Karen Hollenbach, Career Money Life certified supplier, shares with you, answers to the 4 most asked questions about LinkedIn.
It’s important to reassure you at this point that I am an independent LinkedIn specialist, and do not receive any kick backs from LinkedIn to share these insights with you. As an ambivert (read more about what this means in my blog, Hello, my name is Karen and I am an Ambivert), I value LinkedIn as a tool to help me network and collaborate with like minded people. It is also where the majority of my clients hang out, and so by publishing on LinkedIn I am able to better position myself as a thought leader in my field and share content that adds value to my community, helping them tackle the problems they are facing in their career or business.
1. Do I Really Need a Professional Photo?
Let’s start by defining what ‘professional photo’ means. You need a photo of you in work attire looking what I’d expect to see you looking like if you were at a job interview or client meeting. If you invest in a professional photographer to have your photo taken this is a wise investment. You can pay as little as $69 and as much as $395 for this service, so shop around. If you would like some inspiration and ideas for your LinkedIn profile photo please visit my LinkedIn Headshot Pinterest board.
One of the photographers I recommend is Corporate Headshots Melbourne because Zaharoula will put you at ease and her pricing is in the mid range in terms of budget. I can also recommend cheaper and more expensive options, if there is a particular style you are after.
2. Can I tell my employees what to write on their profile?
The individual owns their own LinkedIn Profile and so it is up to them whether they add details about your organisation to their profile. If you have created a company page on LinkedIn (read this blog post How to Add a Company Page to do this), then, at the very least, I would ensure your team members have the right company listed against their current employment. I have worked with many organisations in Melbourne where we have tackled this one, and there are a variety of ways you can approach it. I encourage you to have open conversations with your team about your plans for LinkedIn and the role you would like them to play. Best practice is to have a policy that relates to how your employees represent themselves online in relation to their role at your organisation and to encourage them to like and comment on your LinkedIn company page updates (if you post updates from your company page), as this will extend the reach of your message.
3. What Do I Do If I Have Two LinkedIn Profiles?
Many people have two LinkedIn profiles, because they have accepted invitations to connect from two different email addresses. If you find you have duplicate accounts, decide which one you want and then contact LinkedIn from within the profile you want and share the URL of the one you want to close. My experience is that LinkedIn will move the contacts across to the profile you want to keep, but you will lose all data. Please see the picture below for where you can find your LinkedIn Profile URL (just below your LinkedIn Profile picture). For step by step instructions on how to merge duplicate accounts please visit LinkedIn help here.
4. Should I Have a Premium Account?
LinkedIn offers a Basic (free) account as well as various upgraded Premium accounts. I believe there are many excellent features within the Basic (free) LinkedIn account, and that you need to make sure you know hot to navigate LinkedIn properly and have an updated and relevant LinkedIn profile before paying for a premium account. To help you decide, I have listed below the differences between the free and upgraded premium accounts as outlined by LinkedIn.
LinkedIn Basic (Free) Account
A Basic account is for anyone who wants to create and maintain a professional profile online.
- Build your professional identity online
- Build and maintain a large trusted professional network
- Find and reconnect with colleagues and classmates
- Request and provide recommendations
It is likely that LinkedIn prioritises paid users in searches (meaning their profiles will come up first), however if you have a well optimised profile and spend time on LinkedIn each day, LinkedIn will also reward you for this! LinkedIn has Premium account options for job seekers, sales and talent professionals, as well as the general professional who wants to get more out of LinkedIn. If you have a free account and want to upgrade, you can compare account types, depending on your needs. I see the main advantages as unlimited profile searches, and the monthly fees start from $A59.99 per month or $A49.99 if billed annually. To find out more about these paid options or to trial one of them for free for 30 days, visit LinkedIn here.
I use the personal plan, which is $9.99 per month, but it is no longer offered!
The Good News about LinkedIn
There are many conflicting messages about LinkedIn, because it is a harder beast to tame than social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook. Because it is a professional networking platform, there are some rules of engagement. The good news is, you already know these rules! You were taught them at school or by your parents and they are the social norms that apply to any conversation. It also has a more professional and formal tone, so you really need to give great thought to why you would spend any time on LinkedIn and how it can help you achieve your goals.
Consider your Goals for LinkedIn
Why would you spend time on LinkedIn? It depends on whether you are a Career Professional or a Business Owner, so make sure you consider your goals for both of these scenarios. And if you need any help, please ask!
- Research new job opportunities
- Optimise your profile to attract recruiters and potential employers
- Research competitors or clients as part of your current role
- Stay in contact with past and present colleagues
- Learn from industry experts
- Expand your network
- Research competitors
- Research potential clients
- Position yourself as a thought leader / expert in the industry
- Convert new clients to your services / products
Learn more about how Career Money Life can help your people with their careers, transitions and so much more.