When people come to me for help with LinkedIn, they invariably tell me that they don’t like using the site (in some cases they hate it!) but they have an inkling that it could be good for business.

As with most popular social media platforms, LinkedIn is a busy place with lots of noise going on so the secret to success is to stand out. But, if you don’t like using LinkedIn and you don’t feel comfortable with what you think it takes to have a presence on there, it will be even more difficult for you to stand out.

So before we even start on any LinkedIn strategies for your business, we have to change the way you look at the platform.

That process often starts with these two questions…

1. Do I need to use a corporate headshot?

No! It needs to be professional, in the sense that it’s not a great idea a selfie of you on a night out, and up to date, but it doesn’t have to be a traditional headshot and you don’t need to be wearing a suit if that’s not how you’d normally present yourself. The photo you use on your other business social media pages should work just as well on LinkedIn.

2. Do I need to use a different tone and language on LinkedIn?

No! You don’t need to start using boardroom speak and corporate lingo just because LinkedIn is a business to business platform. Nor do you need to change the way you speak so that it’s “more professional.”

Bear in mind that if people meet you on LinkedIn and eventually decide to work with you, they will be expecting to work with the person they’ve gotten to know online. If you’ve been pretending to be something you’re not in the name of being “professional” then you’re likely to attract the wrong clients and you’re setting yourself, and them, up for future disappointment.

What’s more, I know that so many entrepreneurs decided to go down the route of self-employment in the first place because they were fed up of being in the corporate world. So forcing yourself back into that box will only make you miserable, and, in fact, it’s completely unnecessary!

LinkedIn is packed full of entrepreneurs who feel the same way as you do and there’s also lots of creative businesses on there who really want to do things differently. Yes, there are big corporate head honchos on there, but if you’re not trying to attract them then you don’t need to play that game. Focus instead on connecting with people who share the same values as you, your ideal clients, and you can’t go far wrong.

You can find even more tips and ideas to help you use LinkedIn effectively (and actually enjoy using it) in this blog post.

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Keep reading about LinkedIn…

How To Overcome Your Love / Hate Relationship with LinkedIn

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