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LinkedIn for Independent Consultants: 5 Steps to Enhance Your Profile and Bring in More Clients


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Once thought of as a social media outlet for individual professionals, LinkedIn has been rapidly gaining traction as a resource for companies to promote and market themselves. For independent consultants - those who fall somewhere in between individuals and businesses – there are a number of outstanding benefits LinkedIn can offer to help you build your brand and promote your consultancy. Here are five tips for a business of one to keep in mind to succeed on LinkedIn.

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LinkedIn for Independent Consultants: 5 Steps to Enhance Your Profile and Bring in More Clients

  2. 2. 2 MODERATOR STEVE ARHANCETDirector of Consultant Services ©2011 MBO Partners Inc.
  3. 3. 3©2011 MBO Partners Inc.
  4. 4. 4 WEBINAR CONTROLSThe full screen iconmaximizes thepresentation area.The chat box allows youto send a question to thepresenter. ©2011 MBO Partners Inc.
  5. 5. 5 LIVE TWEETINGFollow our hashtag on twitter during this webinar for live tweeting! #mboweb ©2011 MBO Partners Inc.
  6. 6. 6 ABOUT SPEAKERMelissa WashingtonLI member since 2004, id 1,408,083Sacramento, CA| Professional Training ©2011 MBO Partners Inc.
  7. 7. 7STEPS1. Write a compelling headline2. Communicate your skills3. Gain great recommendations4. Make the right connections5. Take networking to the next level BRING IN MORE CLIENTS! ©2011 MBO Partners Inc.
  8. 8. 8 TODAY’S TOPICS HeadlineConnectionsSkills ©2011 MBO Partners Inc.
  9. 9. 9TODAY’S TOPICS Recommendations ©2011 MBO Partners Inc.
  10. 10. 10 LINKEDIN FACTS➤ LinkedIn is worlds largest online professional network. Over 160 million members.➤ Enables you to network with other companies and professionals.➤ Excellent way to stay on top of trends, best practices and business/industry specific news.➤ Stay in front of your current customers and future customers➤ 12 million small business professionals➤ 81% of business to business marketers are using LinkedIn – B to B magazine ©2011 MBO Partners Inc.
  11. 11. STEP 1: HEADLINE 11©2011 MBO Partners Inc.
  12. 12. 12 HEADLINE: WHAT IS IT?➤ Your headline is your “calling card”➤ It is the first thing people read when they click on your profile➤ Searchable in LinkedIn advanced search ©2011 MBO Partners Inc.
  13. 13. 13HEADLINE: WHY IS IT IMPORTANT? ©2011 MBO Partners Inc.
  14. 14. 14 HEADLINE: BEST PRACTICES➤ Typical Example: • Independent Consultant • Program Manager MAKE IT COMPELLING AND ENGAGING➤ Example: • Certified Internet Marketing Consultant | Get you more results | Author • Independent Consultant | Internet Technology Guru | C++ Certified • Creative Marketing Machine | Social Media Fanatic | Polished Presenter Tactical Take-Away Tips • Differentiate yourself from the rest by being specific and descriptive versus generic. ©2011 MBO Partners Inc. • Think outside the box by writing something other than your job title and company. • Make yourself memorable by adding interesting facts.
  15. 15. STEP 2: SKILLS 15©2011 MBO Partners Inc.
  16. 16. 16SKILLS: WHAT IS IT? ➤ Promoted throughout profile ➤ Search Engine Optimization (SEO) friendly ➤ A way to describe your expertise and paint a picture of yourself ©2011 MBO Partners Inc.
  17. 17. 17SKILLS: WHY IS IT IMPORTANT? ©2011 MBO Partners Inc.
  18. 18. 18 SKILLS: BEST PRACTICES➤ Integrate Keywords ➤ List them in: • Example • Summary • Consultant • Skills • Independent • Current and past positions • Specialization (Biofuel expert, C++) • Top to bottom on your profile • Certifications (PMP, Series 7) • Software Expertise (Oracle, Salesforce) • Familiar industries (IT, auto) • Clients Tactical Take-Away Tips • Research a variety of way to express your expertise and include them in your skills. ©2011 MBO Partners Inc. • Be as specific as possible. • Use keywords throughout profile, not just “skills” section.
  19. 19. 19 STEP 3:RECOMMENDATIONS ©2011 MBO Partners Inc.
  20. 20. 20 RECOMMENDATIONS: WHAT IS IT?➤ You can both give and receive recommendations on LinkedIn➤ You can only give and receive recommendations from your contacts➤ You must have the position listed on your profile that you are ©2011 MBO Partners Inc. getting the rec for
