I LOVE LinkedIn!

For a small business owner it’s the ultimate in free advertising. Google  my name and you can find me! How good is that?

When I spoke last year at a conference in India I was able to connect with other speakers who were attending from around the world. In the speakers lounge I was able to meet with people who I had connected with and felt I already knew.

But with every new technology comes new challenges

Below are three points for you to address on your LInkedIn page:

  1. Keep it real

There was a trend a while back for people to give themselves weird job titles. A dinner lady became an Education Centre Nourishment Consultant.  And I can’t help asking myself “But what does that mean?” Confusion increases frustration, and when we’re frustrated we disengage.

In the bio section tell me what you do and then tell me how it will benefit me.

If you’re an accountant specialising in tax you might want to add something like:

“I’m an accountant with HR Block specialising in tax. I do the stuff you hate. If you have a box of receipts hidden in your desk drawer I can process them and get the tax return to you within 5 working days.”

Hmmm now this sound like a person I need to know!

  1. Be professional

LinkedIn in is not Facebook.

For me, Facebook is purely social. It’s about keeping in touch with friends I may not see that often due to time or distance. Facebook is where I let my hair down and can be a little silly.

LinkedIn should reflect your business brand. Think of LinkedIn as your online CV. Would the company you work with approve? Would you want a recruitment firm or a client to read that article?

Here are some points to consider:

  • Get a decent photo. Save the selfie-taken-at-the-traffic-lights and the here’s-me-with-my-BFF for Facebook and include a smart looking picture. It doesn’t have to be a professional shot, I was complementing a colleague on her new snap and it was taken by her 11 year old daughter in the garden!
  • Include your qualifications. Resist the temptation to embellish – It’s too easy for people to find out the reality and ‘ping’ there goes your credibility
  • Keep it current. Just completed a post grad qualification? Wrote an interesting article about health in the workplace? Great! Time to let your LinkedIn community know.
  1. Give before you get

Just as you would not approach people on the street to promote your services, neither should you approach people who you have just linked up with. LinkedIn is relationship based. Be seen, contribute, give your expertise and develop a working relationship first. Spam me and I’ll unlink you.


Now you may be thinking “But I work for a company or a Government department – what benefit is there to me?”

Well, if you’re looking to progress your career, LinkedIn helps you get noticed. People who get promoted and headhunted are not lucky, they work hard and are visible.

So go ahead and get seen!

Sharon Ferrier
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