LinkedIn is a professional network where professionals connect with others who are valuable to their network. Whether this be an old friend, a previous co-worker, an employee at a company you are hoping someday to be employed by or a people that will help grow your business. The reasons may be different but the intent is the same. To grow a network of professionals that add value to the network. Finding the right people from 70 million users on LinkedIn is a challenge. Where do you start? How do you find them?
We have become accustomed to search via search engines so this is a natural place to start on LinkedIn. When we start our search, we think of core keywords that we would associate with the individual(s) that we are trying to connect with. This is of course if you do not have their name. The results are matched to the keywords in the the headline as well as the summary. However as this is an permission based connection platform, the headline is what will be featured in the search results along with y0ur name and photo and not your summary.
1. What do you do? Start here and jot down terms as they relate to what your current position is. This will more than likely not be your headline however it is a starting point to see how you define yourself.
2. What do you have to offer? If you are an employee of a big company, what makes you irreplaceable? Why should a consultant connect with you? What do you have to offer to a connection other than a wave?
EX: Gardening Consultant. Finding the right vegetables to plant for your soil & climate.
3. What makes you unique? Thinking in these terms you are identifying what differentiates you from the rest of the field and why it is worth noting.
EX: Social Media Consulting. Free profile analysis to leverage brand maximize your exposure.
4. What value do you bring? Great you are a CEO but what does that mean to me? How does you being a CEO relate to where you would fit into my network?
EX: Forging business relationships internationally; supply chain management consulting.
5. What problem to you solve? A descriptive problem solving headline is beign there before they know they have a problem and when in panic and need the problem solved. We know that when we need something, we need it done right away and being able to be there already is the perfect position.
EX: Blog Consultant. Advising & educating new bloggers how to write and promote a blog to build an online community and generate sales.
We connect with people that we feel that we should get to know by either having been exposed to them in a group, exposed to their employer or find something that is unique about them whether it be from others that are connected to them or from what we read about them. What we read about them on LinkedIn is limited to their headline. You can see where the 120 character headline must be enticing and impressionable so that people will want to connect.
Looking at your current headline, would you connect and do business with you? If not, take some time and create a headline that reflects the heart of what you are about and how you can be a strong member of a network. LinkedIn CEO’s contact information is one of the most sought after executives.