Before you can delve fully into using LinkedIn as a business, you need to master LinkedIn as an individual user. While many chiropractors have an account, their profile is often incomplete, making it essentially useless.
You might even say the only thing worse than not having a profile is having an incomplete one. Thus, assuming you already have some form of a LinkedIn profile — if not, go create one — lets complete your profile so you can attain social media greatness.
Go to the menu bar at the top of any LinkedIn page and select the Profile menu. Drag down to the Edit Profile link.
Now we are ready for the following 8 steps:
1. Include Full Name and Image.
Let’s start with the very first section.
This may sound like a no-brainer, but countless LinkedIn users fail to include their full name and picture.
Display your first and last name to ensure people can find you. Using a first name with a last initial is not sufficient — especially when a prospective patient is trying to locate your profile.
Then, upload an image. Research suggests that profiles without photos are rarely viewed, as they are perceived as profiles not in use.
2. Personalize Your Headline.
Customize your Professional Headline, which will automatically update in the future as your current position.
However, you have the option of altering it to something else, which may be more appealing to prospective patients. Just keep in mind that if a patient were seeking you out on LinkedIn, it would be helpful to include your current position (owner or associate) in the headline.
In general, keep it short and sweet.
3. Add Work History.
Head over to the Experience section.
At the very minimum you should list your most recent positions. Click Add a position, and you will be navigated to a separate page where you can fill out information about that job. If your company appears in the drop down once you start typing, click on it to ensure you get grouped under company searches.
TIP: Avoid adding the various positions you held in the many organizations, clubs, and/or societies at your school (whether you are currently in school or 10 years removed). While these are all great experiences, if you want to tailor your profile to a professional environment, highlight only your professional experience, internships, jobs, etc. LinkedIn was wise enough to know how to weigh the clout of each type of work, by including a section under education to separately list these activities.
4. Customize Your LinkedIn URL.
You’ll want to create a personalized LinkedIn URL.
Still under the Edit Profile page, look at the bottom of your profile. You’ll see a line that says Public Profile with an Edit link next to it.
From there, you’ll be taken to a new screen. Scroll down and to the right of the page you’ll see prompts that show you how to create your customized LinkedIn URL quickly and easily.
5. Customize your Website URLs.
Website URLs are just as important as your customer LinkedIn URL.
Click Edit next to Additional Information. Here you can include your interests, groups and associations, and any honors and awards. Each is self-explanatory.
However, the first section calls for websites. The drop down menu for adding a website lists options such as Personal Website, Company Website, Blog, etc.
I recommend choosing Other regardless of what kind of site it is. This will allow you to insert your own Title, so instead of a hyperlinked word that says Blog, it will be more specific, such as Chiropractic Blog.
6. Ask for Recommendations.
You’ll notice a hyperlink under each position that says, Ask for recommendations.
A recommendation can help to distinguish a traditional position by illustrating how well you performed through a colleagues narrative.
TIP: When requesting a recommendation, do not simply send the generic message LinkedIn creates for you. Include some specific projects you worked on so that your recommender remembers the particular work you did and speak to it. Notice the difference between: Pete was a creative thinker who got the job done, and Pete created and implemented a blogging strategy that helped generate 163 leads in one week’s time.
7. Connect Your Twitter Account with LinkedIn.
Just above the Public Profile link under the first section of your profile (where your name, headline, and image is), you will see a Twitter link. Click Edit to manage your Twitter settings.
Not only should you display your Twitter handle, but you should share tweets as well. Your tweets are one of the only ways to make your profile personable and not focused solely around your professional life. A prospective patient will want to see how you speak and think in addition to the more traditional information available on your resume.
TIP: Select the option to only share tweets that contain a LinkedIn hashtag (#in or #li). This will allow you to filter which tweets appear on your profile. This way, if you tweet about seeing someone walk into a door while drunk, it’ll get buried away in your Twitter stream and you can focus on sharing more professional tweets. Keep in mind that not all LinkedIn users are updating their accounts as often as Twitter users, so having a filter can avoid spamming your connections.
8. Grow Your Network.
You now have enough information on your profile to start growing your network! Just go to the upper right hand side of the menu bar and click on the link that says People in it. Drag down to Groups. Then type in a subject you’re interested in (e.g., marketing, sales, real estate, etc.).
You’ll notice that when you do a search, LinkedIn provides suggestions not only on Groups but also in several other categories such as Connections, Companies, Features and Skills.
Don’t be shy about reaching out to organizations or people on LinkedIn. That’s what it’s for. But avoid doing a bunch of outreach all at once because people will pick up on the spammy nature of it. Just pretend you’re at a party and reach out to people one at a time. That way, you’ll come across as more genuine and sincere.