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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Five easy steps to get you started on LinkedIn

LinkedIn is growing in popularity as a recruitment tool. Whether you are a student preparing for the world after graduation, new to the workforce, or looking to return to the workforce, LinkedIn can help you. LinkedIn will filter jobs tailored to your skills and education, and notify you of open positions. LinkedIn will also allow companies looking for people with your skillset find you for recruitment. Don’t you think its time to put yourself out there?

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More recruiters use LinkedIn than any other social media site.

Getting Started

Step 1. Go to www.linkedin.com and register for a profile. This will require an active Email account. Once you have done the initial registration, you can begin tailoring your professional profile. Ensure your profile is set to public so that recruiters can find you.

Step 2. Pick an appropriate profile picture. Your photo should be of only you and reflect professionalism. It can directly relate to your profession or be a simple headshot. If you’re a student or recent graduate your profile picture should reflect this in a professional manner.

Step 3. Write a good headline. Say who you are and what you’re interests are in 120 characters or less. Your headline should be simple and not too personal.

Step 4. Write about your education. List your majors or minors, classes taken, or skills learned. If you are currently a student, list skills you are learning as well as those you already have.

Step 5. List your experiences. Write about past and present employment, achievements or honors, and volunteer initiatives.

Once you have set up your LinkedIn profile you can start connecting to other people you know on LinkedIn. The more connections you make the more people see your profile, which leads to better chances of recruitment. You can also join groups, and follow pages, pertaining to your profession on LinkedIn. This will also help filter your connections and put your profile out their for others to explore.

You can also acquire recommendations and endorsements from your LinkedIn connections. Have professors, managers or mentors write about, or verify your work. This gives the second opinion most recruiters are looking for.

Now that you have your LinkedIn account set up your options will be unlimited. Remember to keep your LinkedIn account up to date as you develop new skills and experiences, and to check often for new recruitment opportunities.

Have other tips for new LinkedIn users? Are you a recruiter using LinkedIn? Have you been recruited on LinkedIn? Leave a comment in the area below and let us hear about it!