That’s not a secret – while I do education on all of the social media platforms, LinkedIn is the one that I favor for myself and my business.
When a group asks me to do a short presentation on LinkedIn I’ll often opt for a presentation about the part of LinkedIn that appears “above the fold.”
For those of you that are old enough to remember newspapers – “back in the day” newspapers would sell themselves based on what was on the top half of the first page of the paper. Interest had to be grabbed by someone walking past a newsstand or a newspaper vending machine based on what someone could see in a few seconds glance.
There are 4 major sections of LinkedIn that can be seen “above the fold” and is someone is just glancing at your LinkedIn profile, whether it’s a potential client or employer, you want to grab their interest in this section of LinkedIn.
The four most visible sections of your LinkedIn profile are the
Images (both the profile and the background)
Headline (120 or 220 characters of pure gold — read on to find out how to get an extra 100 characters here)
We’ll take these items one at a time.
There are two “images” at the top of your LinkedIn page. Your profile photo and your banner photo.
For your profile image — use a CURRENT professional looking image. You want something with solid colors and a solid background. This is worth hiring a professional photographer – or looking around for someone offering headshots. If you are planning to meet a client or potential employer you want them to be able to recognize you from this photograph.
For your banner photo, you can have a little more fun. This is an area where you can show something specific to your business — but be warned – views are subject to change at any time, so you may either want to play to keep an eye on this and update when necessary, or you may want to keep things simple, general, and without important points along the top, bottom, or sides of the banner.
After your name, there is a section you can edit for your headline. This is important because it shows up EVERYWHERE — when you make a post on LinkedIn it shows up – if you comment on someone’s post or article it shows up – and it even shows up in search engine results.
Here’s the deal — you have 120 characters OR — you have 220 characters.
At last check – if you edited this on a desktop or laptop you were awarded 120 characters, but if you edited this on a PHONE you got 220 characters.
Typically when I’m editing anything I’ll use a desktop (insert “ok boomer” here). I like the keyboard, BUT — editing my headline — that’s the one time I’ll go out of my way to use my phone.
It’s not many characters — so try to make good use of it.
The summary has a lot more characters than the headline. You might be tempted to use all the words and say many things but I’d caution you to remember that sometimes people are busy — so make sure you hit the top points that you’d like to make early on in the summary. You can then go on to be more detailed – but make sure you grab their interest right away. Also – MAKE SURE TO PUT YOUR CONTACT INFORMATION IN YOUR SUMMARY. If someone really wants to find you – give them many ways they can do that.
You’ll want to use this section to tell people
What you are
Who you help
How you make their life better
Proof that you are credible (feel free to add some of that proof to the “media” section)
You can add just about anything to the media section. Some examples:
Video from a presentation
Link to your podcast or book or website or Facebook group or
Slideshow from a presentation
As of this writing (January 2020) you can use the following formats in the media section:
Adobe PDF (.pdf) Microsoft PowerPoint (.ppt/.pps/.pptx/.ppsx/.pot/.potx) Microsoft Word (.doc/.docx/.rtf) .jpg/.jpeg .png .gif – this doesn’t support animation, however the first frame will be extracted
The file size may not exceed 100 MB. The page limit is 300 with a 1 million word count limit The maximum resolution for images in 120 megapixels.
If you’re looking at these instructions and it’s not making sense, GO TO THIS LINK to find out what LinkedIn says about media files.
You can not currently upload video – but as of this writing, LinkedIn seems to allow you to link to a YouTube video.
(whoops I already used that)
LinkedIn is a powerful platform for getting connected (and staying connected) to your contacts.
If you’re interested in learning more about LinkedIn – ask me about upcoming classes or workshops. I hold classes at local colleges, local libraries, and through my own online platform.
In a previous post, I’ve suggested you find people to help you with tasks that don’t fall within your strong skills. You might note that nobody can do your job as well as you can. Nobody can love your business as much as you do. Nobody can understand your business to the same degree.
That’s probably true. If you decide to hire someone to help you with some of your work, you might need to spend MORE time upfront training that person (but I don’t have the time).
In the Related Articles Section I have included an article titled The 6th Realization of Rich People — R.O.T.I. — Return on Time Investment. Following is an excerpt from that article …
A professor in one of my business classes taught me that “when trying to decide whether to delegate something to someone else or to do something yourself you should use the 30 to 1 rule.”
That is, that if it was a daily task that took a skilled person like yourself five minute to complete, you should plan to spend at least 150 minutes (5 minutes multiplied by 30) instructing the subordinate on how to complete the same task.
Now the 150 minutes shouldn’t all be done at one time and could be spread over a few months as you help the subordinate master the task.”
He then explained the math behind it.
“If a task were to take you personally 5 minutes a day for 250 days in a working year then that means you would spend 1250 minutes per year on that task.
Rather than doing that however, if you decided to spend 150 minutes training someone to do that 5-minute task and they instead did that task for you then that would give you an annual savings of 1100 minutes per year.”
