January is the perfect time to update your LinkedIn profile.

Karen Hollenbach, Career Money Life certified supplier, shares her insights on the latest features of LinkedIn and how to get the most out of your profile in 2017.

With a new year comes new plans. If LinkedIn is on your to do list in 2017, or you’ve already discovered the power of LinkedIn for your business or career, and would like to benefit from my insights on how to leverage the most powerful platform for Australian business, then please read on. Below I share my thoughts on the 6 ways Australian professionals, who understand how to leverage LinkedIn, can continue to reap rewards from it for their business or career in 2017.

1. Update or Refresh Your LinkedIn Profile

One of the first things I recommend you do is take the time to review your LinkedIn Profile from your laptop or desktop (not just from the phone, which is where 60% of users access LinkedIn), and make sure your profile is up to date and presenting the best version of you. Consider these two questions as you review your profile:

  1. What do I want to be known for?
  2. Who am I trying to influence?

Many people treat their LinkedIn profile like their resume (which it isn’t) and do not bother to take the time to fill in their summary and really consider the power of a well written and complete profile for when potential clients (if you are in business or a sales or business development role) or potential employers or recruiters view your profile. Try to write your profile for people who do NOT know you. I recommend this because, 9 times out of 10, once people have already connected with you, and know you, they will not look at your profile again. This means your profile can be a powerful way to present the best version of you to people who are thinking about doing business with you or considering your skills for a role they are recruiting for. I like to think of my LinkedIn profile as my silent sales person or brand ambassador who works for me while I sleep! This is because I am often referred by clients, and am active on other online channels, such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, and so people may want to know more about me. This is an opportunity for you too . . . .

2. Reconnect with Your Professional Network

In this article on LinkedIn’s blog, Catherine Fisher provides her New Year tips for reconnecting with your professional network. One of the first things I suggest people do (after they’ve refreshed their profile to reflect their goals and the answers to the 2 questions above) is to make sure you’re connected with everyone you know, have worked with and are in your personal and professional network. Being connected with someone on LinkedIn does not make them your friend, it does not mean you endorse them (skill endorsements and recommendations are for this). It just means you know them. LinkedIn is an intuitive platform and will reward you for being more active and connecting with people you know, by suggesting other people in their network that you may know.

3. Consider Investing in LinkedIn’s Paid Features

If you are yet to receive the new desktop version, the advanced search features that were available to free accounts have been removed with the new desktop update. In this article, I share how to conduct search on LinkedIn with the old version and consider what the changes will mean for users of the new version. If you rely on advanced search for business prospecting, 2017 may be the year you consider investing in trialling or upgrading your account to make the most of the LinkedIn paid member features.

4. Build your Personal Brand by Publishing on LinkedIn

Publishing a long form post via your LinkedIn Profile is a great opportunity to share your opinion and expertise and position yourself within and beyond your industry. My experience with writing my weekly blog and publishing regularly here on LinkedIn is a key platform for Think Bespoke’s content marketing strategy. Publishing on LinkedIn is a great opportunity to find your voice, tell your story and add genuine value to your community on LinkedIn and those considering working with you or employing you.

If you are seriously considering beginning to publish on LinkedIn, please join my LinkedIn Publishing Morning (Charity event) in Sydney on Thursday February 9th. Tickets are $50 and all proceeds go to the Indigenous Literacy Foundation. Please click here to find out more. I will also be running this event again in Melbourne on Friday March 24th.

5. Create a Company Page

If you are yet to claim your real estate on LinkedIn for your business with a company page, and missed my blog posts last year on this topic, it’s time for you to play catch up! LinkedIn has always been one of the first places to find great talent and is now also fast becoming the first place for Australian businesses to find professional services. To ensure you are maximising your online presence I encourage you to have multiple touch points for those considering using your services. While it is quite standard for many organisations to have a Facebook account, a LinkedIn company page should also be on your agenda and is especially relevant for B2B focussed businesses. If you are not convinced, here’s The Case for B2B Marketing on LinkedIn by Megan Golden on LinkedIn’s blog.

Please click on the titles below to help you leverage Company Pages for your business goals.

How to Add a LinkedIn Company Page

The Anatomy of a LinkedIn Company Page

How to Leverage Company Page Updates

6. Use LinkedIn Sponsored Content to Reach New Audiences

If you did take my advice in 2016 and claimed your real estate on LinkedIn with a company page, then you may also like to consider the role of sponsoring updates to attract, acquire and engage your online business community via LinkedIn. In this article on LinkedIn’s blog Steve Kearns provides his tips on Running Successful LinkedIn Sponsored Content. There is also a link via this article to Hubspot’s Two-Week Planner on Running LinkedIn Sponsored Content Campaigns with Ease. Marketer’s beware, cost per click (CPC) is higher than most platforms as LinkedIn’s sponsored content can be targeted to very specific professional’s details. While this makes it very powerful, I strongly recommend you put a great deal of thought into your goals, budget and visuals before you invest in sponsored content.

Expect extra Benefits with the Microsoft and LinkedIn Marriage

In case you missed it, Microsoft spent $26.2 billion to buy LinkedIn in the most expensive social networking acquisition in history in 2016. With this purchase your profile is worth $250. In this article from PC magazine, Rob Marvin confirms the marriage between these two entities and references this LinkedIn post by the CEO of Microsoft, Satya Nadella. In Nadella’s immediate plans below, Microsoft plans to deliver on many of the ‘no-brainer integrations’ Rob says the PC magazine team predicted, including:

  • LinkedIn identity and network in Microsoft Outlook and the Office suite
  • LinkedIn notifications within the Windows Action Center
  • Enabling members drafting résumés in Microsoft Word to update their profiles, and discover and apply to jobs on LinkedIn
  • Extending the reach of sponsored content across Microsoft properties
  • Enterprise LinkedIn Lookup powered by Active Directory and Office 365
  • LinkedIn Learning available across the Office 365 and Windows ecosystem
  • Developing a business news desk across Microsoft’s content ecosystem and MSN.com
  • Redefining social selling through the combination of Sales Navigator and Dynamics 365

Read more from Karen



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