LinkedIn is an easy to use, low cost tool that Consultants can use not only to build credibility, but to attract their ideal client.
Many people think that LinkedIn is for jobseekers, and although that is true, it also offers Consultants the opportunity to validate their skills and expertise within their ideal client base.
By using LinkedIn effectively, Consultants can be found in search results and validate their credibility. Here are some of the strategies I use with Consultants to help them leverage the capabilities of LinkedIn to build and maintain credibility as a Consultant:
LinkedIn is a Search Engine. This means it offers a great opportunity for you to be found and validated by new clients. The key with this is Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).
The first and very important step with your SEO is to identify and research keywords. Think about who you want to be found by and what words they would use. Once you have identified your keywords and done some research, you can build your content around these words.
LinkedIn gives you a lot of control over how people can see and reach you so it is a good idea to familise yourself with the settings to make sure you are visible. It is also recommended to set your URL to a vanity URL which allows your LinkedIn Profile to appear if someone searches for you in google.
As well as being a search engine, LinkedIn can be used as a tool to build creditability and assist you in attracting new clients by positioning yourself as an expert in the field:
Try these tips to build your credibility as a Consultant:
- Post search engine optimised articles to support validation as an expert. This is a great alternative to a personal blog website if you don’t have one.
- Edit your summary and headline to reflect your current business plan and targeted audience.
- Join and comment in groups to increase visibility and build creditability.
- Share awards and achievements to support positioning as an expert.
- Curate information of value to your audience.
- Share examples of your work, key projects and link to other online media.
- Display certifications, awards and industry associations on you profile.
- Share and promote upcoming business and industry events.
Validation can also be further supported by ensuring you collect recommendations. Think of the value to a prospective client who sees someone they know and trust recommending your service on LinkedIn.
Once you have developed your profile, make it easy for people to connect with you. Always ensure that you include links to your LinkedIn profile on your other material including your business card, email signature and websites.
Remember also to use LinkedIn to find information on prospective clients and others in the industry. This can give you a distinct advantage when engaging with a prospective client for the very first time. Having an idea of their background can make conversation easier, and knowing what they look like can add confidence to that all important first introduction.
Finally, also use LinkedIn Advanced search capabilities to locate potential decision makers by searching key words. As you can see, LinkedIn can be an easy to use, free tool for consultants to use to build credibility.