Most bloggers use one or more of the social networks to promote their work and grow their readership. For most bloggers readership translates to income, either through advertising, product sales or consulting.
In this post we’ll take a look at LinkedIn, which some consider the most professional social network since it’s home to few teenagers and discussions about Justin Timberlake’s hair. What do you consider to be the most valuable space on LinkedIn?
I think it’s your Public Profile. Your Public Profile, or lack of one, says a lot about you. In fact for most LinkedIn members it’s all they’ll ever know about you.
LinkedIn has over 50 million registered users as of October, 2009 according to Wikipedia. That’s a lot of free eyeballs that you can turn into readers and potential sources of income. To do that you’ll need a great profile. What is a great profile?
It’s simple really, a great profile includes who you are, what you do, and, this is critical, the benefits you provide. Tell your target audience how you can solve their problems, grow their business, write their copy, find a job, teach them something, reduce their stress, make them happier, improve their health, raise great kids, or make them more beautiful.
Your profile can be as long as you want but I recommend keeping it under 300 words. People are busy and a lengthy epistle about your overall greatness going back to high school will work against you, at least in my opinion. Rather, use short declarative sentences to state what it is you can do for your target audience. You’ll want to edit out jargon unless you’re using it intentionally to attract a target audience and repel another particular audience. If you are stating black-and-white opinions it may be wise to back them up with numbers and/or your accomplishments or credentials.
One of the key points about social networking and social media is they are designed so people can converse. So much so that many social media firms use some form of, “Join the conversation,” in their marketing copy.
Due to the more personal elements of social networking, I recommend adding your picture to your profile. If you have the time and money, many of the people I talk to believe hiring a professional photographer is money well spent. I used one for my photo since it was my only hope of being semi-presentable.
Here’s a couple other LinkedIn tips:
1. Add your LinkedIn url to your email signature and your website. It’s a good way to grow your network and let others know that you’re social media savvy.
2. Use LinkedIn as a marketing tool. I’m getting ready to send out a letter requesting a personal meeting with busy executives and a copy of a free report. Each one costs me, between printing and postage, almost $5.00 and that doesn’t include the time it took me to locate the contacts, produce the report, and write the letter. Before they go out I’ll check each name, again, in LinkedIn to see if anything has changed on their profile.
3. If someone has changed positions or companies by the time I’m ready to conduct a direct mail campaign, which has happened dozens of times over the last year, not only do I save myself some money but it’s a great time to reach out and congratulate them on their new assignment.