Think about it just for a minute …
If you spent some time, up front, training someone to do a task for you, what would you do with the extra time that you found? (more…)
We’ve already given some thought to your target audience (your clients and strategic partners) and your free offer. Today we’ll talk about your sign-up form. In the “Related Articles” section below, I’ve added instructions from MailChimp and iContact on how to add a Sign-up Form. Most email marketing platforms have fairly good instructions for how to set up. But how do you actually get people to sign your form? Here’s some ideas. Put it EVERYWHERE. If someone knows you they should EASILY be able to find out how to sign up for your email list. Some of the ideas I’ve seen used:
Email signature file – everyone you send a email to, be it a client or a vendor or a joint venture partner or someone you met networking and you’re following up with, sees your email and your signature line. Mine has “Sign up for my newsletter and receive 3 Simple Steps for Getting Started in Social Media.” It’s one line at the bottom of my email, it doesn’t interrupt any messages; but if someone does take time to look for contact information, they do see a way to receive my email.
LinkedIn – In my LinkedIn summary, I have the following sentence: “To get weekly insights into client communication through social media, blogs, and newsletters, sign up for her newsletter at http://bit.ly/MWuVaList.” While it doesn’t allow someone to go directly to the link, by the use of a bit.ly and a simple name, they can easily find their way.
Website – Link to your sign-up form from your website.
Invoices – Add a sign-up form link to your invoices.
Trade Shows – Collect names at trade shows (make sure it is clear you’re adding someone to your list – we’ll talk more about this next week).
Speaking engagements – Offer a drawing or incentive to people when you’re at a trade show or when you’re speaking at a networking event (again, make sure to make it clear you’re adding them to your list).
Facebook Sign-up – If you have a Facebook Page for your business, one of the options available is to link to a sign-up form. If you look at the picture below, you’ll see where the Sign-up icon is on the Social Media Examiner page.
As you can see, there are many ways to get the word out about your mailing list. Do you have any great ideas? Leave a note in the comments. Related articles
I’m going to mark this occasion by posting some business tips (for small businesses) and articles each day geared toward small businesses.
Thanks and giving all year long. Another tip from my own archives. Some tips for thanking your clients.
Be specific. At a minimum, send out a note that says, “Thank you for your business this year.” But for special clients, if you’ve got the time, you can be more specific. “Thank you for allowing me to work on your project. I enjoyed learning more about Acme Widgets.“
Give a social shout out. If you have a client or service provider you’ve enjoyed working with, it’s a good idea to send them a note of thanks. It’s a GREAT idea to put that note of thanks in public view, whether through a shout out on their Facebook page or a testimonial on their LinkedIn page. If you do send a specific thank you note, be sure to let the person know they are welcome to use that information on their website or on LinkedIn. Give them permission to quote you in advance.
Pass it along. If you have a service provider that has gone above and beyond for you, or if someone you know is always willing to help out or give just a little extra, don’t keep that secret to yourself. Your colleagues or friends might also be able to use their services.
Go old school. Often it’s fairly simple to toss off an electronic thank you. Written thank you notes are even more appreciated. We all have mailboxes full of bills and junk mail. Send someone something that will brighten their day.
Be authentic. When it comes time to send a thank you, be authentic. Your thank you note will mean more if it’s honest and heartfelt.
Today, however, we’re going to focus on connections.
The first way to add connections is to go to your LinkedIn profile and click on “Connections”
If you then go down to “add connections,” you can connect your address book to LinkedIn.
You can then add everybody in your address book. If you have an address book that is strictly for business, then you will only get business connections. But, if you use the same email for both (or have Gmail and it just grabs all of your contacts), then you will get a listing of
…your son’s soccer coach from when he was 6, your daughter’s third grade teacher, the health tech from the middle school.
You get the idea. There might be some people in there that might not really be considered business contacts.
So it might be time to step back and see who you WANT to actually add to your connections.
From what I can gather from what I’ve read and what I’ve seen, there seems to be three schools of thought.
Grab for ALL the connections you possibly can. This is where you would add your son’s soccer coach and the ex-boyfriend of your second cousin once removed.
Be purposeful and specific in the people you do or do not add.
Change with your whim week by week.
As you can see, I’ve put a strikethrough through #3. This plan doesn’t have any logic.
#1 has some benefits, and there are advantages to having a large number of LinkedIn connections. This is spelled out in the first article below (9 Reasons Why LinkedIn Friendship is the Mightiest of Magics). This was written by someone that does Online advertising so increasing the size of a market is a significant part of their business. (As a complete aside, as the mother of a “brony”, I have got to admire someone that manages to write a blog post outlining their professional services while using lessons from My Little Pony – props to Larry).
The second option is the one that I’ve personally chosen. I want to have the ability to speak to the business acumen or character of my connections.
As I was working on this blog post, a call came in from another member of the Virtual Assistant community looking for graphic artists. I sent her information about 3 graphic artists that I know and their LinkedIn profiles. This way she can see their experience and recommendations right off the bat.
