LinkedIn is the most important online business networking platform. It has 187 million members in over 200 countries and is available in 19 languages.
It is a great platform if you want potential clients to find you especially if you work in a business to business (B2B) environment. Maybe you are a career coach and work with employees, or you are a business coach and work with small business owners. Or you are a management team coach and work with teams and CEO’s.
LinkedIn connections are easier to grow than you think
Business cards – add people that you meet during network events or when you speak at an event. Ask for their business card. Back in the office you can add the contact in LinkedIn using their email address.
- Go to their profile
- Click ‘Connect’
- Click ‘Other’
- Enter the email address
- Include a personal message.
After this action you can file their business card…. in the trash. Your new connection will keep their LinkedIn profile updated. A business card is on average outdated within 18 months.
LION – become an LinkedIn Open Networker (LION). According to the policies of LinkedIn you are not allowed to invite people to connect that you do not know.
There are people that call themselves LinkedIn Open Networkers and they are more open for connecting with people they don’t know.
You can use this to grow your network faster – you are just more open to connect with people you have not met before. See for example How to be a LinkedIn Open Networker – Some tops to do it the right way.
This doesn’t mean you have to connect with everyone that invites you. Look at their profile and see if you find it interesting to connect. If yes, connect. If no, just click ‘Ignore’.
Email address – add your email address to your LinkedIn profile, for example in the Summary. This way you make it easier for people to connect with you.
Premium account – order a premium account to get more access. With a business account (EUR 180 per year) you can get in contact with anyone via InMail (3 per month). You can see more profiles when you search and see full profiles of people that viewed your profile.
And there are more advantages when you have a premium account
Connect with your email contacts – find the people that are in your email address book and in LinkedIn. When you use an online email service like Gmail, Hotmail or Yahoo mail this is easy to do.
LinkedIn will find contacts in your address book that are also on LinkedIn and that you are not connect with at the moment.
Find email contacts in LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/fetch/importAndInviteEntry
Why are the number of your LinkedIn contacts growing so slowly
- You don’t actively invite new people to connect
- You only accept invitations from people you have met before
- You have an incomplete profile
- You forget to include a personal note with your invitations
- You don’t check the People you may know suggestions
5 improvements so clients will notice you
What can you do to get quality and quantity in your LinkedIn connections?
Let’s start with the potential clients that land on our profile in LinkedIn. Make sure your profile is clear to them. Some basic tips:
People are more open when they meet and you smile. So, when you meet new people at networking events, smile.
Research has also shown that people remember the names better of people smiling in photographs.
5 important things for your profile photo:
- Smile – preferably the Duchenne smile
- Show your face
- Large profile photo – high quality
- Consistency – same photo in the online networking sites
- Gravatar – use gravatar so your profile photo gets connected to comments in WordPress blogs
For more information see, The perfect profile photo for Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and more – 5 tips
Change your profile photo here: http://www.linkedin.com/profile/edit-picture-info
2. Professional Headline
This is one of the first things people read when they land on your LinkedIn profile. It should give the reader a good idea of what you can do for them.
When your profile says, coach, owner, director, founder or something similar it does not help the reader.
Try to add your marketing message here. Answer 4 questions:
- Who do you help?
- What is their problem?
- How do you solve it?
- What is the result for the client?
Combine the answers to these four questions into one sentence, your marketing message.
You have 120 characters for your professional headline. Add a sentence that explains to the reader What’s In It For Me (WIIFM).
The professional headline in your LinkedIn profile is displayed in the search results. Here you see a LinkedIn profile in Google:
For most people their LinkedIn profile is listed on the first page when you search for their name in the search engines. That makes a clear professional headline even more important.
Create your perfect Professional Headline: http://www.linkedin.com/profile/edit-basic-info
When you add the URL of your website, you can choose Company website or blog. Better is to select other. Now you add 30 characters to describe your website or a specific page in your website.
This tells the visitor of your profile more about your website than ‘Company website’.
4. Contact information
You have a profile on LinkedIn to connect professionally with other people on LinkedIn. Your potential clients is probable also listed here, this depends on who your ideal client is. You can also connect with partners and suppliers.
Make sure these people can contact you when they visit your profile on LinkedIn. Maybe they want to become your client.
Add your email address, maybe a special email address just for LinkedIn. It helps me to see when people add my LinkedIn email address to their subscriber list without asking for my approval.
Add your phone number and Instant Messenger (IM) like Skype or Google Talk.
Change or add your address, phone number and IM here http://www.linkedin.com/profile/edit-personal-info
5. LinkedIn URL
When you become active with your LinkedIn profile, you want to share it with people. You can add it to the signature of your email for example.
This will be easier when you can remember the URL to your LinkedIn profile. This can be solved by customizing this URL to linkedin.com/in/yourname.
http://www.linkedin.com/profile/public-profile-settings?trk=prof-ovw-edit-public_profile (At the right side – in the box ‘Your public profile URL’)
Bonus: Complete profile
Make sure that you profile is 100% complete. People with a 100% complete profile are 40 times more likely to receive opportunities via LinkedIn.
What do you need to complete for a 100% complete profile?
- Your industry and location
- An up-to-date Current Position (with a description)
- Two past positions
- Your education
- Your skills (minimum of 3)
- A profile photo
- At least 50 connections
Supporting your Family & Business Balance
Working with LinkedIn makes it possible to connect with potential clients and clients online. It gives you the opportunity to continue the connection after an event where you talked with people.
Keeping professionally in touch with these new connections via the internet gives you the opportunity to do this when and where you want.
What have you done to get results in LinkedIn?
Share below your number one tip for an effective LinkedIn profile for coaches. Looking forward to see your tip.
You can also list your LinkedIn profile if you are open for new connections with other coaches. Mine is linkedin.com/in/ernohannink
Credit photo: connect.euranet