Self-employed? LinkedIn is for you!

Recently, someone who is “self-employed” asked me how he or she could best use LinkedIn for his or her business ventures. Many self-employed people ignore LinkedIn because they believe that LinkedIn is only for people looking for a job, but that isn’t the case. LinkedIn is a great way for someone to promote his or her own business, find and be found by prospective clients, and connect with others in similar businesses. Here are a few LinkedIn steps for the self-employed:

If you don’t have a LinkedIn profile yet, click here for a brief tutorial to get you started.

Step 1. Optimize your LinkedIn profile.
This will ensure your profile is displayed as a top result for searches related to your skills. To optimize your profile, determine what key words potential clients might use to seek out your service. Use these words throughout your profile to guarantee yourself a spot in relevant search results.

Step 2. Create an eye-catching headline.
Your headline should be a brief description of what you do. It should include your key words for optimization, as well as caption of your unique selling point, or what you have to offer. If your business is based in a certain location, include this in your headline and in other areas of your profile so potential clients looking for business in your area can find you first.

To add an extra air of professionalism to both your business and profile, I highly suggest you create an identity for your business and brand it. For example, who would you rather hire, John Smith – Unemployed, or John Smith – Smith Consulting?

Step 3. Include a “call to action” in the Summary section.
Chances are potential clients will read your profile summary to get a general idea of the business you do.  Including a request for action from these clients will create a better chance they will contact you for your services. Remember to also include the key words throughout your summary to increase profile optimization.

Step 4. Use the Experience section effectively.
This section of your profile allows you to fully showcase past works. List past projects or clients, in detail, in this section. There is the option to upload sample works, this can be helpful for those who’s business creates tangible items, or even written works.

Step 5. Add value for your connections.
As you connect to potential future clients and others in your professional network, it is important to have something to offer them on LinkedIn. Create posts that pertain to your line of work, this will not only show professionalism but also work to build your credibility. If you have a blog or website that is relevant to your business, you can link it to your LinkedIn account so that visitors to your profile can also visit your other pages. Follow this link to learn more about connecting a WordPress blog to your LinkedIn account.

Following these easy steps will help you professionalize your self-employed LinkedIn page, and optimize your page so potential clients find you first. In turn, you will watch your brand popularity and client base grow. If you are self-employed and having success with LinkedIn, leave your tips, or LinkedIn information, in the comment section below to help and connect with fellow business owners.

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Pinterest for Your Business

 New to Pinterest I started thinking about how a small business could utilize the site to gain traffic on their website, to generate interest in their brand, to attract new cliental or give current clients a new way to get involved with the company.  Pinterest’s highly visual platform allows for a unique way to market and brand your business.                         

Think Visuals

You want to build a visual plan for your business and Pinterest is the perfect platform to do that in.  Keep in mind an image creates an immediate appeal or disinterest.  You want your images to create an immediate positive reaction with the user.  Your visuals should be immediately captivating because you want to generate interest in the user.  According to Forbes magazine social media posts with strong images attached to them get three times more user engagement in comparison with posts with no images.  The traffic your image will get will keep your current followers engaged and hopefully attract new followers. 

Get your followers involved

Pinterest like other social media sites is great for automatic feedback.  To generate this feedback create a space for your followers to share their interests and involvement in your business, you can do this through creating guest pin boards.  Guest pin boards are a place where followers can show their interest in the brand and feel involved in the business.  These guest pin boards can be a great way to learn how followers see your business. 

Real people real business

Pinterest is a great space to use to show off the personal side of your business.  Create a page that serves as a bio page about your employees.  On this bio page post image of your employees with interviews with them.  The bio page can let followers see the faces behind the business.  By putting faces to your business you create a personal connection with followers. 

Promotion! Promotion! Promotion!

Use your Pinterest account to promote deals and sales. Use interesting graphics to promote what’s going on in your business.  Translate boring numbers into interesting and attractive visuals. 

Key things to remember

–          Make sure your account and boards are branded and organized.

–          Include descriptions of boards this will help you show up in searches.

–          Include an eye catching profile picture.  One that makes your brand recognizable.

–          Show the real side of your business.

–          Most importantly have fun!