networking

5 Tips to Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile

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Only 50 percent of LinkedIn profiles are complete
and less than half of all users update their profiles regularly.

~ SocialTimes.com

LinkedIn is the most useful and popular professional network for professionals, entrepreneurs and small business owners to build your brand, network and make B2B and B2C connections. The first information visible on and LinkedIn page is the user's profile: and first impressions are lasting impressions. Most users who get a negative first impression won't bother going any further into your profile!

tip from JoAnne Funch at LinkedIn for Business: Before beginning to edit your profile, turn off the activities broadcast box located under your Privacy & Settings section, to so this you need to uncheck the box.

 How to Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile

1.  Personalize your profile URL

Look at your LinkedIn name: is your profile name www.linkedin.com/in/0123456789 or www.linkedin.com/in/YourName?

To customize your profile URL, go to: https://help.linkedin.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/87/kw/personalize+URL

optimize your LinkedIn profile URL
optimize your LinkedIn profile URL

2.  Choose a professional image

Use a professional photo of yourself that projects the image you want to convey to colleagues, customers and clients.

LinkedIn has said that profiles with photos are x7 more likely to be viewed by others.

3.  Use keywords

In your Headline and Summary descriptions use key words and terms that are commonly used in your industry, to find someone with your skills or services. Remember: users will be entering keyword search terms in the LinkedIn search field to find people who meet the qualifications they need: they don't know you by name.

4.  Update your status

Your profile will show your latests update: If you have not posted an update in months - years? you give the appearance that you are no longer active on LinkedIn. Provide relevant information in your status update to keep your profile appearance active and current.

5. Verify your contact information

The whole point of maintaining a profile on LinkedIn is so you can be contacted. Regularly review your contact informationto make sure it is still accurate and current:

  • email address
  • phone number
  • location

Regularly review and optimize your LinkedIn profile so that it is accurate and current. Even better, ask a friend or colleague to review your LinkedIn profile so you have a fresh perspective on how someone else will see your profile.

This infographic from Visual Loop has 17 LinkedIn Profile Must-Haves

LinkedIn Profile Optimization infographic
LinkedIn Profile Optimization infographic

For More Information to Optimize your LinkedIn Profile
LinkedIn for Business: The Ultimate Cheat Sheet on Optimizing Your LinkedIn Profile
Maximize Social Busines: Professional LinkedIn Profile Tips: A Checklist of 17 Must-Have Items

5 Reasons Small Businesses Need to Start Networking

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As a small business owner, it can be hard to take time out of your already busy schedule to go out and meet other business owners. But you should: Networking can be one of the best things you can do for your business. When you meet other business owners, you may find that they have a need you can fill, or they have a service that fills your need. Entrepreneurs can relate to the busy-ness of owning a small business, the pressures, and the rewards. Seasoned entrepreneurs you meet at networking events can offer advice on how to handle the rollercoaster of entrepreneurship.

Here are 5 reasons to start networking now

1. New business opportunities

Networking opens up numerous opportunities to meet potential suppliers or customer. You may meet a supplier that fills a particular need you have. You could meet another small business owner who requires a product or service that you provide, you have the opportunity to make an impactful connection.

2. Collaborations

Not every business in your industry should be viewed as competition. Sometimes meeting a business owner in a similar industry can create a unique opportunity to collaborate. Laura Woods from the Business Finance Store shares this example: You own a coffee shop, and you meet the owner of a café. You collaborate by convincing the café owner to sell your premium coffee in his store, and you agree to sell her baked goods in your coffee shop. Customers can now find products at both the companies, increasing traffic and revenue for both businesses.

3. Advice

At networking events you will be hard-pressed not to find a seasoned business owner making his or her rounds. Connecting with that entrepreneur can be very beneficial for advice on employee issues, customer service, expansion opportunities, and the local business economy and other issues critical to small business owners.

4. Recognition/Promotion

Networking events are not solely about making connections. These events are a great form of promoting your business. Typically you will be sharing your business story with others at the event. Crafting your elevator speech combined with a distinctive business card is a great way to get your business name out there.

5. Increased confidence

Networking pushes you to talk to people that you normally wouldn’t have an opportunity to interact with. By committing yourself as a business owner to open up to new opportunities, you increase your self-confidence. The more confidence you have as a business owner, the more attractive your business becomes to others. The more attractive your business is, the more connections you have, and the more your business will grow.

Networking comes in many shapes and sizes: informal gatherings, conferences, monthly meetings, happy hour, tweet-ups, or virtual online events. Howeveryou decide to network,  remember that networking is an important part of being a small business owner and growing your business.

For More Information on Small Business Networking
Small Business BC: Five Benefits of Networking
Huffington Post:  How Networking Can Take Your Business to the Next Level