Explore why should you be on LinkedIn and how it helps your business & brand. Learn the awesome ways and tips to create a strong LinkedIn profile. Plus, great examples of LinkedIn headlines, summaries and Features!
“We all need to be on LinkedIn!”
As entrepreneurs and professionals, most of us agree.
And even then, a mere presence isn’t good enough. Just yesterday, a mompreneur who needs a job on the side, mentioned to me that she needed to update her Linkedin profile, which she had not ‘touched in ages!’
Do you wonder about the relevance of LinkedIn for women entrepreneurs? Is it a ‘nice to have’ or can it really help? Plenty of entrepreneurs I work with, ask about the serious benefits of Linkedin for business.
‘I actually get all my traffic from Instagram. Or, FB groups is my top source for leads.’ Or even, ‘Individual and on-ground networking is the only way business happens for me!’
All true and sensible. Just not enough.
Today, LinkedIn is the default validation for the professional you!
While women are more likely than men to start businesses, only 34% of the US internet users who use Linkedin are women.
In other words, women, particularly entrepreneurs, freelancers and even job-seekers, need to play catch up on LinkedIn.
Is Linkedin for Entrepreneurs? 7 compelling reasons!
Even if you’re not looking for a job and being on the recruiter radar is not necessary, create and update an active LinkedIn profile. Here’s why it’s important .
If they are hiring, most business owners want to vet their vendors, VAs, coaches or service providers.
A lot more companies are hiring freelancers for seasonal or contract projects and they want to see credentials and connects.
You might want to connect with influencers, sponsors, advisors, investors or mentors – sure enough, they’ll want to check you out too.
Get Found! Are you on the Best Directory for Women Entrepreneurs? It’s FREE!
Publishers and blogs want to see writing credits and published work. As a highly ranked blog, Maroon Oak’s Editorial Team regularly reviews the Linkedin profiles of potential guest bloggers to assess their relevant skills. And we’re not the only ones!
Your profile will show up high on Google searches – think SEO for yourself and your business.
Robust profiles also attract more collaborations, better outreach for speaking engagements, even more competitive terms for buying from others.
Finally, LinkedIn is constantly introducing new features, and familiarity and usage is the only way to cash on them.
LinkedIn for women entrepreneurs – 14 great features that smart professionals use and you should too!
Start with these top LinkedIn Profile tips and explore individual sections below, in detail.
Create a strong Summary and Featured section
Include keywords that people are likely to search for
Connect with people in your field – professional connects, classmates, alums
Enrich your Profile with media, links, certifications & published work
Include volunteer work
Update professional and soft skills
Ask for (and give) recommendations and endorsements
When clients or employers are searching, you want to be found!
Enhance your visibility, brand & work prospects with a Linkedin Profile Review
Here are the details of the different tips with different LinkedIn Profile examples
Profile Headline and Summary – may (or may not) be short, but make it very sweet!
You headline has 120 characters of your Profile, while your summary while your Summary allows ti to include 2-3 paras that summarize all you do.
Think of your LinkedIn summary as your featured content.
It’s your snapshot and the ideal place to play up your own skills and expertise. What should your summary look like? Instead of a hodge-podge, make it cohesive e.g. skill specific or maybe a compelling story.
Looking for Linkedin summary and headline examples for entrepreneurs?
While there is no one template for a great Linkedin summary, here are 5 great ideas that you can use for inspiration!
The big no-no is writing the summary in third person! A summary that says ‘Jane Smith is a marketing pro who excels at marketing…’ reads more like a testimonial than a compelling intro.
Get the best tips to write your LinkedIn Headline and LinkedIn Summary with great examples too!
New LinkedIn Profile Feature!
Now you can share your name pronunciation in your LinkedIn Headline too.
Name pronunciation can only be added using our mobile app.
Should you mention soft skills? Yes, particularly if interpersonal dealings are key to your work or if you deal with clients one on one, in businesses like photography, graphic design etc.
Find out which soft skills are your road to success!
Wondering how to show your soft skills in your resume or LinkedIn?
