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If you are looking to grow your business over the next 12 months, LinkedIn could be the key. LinkedIn continues to grow its status as one of the world’s most effective social networks for working professionals. But like any marketing tool, it needs to be used wisely.

Many people have a LinkedIn profile set up. They occasionally post an update or celebrate a work anniversary. But in order to make 2018 your most effective year yet on LinkedIn, I recommend you follow these 5 key steps:

1.      Use a professional Profile image

How many times have you met someone at a networking meeting and they say ‘oh no, don’t look at my photo’? Your profile image is likely to be the first thing people see when they are searching for you online. It should be recognisable, professional and say the right things about you and your business. Are you friendly and approachable? Serious and hardworking? Can people trust you? Sending the right messages should enable you to start building trust with your connections.

2.      Write a content-rich, keyword-rich profile

A complete profile is vital to creating the right impression. You don’t have to go into the absolute details of your hobbies outside of work or what you studied at A Level unless it is genuinely relevant. But you do want to demonstrate your expertise – to allow people to get to know you. You do want to show people you have a proven track record and you are an expert in which you do. Don’t forget to consider language from their perspective. You might be very proud of your ‘chartered accountant’ status, but actually, if people are more likely to search for ‘accountant’, then dropping the word chartered from your headline into your description would be the right choice. Think about the problems you solve for people and ensure this comes across clearly.

3.      Ask for recommendations – and give them where you can

Recommendations are a vital part of your profile, but they are often overlooked. As human beings, we trust other people’s opinions more than we trust companies or organisations themselves. LinkedIn recommendations are an important way of showing other people that you can do what you say you do on your Profile. Request recommendations from your most loyal clients if you haven’t already and don’t be afraid to prompt them if needed. Give other people recommendations where you can. This not only makes you look generous on your own profile, it will also encourage others to return to compliment.

4.      Become a mentor with LinkedIn Career Advice

The new LinkedIn Career Advice feature could be a game changer for LinkedIn users in 2018. In 2017, LinkedIn started rolling out its new mentorship function, where users could offer to become a mentor. This has now been rolled into the Career Advice Hub. You can access the Hub from your LinkedIn profile dashboard. From there, enter your preferences for the type of advice you’re looking to give, and they will recommend members based on what you’ve specified, mutual interests and what LinkedIn knows about you professionally. You never know where that advice might lead or what you might learn along the way.

5.      Engage with your connections

To be effective, social media marketing is all about relationships. Use LinkedIn Pulse to publish articles about your area of expertise. Share your knowledge so that people can get to know you better – and trust that you are capable of doing a good job. Comment on other people’s posts and engage in group conversations. Remember to give before you expect to receive. Focus on making connections for the long term.

These 5 key factors should enable you to build on the “know, like and trust factor” for your business on LinkedIn in 2018, making it an effective form of marketing which delivers real results. I welcome your feedback on these top 5, as well as any others you are planning to implement over the next 12 months.

I work with a wide variety of clients throughout the Thames Valley and beyond to help them create achievable #LinkedIn strategies to promote their business and generate further business leads through my LinkedIn Profile Packages and my one to one LinkedIn Coaching Sessions and my monthly #LinkedIn Training Courses which are run in Reading, Berkshire and London.

Sign up for monthly LinkedIn tips and my Top Ten Tips for professional success on LinkedIn or alternatively connect with me on LinkedIn and/or follow me on Facebook or Twitter.


Rachel Tombs is a LinkedIn Specialist, LinkedIn Profile Writer, and LinkedIn Trainer.

I work with a wide variety of professionals to help them to create and maintain profitable business relationships. We buy from people that we KNOW, LIKE AND TRUST.

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