Published: November 7, 2013
By now, you probably understand that LinkedIn is the premier social networking site devoted solely to professionals. Also, it’s said that LinkedIn’s 75 million members include an executive from every Fortune 500 company. There is no other social networking site where you have a greater chance of being able to interact with an influential decision maker. LinkedIn remains one of the best social networking sites to market your business-to-business (B2B) products and services because of this demographic. Even for business-to-consumer (B2C) companies, LinkedIn is important: Not only are consumers members of LinkedIn, but even B2C companies have B2B marketing activities with regard to distributors, partners, and strategic alliances. LinkedIn, to your business, is like a virtual trade show full of 24/7 networking.
But LinkedIn is also one of the most powerful resources online in order to market yourself. The key to a successful and impactful profile is combining self promotion with company promotion in mind. Make sure to sell yourself just as you would a brand, but don’t forget that you are also a mouthpiece for your company to gain visibility and leverage that 24/7 networking. It doesn’t matter if you are looking to become an influential person in your industry or niche, sell more products, get more leads, drive traffic to your website, find a job, get more clients, build your brand, or receive funding. Here is an overview of things you should take advantage of while marketing yourself and your company on LinkedIn:
Your LinkedIn summary is the most important white space on your entire LinkedIn profile. What you choose to write here can make the difference between professional success or stagnation. Combine anecdotes about your expertise with how your company is providing niche solutions.
Tell your story. A summary is precisely that – a short version of why you do what you do. Do your best to come across as authentic; convince everyone that what you do is also who you are, that your profession is your passion (if it is!)
Avoid buzzwords. The following words were identified as the top 10 most overused buzzwords on LinkedIn in 2012: Creative, Organizational, Effective, Motivated, Extensive experience, Track record, Innovative, Responsible, Analytical, Problem solving.
Optimizing your LinkedIn profile for professional growth but also to showcase the strengths of your company will help to increase visibility and tell a compelling company story. This company story, if told in the right way, can inspire customers and potential employees, and create an emotional connection with people. After all, a company is only as successful and intriguing as the people behind it. Show who you are but don’t be afraid to represent company culture — it may help others determine if a potential partnership is a good fit.