Getting the Most out of your LinkedIn Profile

 

Throughout my time in college, I was preached to about the importance of three things: a solid resume, a cleaned up Facebook/Twitter, and a LinkedIn profile.

Of course, as a diligent student, I abided—my résumé is packed with extracurricular activities, relevant work experience, one page in length (two with references included), my social media footprint sparkles, and begrudgingly enough I eventually signed up for a LinkedIn profile (and it changed everything).


The great equalizer

Fast forward to present day, and I’m a hard-working individual in the marketing world. Do I call LinkedIn an important facet to anyone’s personal or business marketing strategy? You bet I do.

So, what’s the big deal? What makes it so much different? I’m glad you asked.

On an individual level, it weeds out the meaningless social aspect people are used to seeing on Facebook. LinkedIn is where you conduct business. You’re not going to see which Disney princess your ex-girlfriend is most like, or the misanthropic rants of that person you went to high school with. On these merits alone, it’s a breath of fresh air. Its very nature as a business/corporate tool has already burned away the dross. A connection here is worth far more than a like or follower anywhere else, and that can mean big things for your bottom line.


Don’t be afraid to brag

The sword swings both ways as well, as it allows users to bypass gatekeepers and connect directly with decision makers. It’s you or your company’s résumé for the world to see; it provides an outlet to show off your skills and assets to potential employers. And while you might be happily employed at a great company, it lets you present the work you’re proud of and connect with other like-minded individuals and companies.

It does this by allowing you to endorse others, and likewise, to be endorsed. Users can evangelize your skill set! So instead of you doing all the talking, those who have worked with you can rave about what you’ve done and how you helped. It’s one of the best ways for people to decide if you’re the right person, or company, for them.

Where Facebook has become self-ingratiating, LinkedIn has capitalized on the idea of endorsements and testimonials.


A B2B’s dream

It’s easy to see how all of this can boil over into the world of conducting business. Today, it’s not uncommon to find all types of B2B’s turning to social media as the meat and potatoes of their advertising/marketing model. Yet, for companies who may feel that their business doesn’t quite fit the mold of a social-sharing website like Facebook, LinkedIn can prove to be a powerful tool in delivering a concrete message—we do business, and this is how we do it.

By creating a personal and company page, you increase the probability of a potential client to find out more about you and do business together. 44% of B2B marketers say they’ve generated leads via LinkedIn as opposed to 39% and 30% through Facebook and Twitter respectively. It’s becoming clear that LinkedIn is not an outlet to overlook.

Perhaps most importantly, LinkedIn provides a better way to network. By filling your profile with relevant information about your work history, your company and its specific goals and accolades, you fill in a lot of the blanks for potential customers. And depending on where that person is in your sales funnel, that can make all the difference when trying to capitalize on a lead.