I was talking to our LinkedIn expert, Cheryl Oribabor today (she does our trainings) so I asked her thoughts, too – we believe that setting up a LinkedIn profile with no connections doesn’t really do more harm than good. It’s just that there’s really no point to it. Ultimately, it may help a smidge with SEO for the firm.
We believe that a good LinkedIn profile should be created to showcase your professionals, of course.
But if someone sends a message to start a conversation and no one responds, it is definitely a negative. So we need to take a few steps back and discuss the importance of USING and leveraging LinkedIn. People can’t value what they don’t understand so it is our job to convince them that they are missing the boat if they are not engaged in this social media. How you do that is to show them that people are looking for them on LinkedIn (after we have set up profiles for our clients, we wait a couple of weeks and then go back and show them how many people have viewed the profile – this usually shocks them!) Tell them that 70% of all prospects and referral sources search for them online before they meet with or hire them. Their LinkedIn profile will come up first in the search engines. Also, professional service providers should be shown examples of how LinkedIn can be used to target their niche groups and attract their ideal client. It has taken asset marketing to permission-based marketing. It’s the best thing to ever happen to professional services marketing!!
We also know how to write LinkedIn profiles that make visitors aware of the depth and breadth of your professionals’ expertise. Let people see that you have well-rounded people with not only successful careers but also hobbies, who volunteer and do interesting stuff outside of work! A 360 degree look at them as human beings – their natural, genuine differentiator! Some consistency is definitely recommended, but we feel each profile should be somewhat individual – they are all different people, with different positions, industries, etc…different stories to tell. Sometimes we find that’s the hardest part- getting them to “open up” virtually and show themself to the world. And yet it’s the reason they are selected as service providers – rapport or chemistry – and this is a great way to be show you they really are.
Feel free to contact us with any more questions, (from you or that you think they might ask!) we’ve had some great successes in this area!