Position Yourself as an Expert on LinkedIn

We are curious by nature – and social media allows us to feed our need for information.

Hands up if you have searched someone online before meeting them in person or evaluated a potential client or consultant by their online credentials. You are not the only one that is curious. Just as often as you are seeking out information on an individual’s expertise online they are seeking the same information out about you.

Never has it been more important to ensure you are putting your best foot forward online. LinkedIn is an excellent place to start.

LinkedIn has over 546 million users; 106 million are active monthly. The average user has about 400 connections and over 80% of LinkedIn users believe in the power of networking.

So, with all these curious eyes on LinkedIn how can you stand out and ensure your expertise shines above the rest?

1. Be Current
Update your profile and keep it up to date. Up to date means a recent photo, current workplace information, a headline that describes your passion and expertise, list of skills that are relevant to what you want to market, and a commitment to sharing articles relevant to your industry and your business.
My business partner (and husband) does a great job at the latter. He has set himself a series of Google Alerts about social media, communications, and public relations – when he spots an interesting new trend or story he posts it through LinkedIn with a thoughtful question and analysis.

For the former, keep these stats in mind when you are updating your profile: listing five or more skills gets you 17 times more profile views and LinkedIn profiles with photos get 21 times more profile views.

Opening a LinkedIn profile and never logging in or updating it is a bit like having a phone number but never answering or checking the voicemail. If you have decided to use LinkedIn have a plan to regularly log in, connect with new contacts, and participate.

2. Reviews
We are good at this in real life. We need to ask for references for resumes, and we usually ask previous employers by telling them to wait for an email or phone call. We should also be in the habit of asking for them on LinkedIn.

On LinkedIn, there is no better way to ask for a review than to write one yourself for that same person. So, give your own reviews about past (or current) colleagues and ask them to do the same. Always follow up with past clients or customers by asking for a review and don’t be afraid to ask for reviews from people you managed – not just those that have managed you.

3. Pulse Posts
Publishing content on social media is a good way to build a reputation, increase trust, and reach a wider audience. LinkedIn Pulse is an online news aggregation feed within LinkedIn designed for members to share self-published content with their audience.

Pulse posts can be your avenue to showcase your expertise, experience, and personality. One of our favourite Pulse feeds in Fernie is Jennifer Mitchell from White Ladder Painting – we work with her to create content that is uniquely her and showcases her services through her expert tips and tricks. Be creative in your posts and ensure each post adds value for your readers.

Send me a LinkedIn message and I can point out a few tips for your own profile. Remember, leverage the content you are posting on LinkedIn on all your social channels, use the hashtags #PRPower and #FernieSuccess to extend your reach.