I’ve been making a costly mistake, and it’s a doozy. When it comes to social media, I’ve been treating LinkedIn like a red-headed step-child (I was one of those for a while so I can say that – well, I’m still a step-child, but now I’m back to being a brunette).
I got on LinkedIn when I was in the corporate world, and back then it mostly was a place to post your resume. LinkedIn has come a long way and offers many opportunities to increase your brand’s visibility. It’s the place a potential partner, client or colleague can quickly get a sense of who you are professionally. It’s also the place to personify your business, your philosophy and your personality.
I noticed some pretty cool features when I was tooling around on LinkedIn the other night. Hmm, time to end my sabbatical. After about 30 minutes I realized LinkedIn’s got serious storytelling power coaches, consultants and other service-based entrepreneurs. And the more places you share your story, the more people will want to know about you.
Here are six places to tell your story on LinkedIn:
Headline: Most people use the field under their name to post their title but that’s a waste of prime real estate. This is the first and most visible place to define who you are and how you help people. My headline states who I am, who I help (and how) and invites people to connect with me.
Background: OK, this is the obvious place to tell your story. Most people pop in their (often stuffy) professional bio here. I know, it’s LinkedIn and it’s got a traditional vibe. Guess what? If you let your true voice and personality shine here, you’ll stand out. Tell the story of why you do what you do, why you help who you help, what you believe and what makes you the person to lead your community (I’ve even included my story video here).
Projects: This field is my favorite recent discovery on LinkedIn. Do you have a free report, audio or other gift that people can sign up for (aka your opt-in)? Here’s another place to work on building your list. Immediately after my summary, I’ve posted the title and description of my free report along with a call to action of “Click here to download”, which sends people to the page where they can sign up for my report (aka my squeeze page).
Recommendations: Of course you’re all telling your professional story in the Experience section (you are right?) but are you asking everyone under the sun to recommend you? Don’t limit yourself to current clients and colleagues. I have recommendations from former managers, clients, co-workers and colleagues.
Endorsements: You’ve got skills. Make sure you’re letting the LinkedIn world know what they are. Then invite your LinkedIn buddies to endorse those skills. Once I got the first handful of endorsements, it seemed like everyone wanted to get on the bandwagon. It’s an easy way to collect many thumbs up (LinkedIn’s version of Facebook’s “Like”) from your following and boost your credibility.
Advice for Contacting You: Hooray! Another place to get people to take the first step with you. Instead of providing details about my availability and the types of opportunities I’m interested in (as LinkedIn suggests), I’m directing people to grab my report or schedule a free consultation.
Your Business Page and Groups are two other places on LinkedIn where you can share your story and connect with your ideal customers.
Where else are you strutting your stuff and telling your story on LinkedIn? Leave a comment and let me know.