LinkedIn now has over 620 million members worldwide, yet I still talk to Contractors who haven’t embraced LinkedIn “because they are not a fan of social media”.
Let’s be clear, LinkedIn is not a social media channel; it is a professional networking site where professionals can ‘network’ and make themselves visible to other professionals (or companies) that might want to buy their services.
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LinkedIn’s Revenue Model
The critical statistic for contractors is that LinkedIn generates more than 60% of its revenue from its Talent Solutions offering. This means that it generates the largest portion of its revenue from recruitment orientated services.
This stems from the fact that LinkedIn is now the largest candidate database in the world, so by default, has become the pond in which recruiters and companies fish for talent. Recruiters and companies pay LinkedIn to access professionals on LinkedIn and thereby improve their capability to source talent.
Obviously, the relevance of all this is that LinkedIn should be one of your primary channels for winning work in the contract market. To neglect your profile and all the ways in which you can use it to win work is at best missing a trick, and its not just about being visible to recruiters, there are lots of ways to build relationships and interact with clients in a more direct way.
Another interesting statistic is that 85% of recruiters and client decision makers will view the LinkedIn profiles of potential contractors once they have made their shortlist. In short, this is where they do their due diligence!
This means that having a well written and compelling LinkedIn profile is as important as a well written and compelling CV.
Having just skeleton details or something that’s been cobbled together without much thought is not going to help you in securing a position; in fact, quite the opposite – it is likely to significantly damage your chances!
Some ABCs of LinkedIn Profiles
Here are some quick wins that you can adopt to improve your LinkedIn profile:
- Don’t just put your job title in the Professional Headline section; try to incorporate what you do for your clients. This is what we call a value proposition statement. For example……
Personal Branding Specialist – expert in helping Contractors win more work at higher rates more frequently.
- Make sure your Summary captures your headline abilities (your service offering) and walks the reader through how these abilities will benefit a client organisation. Don’t just pick any old abilities; it is important to present the skills you have that are in line with the hot skills in your market place. Reiterate what you are and what your value proposition is and talk about your philosophy / ethos on what you do. Give a couple of examples of big pieces of work and list some key skills in bullet fashion. Include a call to action and contact details.
- Make sure each Position that you present in LinkedIn gives a summary of the role and where it sits within the organisation. Talk about why you were engaged and the scope of your responsibility, providing evidence that you succeeded by listing outcomes and business benefits derived from your work.
- Ask your connections / past clients for recommendations. Statistically, an individual with recommendations in their LinkedIn profile is three times more likely to be contacted about an opportunity than someone who has not.
- Make sure your LinkedIn profile is keyword rich. You can add a list of key skills into the Summary (where Specialities used to be) as well as the default Skills section. A professional with a good selection of skills will be 13 times more visible than someone without. This helps to SEO (search engine optimise) your profile so you are more likely to appear in LinkedIn and Google searches.
If you would like more advanced information about how to write an effective LinkedIn profile and how to use LinkedIn as a tool for winning work, why not reach out to us for a free LinkedIn (and CV) appraisal.