  21. 21. 21RECOMMENDATIONS: WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?➤ Validates competency, certification, knowledge➤ Prospective clients will research your reputation➤ Professional testimonials are one of the most powerful marketing tools ©2011 MBO Partners Inc.
  22. 22. 22RECOMMENDATIONS: BEST PRACTICES➤ How to request a recommendation • Personalize your message • Ask for specific recommendation on a project • Spell check your writing➤ Write recommendations for others to get your own➤ Be strategic about who you ask for a recommendation • Timing • Position-level • Type of relationship Tactical Take-Away Tips • Try to garner a variety of recommendation – from C-level execs to colleagues. • Be generous in providing recommendations for people, it will give you exposure. • When requesting a recommendation, be specific about the project you want highlighted. ©2011 MBO Partners Inc.
  23. 23. 23HOW TO GIVE A RECOMMENDATION ©2011 MBO Partners Inc.
  24. 24. 24©2011 MBO Partners Inc.
  25. 25. 25 HOW TO GET A RECOMMENDATIONTips:• Personalize• Spell check• Be specific• Remember to say “thank you” ©2011 MBO Partners Inc.
  26. 26. STEP 4: CONNECTIONS 26©2011 MBO Partners Inc.
  27. 27. 27CONNECTIONS: WHAT IS IT? ➤ A way to connect professionally with your network ➤ A way to stay in touch with former colleagues ➤ A way to meet new people (through mutual contacts) ©2011 MBO Partners Inc.
  28. 28. 28CONNECTIONS: WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?➤ Leverage to increase productivity • Find, Connect, Collaborate with your connections➤ Can lead to new project opportunities • Your name/profile will appear as “connected to” on all of your connections profiles • More visibility➤ Keeps past colleagues updated on your professional status • Communication tool • Keep in touch ©2011 MBO Partners Inc.
  29. 29. 29 CONNECTIONS: BEST PRACTICES➤ Connect with people you already know • Import your email address book • Personalize your message • Spell check reminder➤ Use as a follow-up tool when you meet someone new at a business event➤ Consider your contacts when you post updates on your profile Tactical Take-Away Tips • Consider timing, personal and professional relationship - will they remember you? • A smaller number of solid contacts will serve you better than a lot of mediocre contacts. • Provides a way for new audiences to find you. ©2011 MBO Partners Inc.
  30. 30. CONNECTIONS: ADD 30©2011 MBO Partners Inc.
  31. 31. STEP 5: NETWORKING 31©2011 MBO Partners Inc.
  32. 32. 32 NETWORKING: WHAT IS IT?➤ Bringing two worlds together • Online networking via LinkedIn • Offline networking via events➤ Meeting new business contacts to further your “brand” awareness ©2011 MBO Partners Inc.
  33. 33. 33NETWORKING: WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?➤ Source of new clients and projects➤ New connections help you grow your business➤ Societal expectations➤ Technology advancements are making it easier than ever • Connect with people over the internet • Meet with people in other locations via Skype IF YOU DON’T PARTICIPATE, YOU’LL GET LEFT BEHIND. ©2011 MBO Partners Inc.
  34. 34. 34 NETWORKING: BEST PRACTICES➤ Build connections online and offline • LinkedIn Groups • Networking Events • Find on LinkedIn Events • MeetUp➤ Smartphone app➤ CardMunch Tactical Take-Away Tips • After meeting people in person, connect with them online via LinkedIn. • Don’t be shy when networking, everyone does it and it may be the key to success. • Stay up-to-date on social/professional networking trends. ©2011 MBO Partners Inc.
  35. 35. 35NETWORKING: FIND EVENTS ©2011 MBO Partners Inc.
  36. 36. 36 NEXT STEPS1. Write a compelling headline (120 characters or less)2. Put a list together of at least 10-12 skills3. Make a list of 2 people to give recommendations to and 2 to request recommendations from4. Add contacts from either my gmail, hotmail, yahoo or outlook5. Expand my networking next month by adding an event BRING IN MORE CLIENTS! ©2011 MBO Partners Inc.
  37. 37. 37 CONTACT SPEAKER➤ MELISSA WASHINGTON • • • P: 916.253.7357 ©2011 MBO Partners Inc.
  38. 38. 38 WANT TO LEARN MORE?➤ EMAIL US!➤ VISIT OUR WEBSITE➤ FOLLOW US ON TWITTER @mbopartners➤ SIGN-UP FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION • Receive updates for upcoming webinars - email ©2011 MBO Partners Inc. • Sign up for new Independent Consulting Brief at
  39. 39. 39 THANK YOU ©2011 MBO Partners Inc.