Does it really matter if you are on LinkedIn? Does it really matter if you are on LinkedIn?

Does it really matter if you are on LinkedIn?
09 Jul 2014

In 2014, it is rare to come across a business professional who is not represented on LinkedIn. But how important is it really that you are using this professional online business platform? After all, you have been doing alright so far with your existing professional networks or your database of clients or have you?

As the green shoots of recovery begin to sprout forth, the B2B market is coming back to life. Budgets are being freed up and businesses are once again looking for services that meet their requirements and where are they looking? Online and in particular LinkedIn.

Let's put this in perspective - four years ago LinkedIn boasted 43 million members globally, from its initial start-up in 2003. In 2014 that number has increased to 300 million, with one million new members joining every month. It has become the de facto online business networking site for professionals.

Why should this matter to you?

It is simple. If you are not represented, or not represented well, on the World's number one online professional networking site, then you are, without question, missing out on thousands of pounds worth of new business opportunities.

Is it really worth my time to be on LinkedIn?

Only if you are serious about generating more business or attracting new recruits to your company. Maybe you want to keep up with the latest payroll industry trends, at home or abroad or perhaps you simply want to network with other industry professionals and do not have the luxury of time to leave the office as frequently as you would like to?

Increasingly, professionals in more than 200 different countries and territories are turning to LinkedIn to achieve these aims - are you?

How do I present myself effectively on LinkedIn, it is just a CV site isn't it?

Often this is the biggest mistake I find professionals make on LinkedIn - they create an online CV, when they should be presenting a 'shop window', which explains to their target audience why they should choose their services when they are next in need. Your LinkedIn profile should promote who you are and what you do and do so professionally and blatantly.

Where do I start?

It all starts with your profile and I would strongly recommend you review your profile and ask yourself the following questions :

1. Have you included a profile picture professional head and shoulders photograph? - This increases the chances of people viewing your profile by as much as 40%.

2. Does your professional headline professional headline (immediately under your name) state clearly, using key search words, what your service is? If it just states your job title, this is insufficient to make me want to open your profile if I find you in a list of other LinkedIn members.

3. Have you added all your contact information relevant contact details, including your website pages? How can I reach you easily, especially if I want to do business with you?

4. Have you added a summary Background/Summary section to your profile and carefully crafted the wording, to explain what you do, who you do it for and why you are good at what you do? - tangible evidence please, do not simply state 'we deliver great customer care' as that should be a given.

5. Have you taken advantage of the media samples media links, available on your background/summary and your experience profile sections to visually represent your services, by video, PDF brochures, slide presentations and much more? Your profile will be more engaging if it provides additional forms of media to demonstrate your services.

6. Do you know that you can create company pages LinkedIn Company page, which not only enables you to promote your firm through updates and news, which can be shared with professionals who choose to follow your page but also allows for all of your team to be represented, professionally, to the outside world from this one page.

7. Is your profile human? LinkedIn is quite a dry platform but it is, ultimately, representing a version of you, the person, albeit an online version. Write your profile, as if you were speaking one to one with your ideal client or other professional business contact and include your personal interests and hobbies too.

Finally, why is it important in 2014 that you are well represented on social media sites, like LinkedIn? This is because people who need your services are choosing these platforms to search for you and if you cannot be found easily they could choose someone else to fulfil their business requirements. If they do find you on LinkedIn and you are poorly represented, they may choose to go elsewhere.

Steve Phillip is managing director of Linked2Success Limited. Since 2009, he has helped hundreds of professionals around the UK and in Europe, such as FedEx, The EDHEC Business School and many universities and professional service businesses to raise their online profiles and generate hundreds of new client opportunities, using tools such as LinkedIn and other social media.

In 2014, it is rare to come across a business professional who is not represented on LinkedIn. But how important is it really that you are using this professional online business platform? After all, you have been doing alright so far with your existing professional networks or your database of clients or have you?

As the green shoots of recovery begin to sprout forth, the B2B market is coming back to life. Budgets are being freed up and businesses are once again looking for services that meet their requirements and where are they looking? Online and in particular LinkedIn.

Let's put this in perspective - four years ago LinkedIn boasted 43 million members globally, from its initial start-up in 2003. In 2014 that number has increased to 300 million, with one million new members joining every month. It has become the de facto online business networking site for professionals.

Why should this matter to you?

It is simple. If you are not represented, or not represented well, on the World's number one online professional networking site, then you are, without question, missing out on thousands of pounds worth of new business opportunities.

Is it really worth my time to be on LinkedIn?

Only if you are serious about generating more business or attracting new recruits to your company. Maybe you want to keep up with the latest payroll industry trends, at home or abroad or perhaps you simply want to network with other industry professionals and do not have the luxury of time to leave the office as frequently as you would like to?

Increasingly, professionals in more than 200 different countries and territories are turning to LinkedIn to achieve these aims - are you?

How do I present myself effectively on LinkedIn, it is just a CV site isn't it?

Often this is the biggest mistake I find professionals make on LinkedIn - they create an online CV, when they should be presenting a 'shop window', which explains to their target audience why they should choose their services when they are next in need. Your LinkedIn profile should promote who you are and what you do and do so professionally and blatantly.

Where do I start?

It all starts with your profile and I would strongly recommend you review your profile and ask yourself the following questions :

1. Have you included a profile picture professional head and shoulders photograph? - This increases the chances of people viewing your profile by as much as 40%.

2. Does your professional headline professional headline (immediately under your name) state clearly, using key search words, what your service is? If it just states your job title, this is insufficient to make me want to open your profile if I find you in a list of other LinkedIn members.

3. Have you added all your contact information relevant contact details, including your website pages? How can I reach you easily, especially if I want to do business with you?

4. Have you added a summary Background/Summary section to your profile and carefully crafted the wording, to explain what you do, who you do it for and why you are good at what you do? - tangible evidence please, do not simply state 'we deliver great customer care' as that should be a given.

5. Have you taken advantage of the media samples media links, available on your background/summary and your experience profile sections to visually represent your services, by video, PDF brochures, slide presentations and much more? Your profile will be more engaging if it provides additional forms of media to demonstrate your services.

6. Do you know that you can create company pages LinkedIn Company page, which not only enables you to promote your firm through updates and news, which can be shared with professionals who choose to follow your page but also allows for all of your team to be represented, professionally, to the outside world from this one page.

7. Is your profile human? LinkedIn is quite a dry platform but it is, ultimately, representing a version of you, the person, albeit an online version. Write your profile, as if you were speaking one to one with your ideal client or other professional business contact and include your personal interests and hobbies too.

Finally, why is it important in 2014 that you are well represented on social media sites, like LinkedIn? This is because people who need your services are choosing these platforms to search for you and if you cannot be found easily they could choose someone else to fulfil their business requirements. If they do find you on LinkedIn and you are poorly represented, they may choose to go elsewhere.

Steve Phillip is managing director of Linked2Success Limited. Since 2009, he has helped hundreds of professionals around the UK and in Europe, such as FedEx, The EDHEC Business School and many universities and professional service businesses to raise their online profiles and generate hundreds of new client opportunities, using tools such as LinkedIn and other social media.