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The vast majority of business owners don’t know how to use LinkedIn. In fact, most people think of LinkedIn as a job board. But let me let you in on a secret: I haven’t had a “job” working for someone else my entire career, yet my LinkedIn profile is more robust than 95% of the profiles on the site. I have more than 24,000 connections on LinkedIn and over 60 recommendation letters. Why is this important, especially if you own your own business and aren’t looking for a job?

Because potential clients will look you up and determine if they want to do business with you! Don’t be one of those people whose profile screams “Sorry, my LinkedIn profile screams just how unprofessional I really am!” Or, almost as bad, “Sorry, I don’t care enough about my business to create a LinkedIn profile so you can’t find me.” As long time readers of my blog know, people do business with those who they know, like, and trust. And LinkedIn is a great way to get people to know you.

Here are some recent feature additions to your profile that LinkedIn has made available and how you can take advantage of them.

Profile Video

Instead of just a profile image, you can include a short video. This can only be done through the mobile app (not on your laptop), but it can be viewed on any device. If you have a profile video, the first few seconds will play (sound muted) when someone visits your profile page. It is indicated by an orange circle around your picture. This is a great way to introduce yourself and what you do. Take a look at mine as an example: https://www.linkedin.com/in/gregjameson/

How to Pronounce Your Name

While LinkedIn also lets you create an audio file from the mobile app to let people know how to pronounce your name, this audio segment can be up to 30 seconds, so this is a great place to let people know what you do. For example, “Hi, I’m Greg Jameson with WebStores Ltd. If you are looking to increase your online sales, I’d love to connect with you.”

Professional Services

LinkedIn rolled out a new feature last year that allows you to showcase the professional services you provide, shows them at the top of your profile, and allows any LinkedIn member to message you directly about your services. If you are looking for a new job, you can add this information to your profile instead.


Make Your Profile Stand Out

You will notice that when you look at my LinkedIn summary, there are items that are BOLDED. This is not a LinkedIn feature, but something you can do by using LingoJam.com/BoldText. This is a simple copy and paste operation when editing your About section.

Passive or Active?

Once your LinkedIn profile has been flushed out and actually works as a lead generation tool for you, you will need to decide if you are going to actively use LinkedIn to find new clients, or if you simply want new clients to find you. Both methods are acceptable, depending upon how much new business you want to generate from LinkedIn. I wrote an article last year about using an add-on program called ProspectIn where you can reach out to folks on LinkedIn using an automated system. But you can do this manually as well.

For example, if I wanted to find “trade show coordinators” so that I could tell them about my virtual trade show services, I could do a search on LinkedIn and see all the people who met that criteria.


Finally

Don’t forget about testimonials. Not endorsements, but testimonials, where people who have worked with you actually write a reference letter for you. If you would like to leave me a recommendation on LinkedIn, I’d be happy to return the favor. Here is my link:

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https://www.linkedin.com/in/gregjameson/detail/recommendation/write/

By doing the things I’ve outlined in this article, you can make your LinkedIn profile be a tool that will really help grow your business.

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