Every person he spoke with during the interview process remembered his three strengths that are mentioned and explored in the 'About' section at the top of his freshly elevated profile. This made my day -- heck, my week. To me, it's proof that there are ways to successfully write LinkedIn profiles to address different career stages or professional journeys, including those of entrepreneurs. After all, it wasn't until I became a small business owner that I started to really pay attention to, care about and use my LinkedIn profile.
Here's a look at LinkedIn profile strategies for three different entrepreneurial scenarios.
1. You are struggling to find clients and grow your business.
You'd never broadcast on LinkedIn (or anywhere) that business isn't booming. But how else do you convey that you're looking for more clients?
My advice: It's two-fold. First, make it easier for people to understand what you do and the benefits you bring to them. This will help connections see why they should hire your company and give them the talking points they need to refer you to others.
While you might have many strengths, pick the three that you get most excited talking about with business prospects; you can dive into more strengths once you're meeting face-to-face.
Second, ask current or past clients to write a LinkedIn recommendation that underscores the benefit and value you and your company provide. I've written before about how to ask for LinkedIn recommendations.
2. You are leaving your corporate job to start your own business.
This one speaks to me. Like I said, until I started my public relations and communications business nearly four years ago, I didn't regularly use LinkedIn. Partly I wasn't super interested. And partly I was limited in what I could do as my employer's social media policy didn't allow me to post work samples or display recommendations.
Again, two pieces of advice. First, rewrite your LinkedIn 'About' to focus on your strengths and how you help (or plan to help) clients. Or, you might tell a story of how your career led to entrepreneurship.
Second, create a LinkedIn company page. This will set you apart from every other entrepreneur -- and you will see there are many -- who hang the proverbial shingle and don't go to extra mile of creating a LinkedIn presence for their business.
When you don't have a company page, you're asking connections and others who come to your profile to take you at your word that you have a legit and thriving business. Trade in that gray box next to your company name for your company logo that when clicked takes people to a page devoted to your company. Your company page is where you can share and post articles you or others write about your company or industry. It looks good, tells your story and adds credibility.
3. You own or operate several different kinds of businesses.
When I work with clients who have a lot of diverse businesses, they worry that would-be clients won't get who they are and what they're all about.
What to do? First, tell a story. Use that 'About' section to write a narrative that connects those dots so that those you hope to do business with see your entrepreneurial journey as an intentional one. While it might not feel like your journey makes sense, when you think about it and look for a common theme, it will. You might have experience in a multitude of industries, but in each one you solve problems, lead change or deliver value.
Second, create showcase pages to steer specific clients to your specific businesses. To see what I mean, go to Amazon's LinkedIn page. The retail and Internet behemoth has dozens of showcase pages -- for Amazon Kindle, Amazon Pay, Amazon Web Services, Audible, Inc., Prime Video Direct, Whole Foods and so many more. This allows Amazon to communicate individually about all of its products and services.
No matter what your situation as a business owner and entrepreneur, it's always a good idea to give your LinkedIn some love. If there's a better way to tell your story or to convey to the universe the opportunities you are seeking, don't wait another moment. Let prospective clients and business partners know what you bring to the table.