You probably still have a LinkedIn profile active from the last time you did a job search. Maybe you even get friend requests from time to time. But are you actually using your LinkedIn profile to build your business?
A LinkedIn profile is almost part of the college curriculum these days. Job seekers build one to give them access to the platform’s jobs database and the endless recruiters trolling (badly) for new blood. But what happens after they get the job or, better yet, start their own business? How can job-havers use LinkedIn to build their reputation and their following?
Update Your LinkedIn Profile
If the last time you logged in to LinkedIn was just before you interviewed for your current job, then you have some work to do. Your business connections will want to know where you ended up and what you are doing now. Make sure to keep your profile up to date by adding job responsibilities, big wins, and memberships and associations as they come along.
Update Your Headshot
None of us look like we did in college. Hairstyles change, clothing goes out of style, and faces age over time. Rather than ignoring your maturity, embrace it. Take a new professional headshot at least once every few years, and add it to your LinkedIn profile page. That way the people you met at last week’s networking event who are looking for a woman with short brown hair and glasses won’t skip over you because in college your hair was long and dyed blonde. Don’t be ashamed of your age! An up to date profile photo will make it easier for connections to find you and will express your experience in your field.
Add New Connections
When you get back from that networking event, you will probably have a stack of new business cards. Rather than throwing them in a drawer, run the names through LinkedIn. By connecting with people you have met you will remind them of what you do (in far more detail than on a business card). Not only that, the list of experience and accomplishments that you’ve kept updated is sure to impress them and increase the chance they refer to you in the future.
How do you keep a connection coming back to you once you have made the connection? Set up your blog to push regular updates to LinkedIn. Re-using your web content this way will help build your reputation as an expert in your field, and will keep bringing your connections back to see what you are doing now.
LinkedIn can be a great source for professional referrals. Because the people there are already looking to do business, your connections will see you as a colleague first, rather than a friend. The people who browse Linked In are often looking for someone who provides services. By keeping an updated profile you can make the right first impression and get more calls leading to more closed business.
Lisa Schmidt is a writer for Legal Linguist. She helps attorneys and small businesses create a robust online marketing strategy that focuses on recruiting referral partners and hooking potential clients. If you need someone to give your web content new life, contact Legal Linguist today to arrange a meeting.