Learn the secrets to a standout LinkedIn Profile with our Free Guide!
Create yours smartly and strategically!
Use the right Profile Keywords – no one looks for a Client Happiness Coach!
Research the keywords you have used – it’s quite possible that your choice of words means something different to a majority, or is low on the search hierarchy.
Here’s an example – a search on a word like ‘Networking’ yields far more results from the Technology industry than it does for professional interactions.
Make sure that you’re searchable for your major skill sets, but don’t overload on keywords. Also, make every word count. Avoid words that you have used in your headline – repetition equates redundancy!
What impacts your search results on LinkedIn?
Add connections consistently – it’s a network, after all!
While the value of connections is well known, engagement with them is lesser so. You never know when you might get a ‘like’ or an invite to connect, from an industry leader or influencer. Plus, how much you engage directly impacts your profile views too.
Now, networking can go well beyond common connects. Linkedin proactively offers up info on profiles (like the images below), and this helps you in multiple ways. You can ask to get introduced. And if you are the well connected yourself or have strong skills, a similar field might appear on yours too, which makes your profile more valuable.
Share media and links on the Featured section – if you have reason(s) to brag, you should!
Don’t share wins only on your newsfeed. After the initial buzz, they will vanish pretty quickly. You should also add the key ones to your profile for future access. Almost every section in your profile has the following option.
As an entrepreneur, what can you share on LinkedIn?
A lot more than most of us do. Here are some suggestions:
Accolades: garner positive attention
Link to a valuable press mention – Huffington Post did an feature on how our free networking platform is connecting women entrepreneurs. Not only did I share it on my Linkedin news feed, I also added it to my profile.
Pictures for awards or recognitions.
Your story or your company’s journey.
Work: grow visibility
Share your portfolio, particularly if you are in a visual business like food, design etc.
How to create an impressive portfolio to win the right clients? Get the best ideas and tools!
Use Slideshare – upload a presentation, document or even an infographic. Then link to it on your profile. LinkedIn owns Slideshare and your content can get huge visibility (remember to include your logo in every slide, because Slideshare allows anyone to ‘clip’ individual slides).
Products: build authority, clicks and professional synergies
Books & eBooks
Add the right pictures – a thousand words, and all that!
Small upload, big impact! Your headshot makes a difference – needless to say, your LinkedIn Profile Picture must be clear and suitable for a professional platform. Anytime you are e-networking, the first thing people will check out LinkedIn Profile pictures.
How to rock your Pictures for your LinkedIn Profile!
- Include your face or face & torso (rather than a full shot) so you are clearly visible on small devices too.
- Use a high-resolution image
- You can edit a full picture by zooming or cropping not to the size you want.
- If you like a picture that’s too dark or not the right color, you can edit it on LinkedIn itself. Use a filter or correction elements like light, contrast etc.
- Use the right pose, makeup and colors. Need tips on how to DIY your professional headshot?
- Don’t use selfies or crop out group pictures.
Your cover or background images help you stand out, but they can also be used to convey extra info about your work or business. Avoid an image that’s too text heavy or blatantly promotional, as that can be a put-off. The 3 images below are examples of LinkedIn profile background images. Leila Janah appears in her cover shot and showcases her work, while Kathryn Minshew chooses to share her personal goal in a subtle, understated way. Ayesha Khanna puts forth her company’s name, URL and visual effectively.
Showcase freelance work – the Company you keep!
When you list your company in your Experience, make sure you balance out the info – a brief overview about the business and details about your own role. If you have a Linkedin page for your company, that’s great. Your logo and thumbnail will be clickable and easily accessible to users (example below). MO
But if not, make sure you add a web link in the media so your audience can learn more the business.
Freelancers, women entrepreneurs and mompreneurs are finding jobs here!
On Maroon Oak’s Company Page, we showcase our goals and mission. We also post articles, press mentions, tag article authors and those featured in the posts. Just like personal profiles, now you can also post videos on company pages too.
Is a Company Page necessary on Linkedin?
