Recently, I got a call from a small business owner on the best way to showcase his business on LinkedIn, essentially creating a resume for his business. The caller was a co-owner of a firm that had been in business for four years. Prior to that, both owners had respectable careers with two industry leading firms. They were well educated, including MBA’s.
The approach described below is based on his goal of having a professional presentation on LinkedIn if a prospective client, lender or vendor looked him, his partner or the business up, not using LinkedIn as a lead generation source that requires optimization.
Use the Owners’ profiles strategically to build a “resume” for the business
- Keywords under the person’s name: Use 3-5 keywords that focus in on the business and its services. This is a primary searchable field.
- Summary: This is a 2,000-character searchable field. It should start with contact information and 1-3 most important keywords. This should be followed by a paragraph in about the “owner” or “principal” or “key executive”, the person who the profile is about. Written in the first person, it should cover the distinctive value that the individual provides to the business and its customers. Finally, there should be a list of “Areas of Expertise” or “Services Offered” that highlight the important keywords that define the business.
- Current Job: Use this to provide comprehensive information about the business, its services, it customers, etc. Except for the individual’s title, this section should not be focused on individual responsibilities and accomplishments.
- Recommendations: Well, duh!
- Previous Employment: Provide at least the company name, title and dates of employment for the most recent couple of jobs. This helps to build credibility in showing that the business owners/executives have the background and experience to provide the services the business is offering.
- Education: Similarly, include education that builds credibility.
- Interests: This is a good section for keyword loading regarding the services of the business. Basically it should reflect that the interests of the profiled individual are the services being provided by the company.
Keep in mind that the targeted audience here is a prospective client, lender or vendor. For that reason, it is the business that is being highlighted, not the individual. The LinkedIn profile for an individual can effectively be repurposed to serve the purpose.
Establish a Company profile
It is also useful to supplement the individual profile with a company profile. Company profiles on LinkedIn can be short and to-the-point. Even setting up a basic company profile provides the opportunity to brand the company by using a logo mark. When the company appears on a person’s individual profile, the logo mark will be pulled from the company profile. Also, having a brief, targeted company description adds credibility to the business.