Our head of training & strategy, David, recently hosted a webinar all about optimising your personal LinkedIn profile. With so many people now working from home, many are likely to be dusting off profiles that have laid dormant for a number of years, so he went through some of the key parts of the platform and shared some top tips to help your profile stand out from the crowd.
At the end of the session David had some great questions from people who joined, answers to which are outlined below.
Remember, if you missed the webinar but want to see it, you can view it on-demand here, absolutely free.
LinkedIn profile optimisation Q&A
Is LinkedIn Premium worthwhile?
There were a number of questions all relating to LinkedIn Premium, but we’ve wrapped them up into one question here. The simple answer is unfortunately not that simple. The LinkedIn Premium packages (and there are a number of different packages available) are great for some people looking to use LinkedIn in a specific way, but it is by no means essential for everyone.
LinkedIn does like to sometimes imply that certain features are not available to free users, but this is often not the case. For example, with the free version, you are perfectly able to search for users outside your immediate network, filter them down and reach out to connect with them. However, if you don’t have Premium then you will have restrictions on the number of searches you have each month and the number of filters available to you.
My advice is to get familiar with the free version first. Use it to its limits, and then give the 30-day free Premium trial a go. If in that 30 days you find yourself doing a lot more, and getting a lot more out of it, then maybe Premium is for you. If not, then the free version should serve you just fine!
How do I position myself if I own multiple businesses?
LinkedIn, of course, allows you to list multiple current jobs in your experience section, however, this doesn’t change the fact that your headline is still limited to 160 characters. So what do you say? Do you just pick one business to focus on, or do you want to try and cram them all in?
The answer depends on you and what you want to use LinkedIn for. If you’re looking to use the platform as a lead generation tool for one particular business, then focus the headline on that. Or, if you’re looking to generally network and build your presence in a community, then present yourself as an entrepreneur, and mention briefly the sectors you’re involved in.
Don’t forget, you can change your headline as often as you like, just make sure it stays relevant to what you’re trying to achieve.
What strategies can you recommend for attracting new customers?
As with every other part of your business, the strategy that you employ here has to be unique to you, your audience, and what you’re offering. Some businesses very successfully gain customers simply by posting about what they’re up to – their existing network engages and shares this content, and that brings in new business. Others will go for a more direct approach, using lead generation techniques to seek out and directly engage with prospects.
Whatever you choose to do, it should be consistent with your business style and approach elsewhere. Play to your personal strengths, and you’ll start building up a network of genuine value.
Lead generation on LinkedIn is a huge topic, which is why we have a CPD-accredited half-day course available exclusively about this. You can find out more about it here.
How do you position yourself if you’re unemployed?
If you’re currently between jobs or looking for something new, LinkedIn can still be a valuable asset. Fundamentally, seeking a new job is no different to seeking new business or clients, and the approaches that you take for the latter can generally be used to help with the former.
Amend your headline so that it clearly states that you’re seeking opportunities, but be specific with the kind of role or industry you’re looking for. Continue to post content that highlights your expertise, and (if you’re comfortable to do so) be direct in your approaches and intent.
What does ‘post views’ actually mean?
Underneath your posts, you’ll see a statistic – the number of post views you have for that piece of content. This number is often significantly higher than the number of likes or comments your post has, and for good reason.
A post view is counted when your post loads up on someone’s screen. Therefore, if someone is scrolling through their news feed, and your post appears, that will count as a post view – regardless of whether or not they read or engaged with the post.
It also doesn’t count unique views. Therefore, if the same user came back to LinkedIn an hour later, and saw your post again, it would count as a second view, even though it’s the same person.
Post views are a great indicator of how far your content is spreading, but don’t get too hung up about the specific number – keep an eye out instead for the general trends.
How useful are hashtags on LinkedIn?
One of our most frequently asked questions is about hashtags on LinkedIn, and how useful they are.
Just like with other platforms, hashtags on LinkedIn are a useful way to filter and label content. Hashtags can be followed, just like pages or profiles, meaning that any content that contains that tag can appear in your news feed. There are still a lot of people suspicious about how popular hashtags are, but as an example, #socialmedia is followed by over 19.7 million people.
Hashtags are also useful for LinkedIn’s own algorithm – the tags help LinkedIn to identify what your content is about, and show it to the most relevant people in your network. Therefore, it’s worth giving them a go and including one or two in your post. Try to avoid using too many though, as this does tend to irritate other users and reduce engagement.
Thanks again to everyone who joined David for the webinar, and for all of the great questions too! If you didn’t get a chance to watch you can view it on demand. Click here to find out more and get access. To be notified of all future webinars, make sure you’re subscribed to our newsletter, here.