Creating a Linkedin Company Page is fairly easy. However, building traffic and a following is much harder than it is for your individual profile, so factor in the work involved before you create one.
But even if you don’t have a company page, having a name for even a solo gig is useful. Apart from the fact that people prefer doing business with a company (even if it’s small), this is important since your current company’s name appears on your profile snapshot. In this image below, Linda’s profile snapshot shows her current company as WSI Web Systems, which is at the top of her experience.
Here’s an example of a freelance content pro who has no company, but used a series of roles to describe her work right now. Therefore, her profile snapshot might imply that she’s involved in multiple endeavors like Media and Advocacy, but it could also mean that she’s looking for work.
Accomplishments – they’re your skills. With outcomes!
The list is big – but you don’t have to update everything. Pick what works for you – some of these will showcase your skills and others help with visibility or connections.
Are you an author? Blogger? Do you write for magazines? Or even e-zines and others’ blogs? You can share details like topic, publication and add the link. Again, if the publication has its own Page, you can tag it for greater impact.
Amongst my publications, I have listed the Blog on Maroon Oak, which has over a 100 articles on entrepreneurship, professional success, career options, work life balance and more. I have also tagged other Linkedin Members who are authors on this blog and their thumbnails show up. It’s a win-win!
Public service matters and always will. Apart from your showing your community ethic, it can be a great avenue to start meaningful business conversations.
Examples of organizations you might be a part of are your local Chamber of Commerce, Professional/ Business Networking Organizations like Maroon Oak.
It’s always a great idea to follow high profile pages or influencers on Linkedin. Well, you don’t have to, but it helps.
Who can you follow?
College or University pages are great because other alums tend to look upon you more favorably. Alumni Associations are great for focused networking.
Like listening to TED Talks? Support SPCA? When you follow these pages, it gives others a chance to get a better insight into you, and potentially a shared interest too.
How to Share your LinkedIn Profile. Plus, a few more tips to make your profile rock!
Make sure you have an easy shareable profile with your custom LinkedIn Profile Link or URL – looks better and is more easily shareable. You can find this on the top right of your profile page.
A lot of users wonder about converting your LinkedIn Profile to a PDF or Resume. You can export your Profile details as a PDF and even turn into a resume. In your profile, click on the More button, like the image below.
Ask for recommendations – it’s both a professional and profile boost.
Endorse others for skills. A lot of people reciprocate, but even if they don’t, at the very least, it puts your name and thumbnail on their profile. Similarly, you can ask for recommendations if you have worked with someone for some length of time.
Link your Twitter account to your profile from the Settings menu. The posts you choose will be shareable on Twitter too.
Similarly, you can use IFTTT to post your different types of Instagram content to LinkedIn.
Need more inspiration to jazz up yours? Have a look at these CEO Linkedin profiles!
Here are commonly asked questions on LinkedIn for entrepreneurs
There are many reasons for this. You can find freelance work, clients can see your credentials, you feature on more searches and can also connect with more prospects, influencers, mentors and advisors.
How can you be more searchable on LinkedIn?
Create a strong and clean profile summary, add a headshot and relevant cover image, showcase links, articles, press mentions and seek recommendations.
Is LinkedIn useful for mom business owners and freelancers?
Yes, absolutely. More clients and companies can find you to do business, and vice versa. LinkedIn also has freelance jobs, content and groups that you can use effectively for growing your business.
When clients or employers are searching, you want to be found!
Get a Linkedin Profile Review
Rock your profile with a professional assessment for completeness, quality, use of keywords, support information, suggestions for outreach and networking.
Final word – how great is Linkedin for women entrepreneurs?
No matter where you source your business, don’t underestimate the importance of Linkedin for entrepreneurs. It can help you grow visibility, build authority, connects and lead generation. It starts with a strong profile, but a consistent presence and active engagement can give you the much needed traction.
Jill Rowley summed it up effectively – Linkedin is no longer an online resume. It’s your digital reputation!
How strong is yours?
