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Get more value from networking by connecting on LinkedIn

Your LinkedIn profile headline is as important as your business card and they need to match.

If your business card says one thing and your profile says another, then this could leave people wondering if they have found the right person.

A good habit is to return from a networking meeting and ask the people you’ve met to connect on LinkedIn. If your prospect does this, they may very well have a stack of business cards in front of them. The natural way to find you will be to simply search for your name. However, it is likely that you are the only person with your name or if you are, and it’s an unusual name, it could be easy to mistype.

When selecting your name from the list and visiting your profile, don’t make people work too hard having to check that you are the person they met. 

Your Photo
Your photo should make it very obvious, but sometimes it doesn’t. If you’re a woman constantly changing your hairstyle and colour, you could be less recognisable than you think. If you have a photo that isn’t a headshot (I don’t recommend this) again it could also make it hard for people to spot you.

Further, as they aren’t connected to you and may not be a 2nd degree connection, it is possible that your photo isn’t showing at all. Setting your profile to show your photo to the public is a vital part of building your network, so check your settings and make sure your photo is showing.

Your headline
The next trick to making sure people know it is you is to put your business name in your headline or what you do. For example, ‘Alpha Marketing’ or ‘Incentive Gifts & Promotional Merchandise’.

Your headline can be 120 characters including spaces so you can definitely fit your business name or key services, along with a byline about what you do or if you like your job title.

Company Logo
Connecting your Profile to your company page [insert link to how] will allow you to feature your company logo on your profile. If the company page is set up correctly with the graphics it needs, your logo will automatically appear next to the entry in experience for this role. Avoid having your logo as an uploaded piece of content as it looks less professional and it also wastes vital space.

Matching Your Email
Again another way someone might look for is to search on your email. If the email on your business card doesn’t match the one on your LinkedIn account, your profile won’t appear. You can add multiple emails to your LinkedIn account but an email can only be connected to one account. If you have a shared email on your business card-e.g. info@ sales@ – you obviously won’t be able to do this. I would suggest speaking to your marketing department and having your own email address printed on your card if you’re in a key position to build your network.

Your professional image on LinkedIn is important. As I always say, ‘A poorly crafted LinkedIn profile is the equivalent of showing up to a networking event in your pyjamas.’

At the event you likely gave a 60 second pitch – but do you feel you said it all? If the answer is no, then make sure your LinkedIn profile backs you up by making sure your message is continued on your profile and takes your prospect deeper.

TIP: They say your prospect is never the person at the networking event but rather who they know. A well-crafted LinkedIn profile provides the perfect resource for introductions.

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