It’s January and I can tell that you are in the mood for setting yourself up for success in 2019. Time to get all of those fluffy ducks in a row.
Last week we took an audit of our Facebook Page and took the time to update any imagery and descriptions as needed. We also considered if we could be leveraging the platform any more than we already were.
Well, this week small-business-owners-particularly-those-in-B2B, it’s time to turn your attention to your LinkedIn profile.
What? You haven’t checked LinkedIn for months?
You’re mad! LinkedIn is totally where your customers are at in 2019. Now I’m talking directly to you lovely people in professional services; accountants, financial advisers, lawyers, real estate agents, business coaches, marketers, PR consultants, graphic designers, photographers, recruitment consultants, even politicians. Yes you. Your clients are using LinkedIn, so why aren’t you?
OK, passionate rant over and now let the audit begin.
LinkedIn Profile Check
Thumbnail Image: Show up in this one in your professional best. No whacky weekend shenanigans welcomed here – leave those for your Insta story. Here we would like to see a clear headshot (torso up) with a big welcoming smile that shows people that you would be a pleasure to do business with. Be dressed in appropriate professional get up, whatever that may be. #firstimpressionscount
Cover image: This inclusion on your LinkedIn profile manages to confuse the best of us in terms of deciding what to put here. It’s not your company page so it doesn’t really warrant your business branding. You’ve already added your professional headshot so we don’t need another one (confession: I have another head shot in my cover image, like I said, the best of us are confused). Hold off on the dog pics, while everybody loves a pooch, your cover image is not the time or place…
So what to include? Well, this does offer an opportunity for a bit of visual storytelling.
Some people add a gorgeous image of the city or town of which they are based. If you have recently won a business award, perhaps you could include an image of that. You could hit canva.com and create a cover image that includes your favourite business quote.
There are a good many people that choose to leave this space blank. I kind of think it’s a bit wasted as blank. It’s prime real estate. It’s at the top of the page and the first thing someone will see if they hit your profile. Surely there is something wonderful that you can use to fill that space.
Summary: I like this part. I love reading people’s Summary and I love what I can include in mine. This is the section that most people will read with any enthusiasm. And, you’ll notice when you go to check out someone’s profile, it’s really only the first two sentences that are visible before you have to click ‘show more’ to reveal extra. So how compelling are your two first sentences in your profile? Do you think they intrigue your profile visitor to click to see more? If not, give them a bit of a tweak to make them sound more awesome.
Another great component of the Summary section is that you can add all sorts of fabulous story telling media. I’ve added a promotional video, award badges, my Australian Marketing Institute CPM status badge, the link to the podcast I co-host, and my website. There’s me and my credentials all laid out for you on an interactive and visually stimulating platter.
Experience: This is where people start to drop off as the attention span of your profile visitor starts to wane.
Make sure your Experience section is up-to-date. Just don’t bother including a whole lot of detail here as people are unlikely to read it.
Socialising: OK, once your profile is up-to-date and looking swanky, it’s time to meet people. If you are nervous about just getting right out there and publishing posts or even LinkedIn articles, you can dip your toe into the News Feed with some ‘like’ ‘comment’ and ‘share’ action. That’s still being a little bit social and it’s also showing up as activity in your connections News Feed. ‘Jane Hillsdon liked the following post….’ Jane Hillsdon commented on the following post’…This activity is still sneakily aligning you to various topics and ideals.
So line up that first fluffy duck for this year by updating your LinkedIn profile and then grab the next duck by interacting in the News Feed. Read the articles that pop into your feed, follow people that can add value to your life with their helpful content and share the engagement love.
If there are gaps in your knowledge or you feel you could be doing things better, perhaps consider investing in some professional development to ensure that you can bring your best to your marketing efforts this year.
Stay tuned for next week’s marketing audit checklist where we will review your business website.