I recently hosted a client event called Look Good, Be Found™ with Anne Pryor of Meaningful Connections. Anne is a LinkedIn business coach and online brand strategist who advises individuals and small businesses on ways to leverage LinkedIn to land their next job or business client.
I like to do client events as a way to add value to my clients and meet new people. Since many of my clients are either self-employed, small business owners or are looking for a new job, this was a natural fit.
Following are my top 5 takeaways from the event:
1) Start with a great profile photo. No “selfies” or party shots here. This isn’t Facebook. Take the time and spend the money to hire a professional headshot photographer with experience shooting headshots for LinkedIn. Your photo is the first place a person’s eye is drawn to, and it’s your first (and possibly only) chance to make a great impression. If you need a referral, check out Jen Kelly of kelicommheadshots.com or watch this short video of Jen in action www.youtube.com/watch?v=ACKDZHa5R-Y
2) Write a strong headline. After people look at your picture, the next place they go is to your headline. What does yours say about you? Does it use key words that will allow others to find you easily if they do a search on LinkedIn?
3) Get active. LinkedIn isn’t a “one and done” strategy. It takes work. Anne Pryor commits at least three hours a week to updating her profile, adding content, posting comments in groups, identifying and reaching out to prospects, etc. Develop a LinkedIn marketing plan that works for you.
4) LinkedIn is the new resume. This one really surprised me. According to Anne, resumes are already a thing of the past. Over 230 million people have profiles on LinkedIn. More and more recruiters and HR professionals use LinkedIn as their primary tool for finding talent. Even if you do use a resume, your next employer will almost certainly pull up your LinkedIn profile as well. If your profile isn’t the best it can be, you may be missing opportunities before you even know they exist.
5) Your next client or employer is already researching you on LinkedIn. I have firsthand experience on this one. New prospective clients have told me that they first learned about me through a client of mine or a presentation that I did. Then they went on LinkedIn – not to my website — and checked me out before contacting me for an appointment. If I had a weak LinkedIn profile, I might have never known about that client. Your next client or employer is doing the same.
LinkedIn is an important first step in landing that next job or business client. Getting started or improving your profile on LinkedIn isn’t rocket science, but there is more to it than you think. For more information about how to leverage LinkedIn to land your next job or business client, contact Anne Pryor at Meaningful Connections or connect with me on LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/mikebranchcfp/
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