As a business professional, it’s high time you raised your online profile on LinkedIn to build industry influence, amplify your brand, and drive significant opportunities and business success… because everyone else is, including your competition.
LinkedIn is a critical means of communicating personal and business brands to the world, and a goldmine of opportunities for those who fully use their profile to reveal industry authority and promote executive expertise.
The professional social network is evolving at a rate of knots so it can be tough to keep up with the changes. Plus you’re swamped with work and being a leader can be an unenviable task. But know that one thing hasn’t changed:
Your personal profile is the cornerstone of your efforts on LinkedIn and should be leveraged to communicate your brand and showcase who you really are.
So, whether you’re building a brand, looking for a new career opportunity or simply wanting to stand out and get noticed as a senior executive, follow these four simple steps to better leverage your profile and drive greater online results… fast.
1. Network strategically and selectively
Connecting with people on LinkedIn is important and the most effective way to build your senior executive network to develop high-quality relationships that will deliver opportunities.
However, while it might be tempting to connect with as many people as possible and grow your burgeoning online network to epic proportions, quality always trumps quantity when it comes to LinkedIn.
Build your network over time but try to do it strategically, ensuring your connection requests are targeted and of value, personalising the connection requests as much as possible, and giving something of value to that potential new connection – it’s important to be generous on LinkedIn and offer your help, rather than make demands or give the hard sell upfront!
2. Give your online profile a spring clean
An optimised LinkedIn profile builds trust and makes people want to engage with you. It’s your digital business card and an ideal opportunity to strengthen your personal and professional online presence.
Everything on your profile should contribute towards your overall brand, offering a unique story about who you are and the kind of work you specialise in, where you’ve come from, what your mission is (in work and in life), the pain point your target market is facing and how you can help fix their pain, plus any tangible successes you’ve had and results achieved.
Include multimedia to show your work in action, such as speaking gigs or roundtables, and optimise your profile with relevant keywords, particularly in the headline, to rank at the top of LinkedIn searches and get found by people looking for influencers and authority figures like you.
3. Start blogging and showcase industry expertise
While writing and publishing your own work might sound like a terrifying superhuman feat in terms of time and ability, it’s actually quite easy to do and is a great way to showcase your knowledge and build credibility as a thought leader or the ‘go-to’ person – someone that matters to the online conversation.
By contributing useful, interesting and memorable content to LinkedIn on a regular basis, you can spread your message far and wide, and be recognised for your leadership and subject matter know-how.
What’s more, the blog post sits on your LinkedIn profile for future visitors to see (visitors who could potentially become customers) and is searchable both on LinkedIn and on Google, giving you a boost in search visibility, visitor traffic, and relevant referral traffic when using calls to action to link back to a website, white paper or other entry into your sales funnel.
4. Keep active and engaged
Getting results from LinkedIn isn’t just about establishing a powerful profile. Once your profile is complete and fully-optimised, you need to get active on the platform to get noticed for the right reasons.
Social proof is evidence that you are who you say you are and that you’re a credible, knowledgeable business contact to be associated with. It’s therefore crucial to build that social proof as you go about your business on LinkedIn and grow personal relationships that could turn into business leads.
The general rule of thumb for any CEO or business leader is to remain active on the platform by adopting a regular routine, whether daily or weekly, long or short. Try to regularly share links of interest (latest news, current thinking, and more) to your contacts and others in your industry, join relevant groups and actively engage in group discussions, and of course frequently update your profile with new endeavours and tangible achievements.
Out of sight, out of mind
With LinkedIn, it’s key to stay top of mind with your growing network.
Leverage your executive profile by keeping it up-to-date, by publishing content and networking strategically, and by actively engaging in conversations and groups to position yourself as the acknowledged expert and trusted authority in your field.
As a C-Suite Leader, next time you think twice about leveraging your online profile or can’t seem to find the time to do it, remember these six takeaways:
- LinkedIn is the preferred social network for CEOs, with eight in ten CEOs engaged online and via social media.
- LinkedIn usage is highest among those with an annual income greater than $75,000.
- 93% of companies use LinkedIn to fill positions, including at the CEO-level.
- 50% of B2B buyers use LinkedIn when making purchasing decisions.
- Seven out of 10 professionals consider LinkedIn a trusted source of professional content, making it important that your message reaches the right people.
- Having a professional LinkedIn photo makes your profile 14 times more likely to be viewed.
2018 is upon us and it’s high time you got out there and raised your digital profile to build industry influence, amplify your personal and business brand, and drive opportunities and success as a C-Suite Executive.
About the Author
Sarah Ward is the Training Director at The International Writer, a content writing and training company creating powerful online content and providing customized LinkedIn and business writing training to boost a personal or business brand, build authority, and drive influence.
 Socializing Your CEO III: From Marginal to Mainstream – Weber Shandwick, 2015 (http://www.webershandwick.com/uploads/news/files/socializing-your-ceo-iii-exec-summary.pdf)
 Social Media Update 2016 – Pew Research Center, 2016 (http://www.pewinternet.org/2016/11/11/social-media-update-2016/)
 Professional’s Guide – LinkedIn University, 2017 (https://university.linkedin.com/content/dam/university/global/en_US/site/img/banners/LinkedIn-Higher-Ed-eBook-040816-(1).pdf)
 Getting Started with Social Selling on LinkedIn – LinkedIn Sales Solutions, 2017 (https://business.linkedin.com/sales-solutions/social-selling/getting-started-with-social-selling-on-linkedIn-ebook#)
 LinkedIn Sponsored Content – LinkedIn Marketing Solutions, 2017 (https://business.linkedin.com/content/dam/me/business/en-us/marketing-solutions/products/pdfs/LISponsoredContentDatasheet5-2-16.pdf)
 Celebrating Leadership & LinkedIn Power Profiles – LinkedIn Official Blog, 2015 (https://blog.linkedin.com/2015/08/13/celebrating-leadership-linkedin-power-profiles-2015-in-india)