Getting Started with LinkedIn can be intimidating if you have not already been using this social media platform, but don’t worry it is actually pretty easy. The hardest thing for a business owner is just getting the time to sit down and get at it. Try to give yourself an hour to get through the process and get it set up right and then it will be easy to maintain in a few minutes a day.

LinkedIn can be very profitable for making appointments, building pre-client relationships, staying in contact with your customers and learning more about your own industry. Overall you could increase your bottom line substantially just by being on there and having a good profile where people can find you. So it is definitely worth while especially for B2B who do not fare so well with Facebook and other platforms.

Here are some good tips for getting started, and stay tuned because next month we will give you some more intermediate steps to really pimp out your profile and up your game.

  1. Google LinkedIn and sign up; Just follow the prompts putting in your email address and picking a password.
  2. Completely fill out your profile. This is your opportunity to share all of the great stuff about yourself that you need to share. Nobody is going to dispute it, but be honest. Your integrity is important.
  3. Get a nice headshot of yourself looking approachable but professional. Casual picks are fine on Twitter and Facebook but not on LinkedIn. This is where professionals connect. Let them see your face, many of the connections you want will refuse to connect to a picture of a logo or something other than your face. They won’t say anything about it, they will just reject your connection. You will never know the reason why (that is why we are telling you.)
  4. Follow the basic instructions to add connections from your current email accounts.
  5. Go to that stack of business cards that you have been collecting for years and start adding all of those people as contacts. Write them each an invitation as you do it reminding them how they know you.
  6. From now on whenever you go to a networking meeting or a trade show all business cards get entered into your LinkedIn connections before you do anything else with them.
  7. On your home page on LinkedIn you can now post to LinkedIn and Twitter simultaneously by checking off  the little birdie symbol when you make a comment.
  8. Put your phone number and your email address right in your summary. Never make people look for how they are going to connect to you. You have their attention now real them in. If they find you on Google and are not a LinkedIn user, they have no access to your contact information, unless you have posted it at the TOP of your summary!
  9. Say something positive and quote positive people. When they go through your recent activity to try and discern who you are they should find you saying good things that are uplifting. That makes them want to look you over some more and possibly even visit your website.
  10. Give away free tips and advice linking to your blog. LinkedIn is not about selling. It is a relationship building tool. Build faith and good will by giving away information that many people need. Use that as an opportunity for them to see who you are and why they need your product and/or service.
Congratulations you are off to a great start! Next time we will tell you how to automate some of these posts so you can keep up consistency without being on your smart phone all day long. We hope these 10 beginner steps are helpful for getting your LinkedIn profile more profitable.