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If your small business provides a business service like accountancy, architecture or courier services then it pays to get your personal profile up and online. When you are in the business of selling to other businesses, reputation is everything. Presenting a polished persona to the world matters more than ever, with social media links popping up all over the place.
For instance, you don’t really want customers searching for you on Facebook and running into your hen party or stag night pics! Not only that, but having a profile on sites like LinkedIn can be a big boost to your search engine rankings, so getting your profile up and running there should be top of your list. So set aside some time – a couple of evenings probably – to get your profile brushed up and presentable, then uploaded to all the sites that you need to be seen on.
How to write a good profile
The single most important tip for any service business wanting to write a good profile is to know yourself and your business! Forget boring lists of schools and jobs – who are you and what kind of small business are you creating?
What makes you tick, what are your strengths, what do people say about you? Why would someone want to work with you? Write down a few words and phrases that you like and fit you. What kind of work are you looking for? What kind of clients? Thinking about those things will help you write something that describes what your small business focusing on the things you’d likes to do more of. Thinking about your ideal client helps you write your profile with them in mind.
Before you start writing, check how many words or characters you are allowed to upload – will save you from wasting time writing more than you need, and you’ll be able to fiddle with your profile offline until it’s just right, then when you’re happy with it, upload it.
Don’t be fooled into thinking that writing your profile summary is a ‘walk in the park’. It’s not. A good profile not only represents you really well, but it’s also rich in the keywords for the clients and type of business you are looking for. If you write a profile based on what you’ve done in the past, you’ll be promoting yourself for more of the same. Start using the words and phrases for the kind of work that you’d like in the future and you’ll start coming up in searches for the kinds of work that you are looking for.
If you are not sure what keywords to use, have a go at searching for your service in LinkedIn for example, and see what you get. Try a few words and phrases. You may find that your competitors are using slightly different keywords, or that there are more services you could include in your profile. When you write your profile try and home in on a few keywords – three to five – and really work them into the text as naturally as you can.
Now you’ve got your keywords sorted, make sure you put them in your headline (on Linkedin). Keywords in the headline just work much harder for you than any other ones, so don ‘t miss out on this opportunity. May take a bit of fiddling about with but even if you have to chew your pencil down to a stump it’s worth the effort.
Where to put your profile
Well, start with LinkedIn if you’re not there already. It’s got 200 million users across the world and most of them (64%) are outside the US. Other great places to put your profile include About Me, Plaxo, Sunzu - get googling to find more!