Let’s say you’re starting up a business on a shoestring, because let’s face it, most start-ups are on a tight budget. You’ve heard that it’s important to have a presence on Facebook and LinkedIn and Twitter and that you need to have a GREAT profile picture. So you’ve found a friend that does wonderful photography and he (or SHE – KERRY LYNN) does a photo shoot for you and you find the perfect profile photo, as happened for me with Kerramel Studios when I first opened my doors two years ago.
You put this photo on Facebook and your friends say, “You look awesome!” There are two things you should now do. If your photo is drawing engagement, make sure to say, “And the photo was taken by _photographer_ making sure to tag @photographer on that platform. (I find a get more personal photo engagement on my personal Facebook profile, and not so much on my business Facebook Page.)
After that (I’m using Facebook as the example here), click on your profile photo (bottom left corner of your banner)
In this example I clicked on the picture of me, and not on my logo.
From here, we’d click on the words in blue that say “Add a description”
In this example, I typed “Thanks @Kerry Lynn at @Kerramel Studios”
Finding great people to work can be easy if we work together and give shout outs to the people with patented “awesome sauce.”
Hi, my name is Mary and I am a self-avowed LinkedIn fan girl.
As a Virtual Assistant, I help a number of clients with social media communication. I spend a lot of time on Facebook and other platforms like Twitter and Pinterest and Google+. While I spend fewer hours per week on LinkedIn, I find that LinkedIn has values that are not offered on the other social media sites. Some examples are:
E-introductions. More than once I’ve referred to someone’s LinkedIn Profile when I was looking for that “just right” turn of a phrase for a virtual introduction.
Memory jogging. Have you ever had that person that you met once at a networking event six months ago contacts you interested in your services? And you realize that you don’t remember them at all? If you take a quick at their LinkedIn profile, you’ll find out who they are, what they’re doing, and you’ll even (more often than not) get a picture to go along with it.
Background Checks. Have you ever gotten a tip about someone who is “great” at “something.” You can look up the person on LinkedIn, find their history, read their recommendations, and see if you have any common connections.
Search. If you’re looking for a service and type in the proper search term (and then narrow things down) you might have luck finding a service provider. Just today someone I know was looking for someone to do mold removal – I found a local contractor who had 3 people in common with me.
So – what THREE THINGS should you do on LinkedIn THIS WEEK?
Make sure your profile photo is up to date and recognizable. If you’ve still got the same selfie that you took when you first signed up for LinkedIn in 2009, it’s time to update (consider a professional profile photo).
Make sure your summary is clear, current, and concise (in case anyone wants to use it to e-introduce you to someone.)
ASK for (and give) recommendations. Request recommendations from former employers, current customers, or anyone you’ve done business with. And look for a person or two that has done great work for you, whether it be a lawyer, an insurance agent, a virtual assistant, or a mold removal service.
LinkedIn might not be the platform you spend the most time on, but it might be the platform you spend the most valuable time on.
Let’s say you’ve given a colleague a recommendation but there’s something you want to change. Perhaps you’ve done more work with a person and you want to change some details, or maybe you were looking at their profile and noticed that you made a typographical error.
Click here to go to a page (on LinkedIn) that gives details on how to EDIT or REMOVE a recommendation.
NOTE: On the above link step 1 reads “go to your profile” and step 2 reads “scroll to the recommendations section.” This is missing step 1.5 which is “enter edit your profile mode.” If you go straight to your recommendations without entering “edit” mode you will not be able to edit.
Whether you want to give your colleague some “stars” or a “thumbs up,” LinkedIn is the place to go.
Yes, I’ve talked about delegation before. It’s a topic that comes up often. The other day I was reading a Facebook Status from a friend that has a spouse in the construction business.
“Watching all these shady contractors on the news ripping people off makes me sick when there are good guys out there like ____________ who follow all the guidelines and have insurance and proper registration and do a great job for their customers and lose jobs to these clowns that rip people off. If the bid is low, there is a reason. You get what you pay for.”
Sometimes we think it’s hard to find the “good guys,” but if you do your research ahead of time, you’ll save time and frustration in the long run.
Here are three tips that should help you whether you’re looking for a plumber, a lawyer, or a virtual assistant:
Just ask. Ask everybody you know. Ask your friends, ask your neighbors, post a request to Facebook. Rest assured, if you don’t know somebody, you know somebody that knows somebody.
Do background checks. I’m not talking about the background checks that go with hiring bank employees or Sunday School teachers*. But if you do a Google search on a name, look at a service like Angie’s List, or look at a person’s profile on LinkedIn, that will give you an idea of their professional persona.
Interview. Most reliable service providers, in any area, are more than willing to sit down and talk to you for some amount of time for free (or at a greatly reduced rate) so that you can see if a working relationship is possible.
I honestly can’t think of a single time I’ve made a decision based solely on cost that I’ve been happy with that choice. On the other hand, I’ve often been happy with work done by people that have come with strong personal referrals.
Think about what you can do if you release some of the things that make your life difficult. No dollar amount can be placed on time with your family or on peace of mind.
No Secrets (Carly Simon album) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
*As an adoptive parent what I often tell people is that if I had any skeletons in my closet, they would have been found during the background check process. I’m like Carly Simon and I have no secrets.