There is a common misconception that using social media is a waste of time.  Though plenty of people view Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms through a negative lens, some social media tools are quite valuable.  In particular, LinkedIn is a powerful social media platform, especially if you are a business owner.

Recognize the Merits of LinkedIn for Your Business

It merely takes 10-15 minutes on LinkedIn to benefit your business.  This platform makes it much easier to establish relationships with new clients.  After all, it has been quite difficult to network with people in-person during the pandemic, so it makes sense to segue to the internet. 

LinkedIn connects your business with prospective clients as well as potential new hires, potential business partners and other professionals in your industry and niche.  Think of LinkedIn as a cyber handshake of sorts that greases the metaphorical wheels of social interactions, setting the stage for a mutually beneficial professional relationship.  Even if your initial interaction with prospective clients or other professionals on LinkedIn does not immediately lead to new business, it creates an opportunity for those relationships to prove fruitful in the weeks, months and even years ahead.

Focus on Your LinkedIn Summary and Profile

Your profile and summary on LinkedIn are essential to connecting with new clients through the platform.  Keep in mind, those who view your LinkedIn profile will see your summary and profile before anything else.  Spend some time creating a truly artfully written summary along with an informative profile and you just might connect with one or several important new clients in the days that follow.

Putting your Best Foot Forward: Your Profile

The best LinkedIn profile photos are perfectly clear headshots.  Your photo should be high-resolution with ample lighting, displaying your smiling face with professional attire.  Resist the temptation to use a selfie, a full-length photo or an action shot.  Choose a high-resolution photo that fits within the platform’s 400 x 400 dimensions for photos, and you will make a powerful first impression.

Background photos might seem like an unimportant subtlety of the LinkedIn platform, yet they are quite important.  Your background photo certainly is not as important as your professional experience or your college degree, yet it shapes others’ perception of you and your business.  If this image is unprofessional, has loud colors or is distracting, it will make people think less of you.

The best background photos provide a little something extra that helps visitors to your page understand who you are, what your business is really all about and what you have to offer.  If your business is a startup or only a year or two old, consider adding a background picture of you and the rest of your employees.  This professional image makes your business that much more credible.  Alternative options include using the background photo to highlight one of your company’s recent press clippings or other accomplishments.

The Summary

Summaries present you value offering to those who visit your LinkedIn page.  This is your opportunity to communicate the value your business provides, tell your organization’s story and detail your company’s successes.  Have a colleague review your summary draft prior to publishing it on the LinkedIn platform to ensure it is well-written and likely to persuade prospective clients to transition to paying clients.

Any opinions are those of the author and not necessarily those of Raymond James.