It’s Never Too Late to Get Your Feet Wet and Become LinkedIn Savvy
Imagine strolling on the beach, wet sand squishing between your toes, the icy chill of ocean water nipping at your heels. Savor the last taste of summer.
Are you too scared to step out into the vast ocean? Afraid of being overpowered by towering waves and choppy surf?
You’re missing out on opportunities to test the waters, unleash your potential to create an all-star profile and build a supportive network that can work for you 24/7; attracting prospects, conduits, and potential business associates.
“If you are launching your next career, you’ll notice that the process has dramatically changed,” says LinkedIn-Trainer and Specialist, Linda Lovero-Waterhouse; who crushes overwhelm by helping you take baby steps.
Consider this, “most of your customers visit your Facebook page regularly, but new connections and people who really want to connect will do a Google search. If you have a LinkedIn site, it comes up first. Many people don’t realize everything on LinkedIn is searchable by Google,” so she says to think of it as a personal website to showcase your expertise.
Whether you are rebranding, career-switching, or powering-up your social media, these three experts will prime you for the LinkedIn plunge.
Linda Lovero-Waterhouse will ease you into an all-star profile; while Victoria Ipri, Personal Branding for Job Seeking Executives, will help you develop a meaningful network, and Ben Kniffen, Co-founder, and President of LinkedSelling, will help you build a targeted database of prospects eager for your services and expertise.
Here are 23 Tips to Take the LinkedIn Plunge for Women 40+:
- Replace the Default Silhouette with a Current Professional Headshot
- Go from a Blue Background to a Bold Signature Banner
“Replace the background with an image that reflects what you do and who you serve,” suggests Lovero-Waterhouse. “Anything that gives an instantaneous impression of what you do will draw people in.” Try Googling free LinkedIn backgrounds
- Replace the Vague Job Description with a Descriptive Headline
“Every time you post, react, or comment, your picture, name, and headline are shown, but on Facebook, only your picture and name are seen,” says Lovero-Waterhouse.
- Build a High-Ranking Headline
- 120 characters
- Add related credentials
- Google new industry and include specific titles from your results
- Be introspective about what makes your business unique
Example of a retired nurse who becomes a weight loss coach:
Jane Smith, RN, Obesity Weight Loss Coach, Helps Teens Lose Weight and Gain Confidence
- For the headshot, wear scrubs or a stethoscope to indicate that you are part of the medical profession
- Write a Client-Facing Summary, (2000 characters)
- Write to your ideal client
- Explain how your solutions help them
- Include testimonial snippets
- List your key skills and their results
- Use media to appear credible and established
- Edit Your LinkedIn URL to Remove Extra Characters to Look Professional
- Add Relevant Job Experience
“You don’t need to exclude your past,” she points out, “but show how your past has helped you become the person you are today and how those past experiences make you the best person to do what you’re doing.”
- Recommendations Give You Credibility
- Reorder Your Skills
- Add skills relevant to the current position
- Reorder your key skills to appear as your top three
Diving into Networking
- Build a Meaningful Network to Support Your Career
- Reach out to people in your new industry who share common interests, goals, and activities
- Be selective when inviting and accepting connections
- Improve your visibility and rank
“If you spend 30 minutes daily, selecting high-quality, relevant users and sending personalized invitations to connect with you,” Ipri says, “over time, you will see exponential growth.”
- LinkedIn’s Algorithm Rewards Sharing Relevant Content with Your Network
- Post an Article Valuable to Your Audience
- Like, Comment, and Share Other People’s Content with Your Network to Improve Visibility Across the Platform
“When you are consistent with these activities, you’ll notice more profile views, more incoming invitations, more activity around you, because LinkedIn rewards your behavior,” says Ipri.
- LinkedIn Allows Only One Profile and Will Shut Down the Other One
- Personalize Outgoing Invitations
- Go to the person’s profile, click “Connect” and then click “add a note” to explain why you’re connecting
- Cite mutual interests, groups, or industries as an icebreaker
- Be brief, succinct, be yourself
- Be strategic, as each user is capped for all time at 3000 outgoing invitations
Nurturing Your Network to Turn Leads into Sales
- Tap into Over 600 Million LinkedIn Users
- LinkedIn Sales Navigator Tool Allows You to Search the Entire Database for Your Prospect’s Profile
- Have a clear picture of your ideal client
- Enter your prospect’s demographics and it will search for all the people who fit that profile
- Make connections with those people to message them directly
- Build a Big Database of Connections of Ideal Clients
- Start Running Messaging Campaigns That Culminate in a Request for a Phone Call
- Make a List of the Things Your Prospects Care About
- Send Messages with Beneficial Content to Them
- Relationships Take Time to Nurture and Develop
- Share content and resources often
- Invite them to join your LinkedIn group and engage people in conversation
While laying the groundwork to build a robust network, “you may feel like nothing is happening on the other side of the screen, but everything that you’re doing is pushing you incrementally forward in terms of your professional visibility,” Ipri points out. “You’re going to touch people in ways that you can’t always see, but what you’re doing is making a difference.”
So, Kniffen advises diving in. Once you get connected with your prospects, make sure they’re getting regular messages from you, “so that you can nurture these leads to build a certain amount of rapport and credibility before asking them to have a sales conversation to discuss how you can help them.”
Are you ready to take the LinkedIn plunge? Please share your thoughts and experiences in the comments section below!