Continuing with our conversation about LinkedIn, let's talk about the different types of account available. As of the writing of this Nugget, LinkedIn has 5 different account types as indicated here:
LinkedIn Basic, Free
Business, $24.95 per month
Business Plus, $49.99 per month
Executive, $99.95 per month
LinkedIn Pro, $499.99 per month
Each account type has about the same features, but as a retail jeweler you only need to have the Basic account. You shouldn't need any of the other accounts unless you are looking to seek a new career or hire a professional employee.
As you build your LinkedIn profile, you will encounter at least one term you might not yet be familiar with through other social media sites. The basis of LinkedIn is making a connection with other business professionals. The word "connections" is used throughout the website.
The connections are measured in degrees of separations. People you know directly are referred to as "1st" connections. As you grow, the system will show you "2nd" and "3rd" connections as recommendations of people you might know. It will also show how you through whom are associated.
But before we dig deeper into connections and business relations, let's get back to the basics: Your Profile.
To get started you will have to enter the list of your job experiences. LinkedIn is focused on business professionals and job experience is how everyone is initially connected. Within each job you need to include your title, dates worked and you can fill in a description of your duties.
Most users will try to squeeze all their job experiences into the "Summary" part of their profile, but that's the wrong approach. The Summary field has limited character length and you're likely to run out of room really fast as we work through this.
Keep your job descriptions where they belong - in the "Experience" section. This is your resume, or CV, and should be written as such. In the USA, a resume is typically 1 or 2 pages long whereas a CV can be many pages and include a portfolio. On LinkedIn, you should feel free to fill in as much job description information as you'd like. You have a lot of space, so feel free to use it.
When adding your current position at your jewelry store, do not include the overall services that your store provides; there's another place for that. Instead, just explain the specific job you do. Some simple examples include watch repair and jewelry design, but you should give this some serious thought.
The goal of your LinkedIn profile is to connect with your customers, and through those connections you will get exposure to their co-workers and local associations. As you compose all the information for your profile you need to present it from a customer service angle. Thinking in terms of "you" rather than "I" or "we" will help you portray better customer satisfaction rather than selfishness.
Within each job description you could also list when you received certifications or awards, but there is another section called "Honors and Awards" that is meant specifically for that too.
In tomorrow's continuation of our LinkedIn discussion, we will talk about the Summary and Specialties of the profile and good strategies for using them.