Pooja Krishna is an Entrepreneur, Business Mentor and Mom. She has worked both in large corporates and managed startups over the last 20+ years.
She’s a co-founder at Maroon Oak, and is founded Win Thinks, where she writes, speaks and teaches about Digital Media, Brand Building and Future Ready Businesses. A day trader for over a decade, Pooja launched Trading Paces to educate amateur and pro stock traders. As a classroom mentor, Pooja loves teaching students across the U.S. about job skills and entrepreneurship. Read about her on Huffington Post and Forbes.
A trivia buff and yoga & hula hoop enthusiast, she’s discovering the pleasure of drawing Zentangle patterns for ‘creative mindfulness.’
I think LinkedIn is a pretty underrated platform – thanks for showing how to make it work!
Wow, this is the perfect LinkendIn guide! I’m posting on LinkedIn to keep it active, but I’m fully aware I need to create time to learn to understand this platform better. Thanks for sharing this!
You’ve got some interesting points. I didn’t think my blog content was the right fit for Linkedin but I may re-think that.
Yes! It is your online reputation that’s why I love LinkedIn. And I also love how I can easily connect with likeminded womenpreneurs in there. This is a very detailed tip, I would definitely review my account and apply these tips. Thank you so much!
Prior to this article, I gave very little thought to my LinkedIn presence. I have an account but have not been active whatsoever. After reading this article, I am definitely going to touch up my profile! Thank you so much for posting these useful tips!
Thank you for this useful information. I am saving article as I have to definitely update my LinkedIn profile.
Thanks for the tips. I was the store manager at Pier 1, and within closing now it’s on to something new these tips will help
I couldn’t agree more, Pooja! I’m just starting up another class on LinkedIn for people who know LinkedIn is the place to build relationships and gain more clients, but they’re reluctant to dip their toes in the LinkedIn waters.
Great information. I need to use LinkedIn more.
Love this post! I desperately *want* to like using Linkedin, but I struggle so hard with vibing with it. I will bookmark this post and go through it and see if I can’t ignite some spark there! As a brand & business photographer, I know having a presence on there would be beneficial!
Oh my gosh! You just reminded me that I haven’t updated my LInked In profile in years! I should fix that this week.
I remember making an account in Linkedin and I never went back. But my profile is still searchable and I dunno how to delete it anymore because I no longer have access. 🙁
Such great advice! I so need to get better at doing Linked In. Thanks for the push!
This came at the perfect time! I’ve just started to updated my LinkedIn profile and I want to use it more, so I’ll definitely start using your tips!
Thank you for sharing these tips!
Lots of great tips! Thank you!
Thanks for sharing these tips, I haven’t actively worked on on Linkedin profile. I think I need to do it.
Thanks for these very interesting tips. They are very helpful. I have been ignoring my Linkenin. Time to get back on it.
Interesting! I never thought to go in Linkedin – my husband loves that app.
These are amazing tips! I see LinkedIn not being utilized properly all the time unfortunately. Its going to replace resumes at some point so professionals need to stop taking it for granted.
Hi Pooja, thanks for spotlighting my LinkedIn Profile! I agree 100% with your blog – LinkedIn is not just for job seekers or recruiters anymore. We all need to have an optimized profile that attracts our ideal clients *and* potential partners!
It’s quite strong, actually!
These are great tips. I really like the idea of making the profile more visible with visuals. This was a good reminder to update my linkedin profile which I have neglected for a while. Thanks for sharing the importance, especially for women.
Thank you for sharing this information. I love that you can see your work profile grown on Linkedin.
I haven’t touched mine in ages too. This was super helpful, I’m going to need to spruce up my profile and pay more attention to it!
This is so helpful! I have linkedin, but I never really used it much. I’ll definitely have to start using it more now!
What helpful information about Linkedin. I have an account and should update it ASAP!
Thank you for sharing all of these tips! Definitely useful for ladies looking to start their own business. I especially struggle with writing bios, I never know what to say to make a good impression !!
Thanks for the tips – my linked in is due for an update!