LinkedIn profiles have quickly become a key career branding tool for job seekers, but they’re equally powerful for business owners looking to promote their products and services. If you’re a business owner, your personal LinkedIn profile is a great (and free!) marketing tool. However, there are subtle differences to keep in mind as you develop your content.
Below are a few LinkedIn profile tips to help business owners and entrepreneurs optimise their personal profiles and engage the right audience.
Know Your Audience
As a job seeker, your LinkedIn profile should speak to recruiters and employers and reinforce the concepts in your resume. Your goal is to showcase your skills in action and explain how you can make a positive impact on the prospective employer’s operations.
As a business owner, your audience is current and potential customers or clients. You must speak to their needs and desires. To help, here are a few questions to identify your audience and determine the appropriate tone when writing the content for your profile:
- Who benefits most from your products or services?
- Is your product or service more traditional or cutting-edge in nature?
- What is the age range of people who might use your products or services?
Depending on your answers that writing a professional resume, the tone of your profile might change. For instance, if your products or services cater to millennial, you might use a more casual, colloquial tone. Pinpoint your key demographic and make sure your profile addresses their problems or needs.
Clearly State Your Business’ Value
Much like a job seeker, you need to be able to define your business’ value to customers. Prospective customers and clients need a clear picture of the services and products you offer and why they should choose your business over others. Here are a few questions to help clarify your business’ value:
- What is the problem your business addresses?
- What makes your product or service different from your competitors’?
Don’t Neglect Your LinkedIn Profile Headline
This is a HUGE element in a LinkedIn profile that many users disregard. Your LinkedIn profile headline is the first piece of information someone will see in search results, yet many members ignore it. The LinkedIn platform automatically populates users’ headlines, pulling the most recent job title and company name if left in default mode. Take advantage of the headline area and integrate keywords / phrases relevant to your business, industry and expertise. Here are a few memorable, punchy and original examples:
Include a Call to Action
Think of your personal LinkedIn profile as an extension of your business’ website, if you have one. It’s another opportunity to engage with your target audience, but you need to be direct. Be sure to integrate a call to action near the end of the Professional Summary section of your profile. Give prospective customers and clients a clear way to reach you and ask them to connect. Direct viewers to your website. Provide your business email address and phone number. Include links to your other social media profiles. Make it easy for prospective clients and customers to communicate with your company.
Strike a Strategic Balance in Content
In today’s business world, a human-to-human touch has become increasingly critical to success. People don’t just purchase a product or service, they buy into a brand and a feeling. On LinkedIn it’s imperative to remember the human element. As a business owner, you should certainly use your profile to promote your company; however, don’t forget the human connection. When writing your Professional Summary spend a little time telling your story and the origins of your business. Remember that the Experience portion of your profile will showcase your career development, so you don’t need to spend a lot of valuable space in the Summary explaining it.
Make it Engaging
Don’t just tell people about your business. Show them! Do you have any professional videos demonstrating your products or services? Do you have a portfolio of work samples to share? Include multimedia elements in your profile to bring your business to life and support your reputation. Remember that people don’t want to be bombarded by sales pitches day in and day out, however. You’ll engage customers more effectively and bolster your business’ image if you share meaningful, relevant information. If your products and services are valuable and high quality, success will follow.
Complete Your Profile
Another major mistake LinkedIn users make is not completing their profile 100%. It’s not enough to simply have a LinkedIn profile; you must fill out as many applicable fields as possible to make the most of the platform. Remember that human connection? Your personal LinkedIn profile is the perfect opportunity to make your personality shine; it’s not just a rehash of your career. Include interests, hobbies, volunteer roles, special causes you support and other extracurricular details that will humanise you and your business.
As a business owner, you’re probably looking for ways to get your company’s name in front of prospects as cost-effectively as possible. With more than 500 million users, you’re missing out on large-scale-and free-business exposure, if you don’t at the very least have a personal LinkedIn profile.