by Todd Taskey
You may not fully appreciate social media yet, but it is the future, and the future is now.
For business people, LinkedIn is the most important social media tool. Think of it as a business mixer where everyone displays their critical information on their chests.
Like everything else in life, I will form an opinion of you and how seriously you regard this tool in about five seconds. For now, focus on these most influential parts of your profile:
Your title. Your title needs to accomplish two things. First, tell others you are the person who can make a decision about acquisition, licensing, etc. Additionally, describe your service capability or core business, which will rank you higher in search results for those looking for your service.
So, being the CEO for “a franchise development firm: The Franchise Builders” may sound redundant, but it is a very effective way to improving your rank when anyone is searching for this term. Being the COO at Dimension Solutions does not help searchers looking for a programcompany. Get it?
Recommendations. Personal recommendations are not necessary at a C-level and may even work against you. Leave that to your business development people.
Connections. When I find a potential candidate with fewer than 50 connections, I seldom make contact. It may seem childish, but LinkedIn only has clout with those who recognize its capabilities and engage it as a real business tool. You can and should have a contact network exceeding 100 before you begin to see real results.
Professional photo. Eyes are naturally attracted to those profiles with photos. It also indicates how seriously you regard LinkedIn as a business tool. If it is a serious tool for you, I’m more excited to make contact and pursue business with you through this network.
Your key words. When I search for an acquisition target, potential buyer or partner, I’ll enter the key words in the “people” or “company” field (top right) and begin my research from there. It is critical to have the “summary” or “experience” section of your profile contain the key words of your service so you can be found for potential deals.
Easy point of contact. You are better served to create a separate e-mail account to handle inquiries if you are worried about volume.
Company profile. LinkedIn has more than 67 million users. That is a very big potential pool of employee talent, business prospects, JV opportunities, etc. Develop a corporate profile and manage it to keep “followers” engaged.
Bottom line: LinkedIn is a great tool to help you grow your company, attract key employees, find a buyer for your business or whatever your objective. The key is to be “findable” in an increasingly crowded online world.
Author: Todd Taskey is the founder of Potomac Business Capital and author of "The Business of Business Finance" blog.
Want to learn more about Linked In?
Here are 5 more ExecLeadership.com articles exploring the rich possibilities of LinkedIn as a professional tool:
• 6 ways to network on LinkedIn
• Finally, I’m on LinkedIn. So, now what?
• Add some pizazz to your LinkedIn profile
• Banish these LinkedIn buzzwords
• Make the most of new LinkedIn profile
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