WOW! Is all I can say. There are some amazing people over there on that platform and I was so surprised to find they were not all job searching! That is the impression you get at first isn’t it, about LinkedIn. I thought it was somewhere to pop up a CV if you were looking for a job. How wrong was I!

And then in my Facebook Group, one of the members posted about how she had been having a lot of success on LinkedIn since she learned how to write a great headline. Of course, me being a want-to-know-it-all I had to check this out. Needless to say, one thing led to another and I found myself doing some serious research. Some of the information conflicted, so I went with the majority having the attitude that if something doesn’t work, I will try something else.

Several free downloads, some interesting and not so interesting webinars, quite a few rather attractive pins and a free training session later – I put into place everything I had gleaned. Which took me a couple of hours. And hey presto! 3 hours later I had over 30 new connections, 2 inquiries about my services and a new FB group member.

The next morning, I had over 50 new connections, 3 more messages about what I do, a meeting booked and 3 more new FB group members! Go LinkedIn, is all I can say! And by the time I write this post and pop it in the blog, I have no doubt those numbers will be rising as I speak. It is all about finding where your tribe hangs out I guess and keeping an open mind. So onto the actual tactics!

1 You must write a great headline. It follows you everywhere. When you make a post, write an article, comment on somebody else’s post and the first thing that is seen under your profile picture. So how do you write a great headline? You have to tell somebody what you do how you can help them and what results they will get in a hundred and 120 characters! Simply, “I help/work with circus performers by teaching them new skills so they have more opportunities to get booked”.  Now obviously, some of you will have the most incredible linguistic skills and be able to make that sound more outstanding and effective.

2 Your profile picture. It must be head and shoulders and look professional. LinkedIn is not the same as Facebook, using that picture of you stuffing your face at the all-you-can-eat barbecue is not appropriate, even if it is funny.

3 The cover photograph. This is the blue bit at the top of your profile that goes behind your profile picture. Do not leave it blank, put something in it to show what you do. It would be a good idea to put your website address on it, leave a small gap in the middle at the bottom so your profile picture fits nicely into it and the sizing must be 1584px x 396x.

The summary. The first two lines of your summary are visible on your profile so take advantage of that to enhance what you have written as a headline. The rest of what you write should be an extended version of who you work with, how you can help them and what results they will get. Don’t bother giving your life story here, if people want to know that much more about you and your history they should be able to find that on the “about” page of your website, blog, or wherever else you direct them. This is your opportunity to show your character and how friendly you are in your style of writing.

Under the summary, you will see a section inviting you to include a media link. If you use the link it pulls in something from your website, or blog that did not seem to be able to be edited. Therefore, I made a small graphic, 500px x 300px and was able to put a link to my website with that. This looked much better. I’m sure there is a way to technically correct this, but so far haven’t managed to work this bit out.

Experience, education, and volunteering. Fill those sections in. Don’t be long-winded about what you did, keep it simple and state the facts in a style that fits with what you do now. A couple of sentences is all that is needed except in the experience section related to your current position. This is where you can go into more detail about what you can offer to new potential clients. Again, keep it simple and don’t be too wordy, you want people to read it after all, although they might not bother.

Articles and posts. An article is a long piece of writing that is attached to your profile. This can be as long as you like and include links. You will need to click on the article button on the homepage where you can also write a post. Posts go into the newsfeed and as you can expect on the homepage you will see the posts that your followers have been making. The advice is to make a post every day, keep it to within 250 words and include a picture. Landscape works best, and I discovered that 500px x 300px fits best. You could put a link in it to a longer article or blog you have written outside of LinkedIn, but it seems most people recommend not doing that. In LinkedIn, if people want to find out more, they will click on your profile and hopefully, you will have your website or blog link in the media section or the summary. The options for commenting on other people’s posts are quite simple, you can like and/or comment. This is, of course, recommended to deepen connections and build relationships. When you comment on somebody else’s post, it will show your name and most of your headline; this has led to people requesting me to connect with them! Another reason to make sure you write a great headline!

Searching for connections. Using the search box at the top of the page I was advised to use two keywords in this format: Circus AND Acrobat, click on the search icon, filter the location, click on connections and tick the box 2nd (you could tick 3rd at a later date). It will automatically show you connections with either the word ‘connect’ or ‘send inmail’ in a box. You can only send a mail if you have premium. Click on ‘connect’ and you will be given the option to send them a personal note. This is entirely up to you, however, almost everyone I spoke to said don’t bother because then if somebody wants to find out more about you, they will click on your profile. And you want them to do that because there is no way you can give the best impression in a short personal note. I was advised to add in a few each day – not do overkill!

Finally, I was given the advice that I would not be taken seriously unless I had over 500 connections. However, I am not sure whether this is strictly true or not, based on the fact that people have made direct contact with me from LinkedIn and I currently have less than 500 connections, you will have to make your own mind up about this.

As a thank you for all this fabulous information all I ask is that you connect with me on LinkedIn here and share the information as I have!

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