Linking into LinkedIn

As a leading business, limited company, freelancer and contractor accountant, ICS Accounting have built a wealth of experience across more than just tax, payrolls, and compliance. This month, we’re sharing tips on maximising your business success through the professional networking site LinkedIn, helping you to win your next contract.

When you’re busy setting up, consolidating, expanding or diversifying your business, LinkedIn may not be in your top ten to-do tasks, but it probably should be! Launched in 2003, it’s the world’s largest professional network, with over 850 million members in more than 200 countries and territories.

Advantages over social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram include LinkedIn’s impressive reputation for connecting professional, trusted business people and companies.

LinkedIn is also a Business to Business (B2B) platform, rather than the Business to Consumer (B2C) model followed by most social media sites. Attracting attention and connection with other businesses and professionals through a B2B platform leads to greater quality connections, enquires, contracts, sales, repeat business and long-term partnerships. For example, 93% of recruiters use LinkedIn to research and recruit candidates. As such, an effective, inviting, informative and up-to-date LinkedIn profile should form the core of your social media presence, and here’s how.

Top ICS Accounting Tips for LinkedIn

  • Choose the right pictures. They speak a thousand words! Your profile picture should be recent, in focus, head and shoulders, and professional. Stand out by using the background picture feature to place your business or personal skills in context.
  • More than a headline. The most successful profiles expand their name or title with a sentence to grab your reader’s attention with a little bit more about you.
  • – Your summary is your story. Rather than just a list of job roles or business history, use your digital CV to explain why those skills matter. Selected personal details and activities add personality and colour.
  • List your relevant skills. Listing key skills help others find and select you but avoid the turn-off pitfall of the ever-expanding list. Keep your skills trim, relevant and regularly reviewed.
  • Showcase your services. A newer LinkedIn feature especially beneficial to consultants, freelancers and those working for smaller businesses, an active ‘Services’ section will boost visibility in searches.
  • Network. The more relevant connections, the stronger your network. Synchronise your profile with your email address book and social media platforms, follow up suggested contacts, conversations, meetings and networking events (use delegate lists) with LinkedIn connection requests.
  • Endorsements and Recommendations speak volumes. These work two ways, so recommend and endorse others where you feel it is deserved, and don’t be afraid to politely request a testimonial after a successful transaction. You can easily manage and hide any responses you feel are irrelevant.
  • Stay relevant, stay timely. Politely and quickly responding to enquiries, posting news and updates, or revising your digital CV, a successful LinkedIn profile is fresh and up to date. Taking just a few minutes a week will reap the rewards.
  • Take it in new directions. Offering almost unlimited business and networking opportunities, don’t be limited by thinking of LinkedIn as a static online CV. Target sectors and businesses with messages to key people, join conversations, publish long-form posts to share your passions, share content, and add comments; you can even expand your skillset with online LinkedIn courses.
  • You’re not on your own. On the cusp of connecting to a potential audience of millions, there’s plenty of help, including templates and tips on the site. Firstly have a look at LinkedIn profiles in your sector for inspiration, then make a draft and run it past those whose opinions you value. This could be your most rewarding piece of personal marketing- you’re worth it!

ICS Accounting: With you for the Journey

You’re 100% focused on starting or growing your business. You’ve seen how LinkedIn can be the key to expanding your profile, now you only need a few more hours in the day, right? ICS Accounting understands, at this time especially, you have better things to concentrate on than sorting out salaries, setting up accounting systems, and making sure you’re on top of all HMRC requirements, deadlines and compliance. That’s what we’re here for.

ICS Accounting’s stress-free support enables you to focus on your career and business: from paperwork to payrolls, cut-offs to compliance, we take care of the rest, as simple as that. From specialist packages tailored to specific sectors and professions to personal services for individual needs, you have 24/7 online visibility, plus access to our dedicated and understanding account team whenever you need them.

To discuss your requirements with one of our friendly team of experts, or for no-obligation advice, simply call 0800 195 3750, or email info@icsuk.com