief over view of your experience, within seconds, and also showcase your skills.
Getting it right, and that first impression are essential!
It’s really worthwhile having a professional/work orientated image or a photo reflecting something that you do for work, refrain from including your children, pet, view of your back, unless of course you are, a vet, a chiropractor (because you know it shows a bit of personality.) Always exclude having children in pictures, one for their safety and two you want to show personality but this is not Facebook, you want to keep your privacy which is essential for business.
You don’t need to put your business title, place of work, or in fact qualifications, these are all found later in your profile. Use your tagline to engage, share your skills in a different way, announce what you want others to know, and showcase yourself and experience (you can use some hashtags now as LinkedIn uses them, I personally don’t in my tagline choosing to use them in posts.)
Link with their page if they have one, and get the years correct, there is no need to list copious temping rolls, whilst you were deciding what path to take, these can be grouped together and generalised.
Voluntary/other areas can be listed elsewhere on your profile filling any gaps such as travelling or study, or as we are all human if there is a gap for maternity, parenting, or care for a relative or your own ill health, time out is allowed, don’t be scared of this, if you want to list it do, if not leave it out, don’t beat yourself up about a year, a period of time, remember it is not Facebook this is your professional business profile.
There are many areas where you can automatically build links on LinkedIn, recommendations from clients, work colleagues, customers, or even educators, can do a great deal more than skill acknowledgements. In honesty I use the skills section very little as it’s becoming dormant and replaced with recommendations and hashtags, which build your appearance in searches.
Do I have to be constantly active on LinkedIn?
Simply no, however shares of posts everyday, liking your clients posts, following key players in which your business could benefit being part off, is worthwhile taking the time.
It breaks down barriers!
GDPR has caused blocks for many points of contact for sales teams, utilising LinkedIn by sending a thought through message, with a respectful tone, introducing yourself and your business, could be the break down to this barrier that you need.
How can this do any harm?
As long as your not being pushy, identify how you believe your skills would benefit others, and are honest, they can respond, ignore or simply delete. I have declined many connections (usually from Chinese tool makers due to my work in manufacturing,) however I have always responded, and thanked them for the time they took to connect with me, explaining the connection would not be of benefit to my work at the time, and I’m not looking to expand my network in this way.
Honesty is the best policy. You do not know where these people will be working in the future, it isn’t worth while creating animosity or inflaming someone be polite and honest, in the end it’s what we all want right?
A like, a share, a celebrate, a congratulate, all of these things are worthwhile, for you and also the business. If your colleagues are sharing posts related to work, ask them to include you, if you share this post not only does it build the reach, it shows collaboration with your colleagues. This can be a gradual process, but getting colleagues, and connections to support you in this is important, there is only so much one person can do, (and still have a life and make eye contact with people 😀, ) you need to work together, to build awareness, capabilities and lasting contacts, that will benefit you and your role within your business, these leads and links may not come to fruition for years, but in a business it’s the seeds sown, and the visibility that builds these.
Speak to your line managers, bring it up in meetings, that time is needed for participation, (however senior management need to be engaged to take the lead, to bring the business to the forefront.) Also do not see this as interference with your personal life LinkedIn is for business, it is not Snapchat this is a profile of you, capturing your skills and business experience, within your status you can always stipulate your views are your own, however this often can build a barrier and is better placed in Twitter as this is a more freestyle platform with quick responses, and many more posts with a smaller limit of characters.
If you are dedicated to the growth of your business, want to encourage and support your colleagues, learn more about others, and have the mindset that sharing information is power, then LinkedIn is the platform for you.
Use it wisely, learn from it, follow relevant hashtags, engage* with these posts, share articles and positivity, encourage investment and collaboration, you will see benefit, even if it’s only for the expansion of your own knowledge and growth, everyone gains from that, you, your colleagues and your workplace.
Importantly make time for it! LinkedIn will teach you something each day.
(We all gain from knowledge but don't neglect books, the printed word is just as powerful! Where do we get all our inspiring quotes for LinkedIn from, many are from books.)