I invited Kamara Toffolo for an interview to pick her brain on how to use LinkedIn as a tool to get yourself visible for recruiters, employers, and clients you want to work with.
Kamara is a career coach who helps working professionals either commit to or quit corporate by figuring out what work for them. Whether they want to excel in the corporate world or follow their hearts and break-free from the rise and grind, Kamara helps her clients get clear on what they want so they can go out and get it.
She is passionate about LinkedIn and helping her clients optimize their profiles, and I loved having her on this Screw The Cubicle TV episode!
In this video interview, she advises on how to stay visible and accessible on LinkedIn and also how to avoid rookie mistakes so that you can be found on LinkedIn to potential clients/employers/recruiters. The strategies are generally the same for all. It’s about being “findable”.
Check out my interview with Kamara below:
What could you be using LinkedIn for?
Whether you are a new corporate escapee hunting for new clients or in transition from a job you hate to find a new career, LinkedIn can be a platform to help you connect with potential people to help you further your career.
However, most people, myself included, have no clue what to really do on it other than to have a profile and hope people find us.
LinkedIn is a platform that is quite different from more social platforms like Facebook and Twitter, as it focuses on connections in the professional realm, and for work related connections. It also features your work experience history, recommendations from past clients, bosses, and colleagues, and also a place for you to promote your skills and expertise to the world.
And like Facebook groups, LinkedIn also has specific groups that will house the people that have similiar interests, and also give you access to clients that “hang out” here, which makes it easy for you as a professional to contribute value to or engage in conversations to the audience that you should be in front of.
Setting up your profile to convey who you are
First tip Kamara gives is to make sure your profile is set up in a way that showcases your best professional face. Don’t put up photos of you and your kids (save that for your Facebook account). Do put up a face front headshot that is friendly, approachable, and smile!
Dress up nicely and professionally appropriate to the work and brand of who you are. That doesn’t mean being in a suit if that is not your style, but one that is relatable to the people you are trying to connect with. You don’t have to spend oodles of money on professional headshots, as these days, iPhones have such a great camera that you can use as an alternative. Choose a neutral background, and get a friend to take it for you.
Make sure that your summary in your profile is written in the way that you would speak and in your voice. This gives your potential connections, whether they are recruiters, potential partners, or clients, the opportunity to see an authentic description of your professional experience. You can absolutely add a bit of personality to your writing and being HUMAN in your summary is key!
Be engaging, relatable, and approachable to the people you want to help or connect with. They need to know your story and why you want to do the work that you are doing (or want to do).
Kamara’s tips on using LinkedIn efficiently
- Give your profile a facelift if you are transitioning from a different career to a new one to dedicate your headline and summary to your new direction
- Make sure that you “turn on/turn off” notifications for your network depending on whether you want your contacts to be notified of your new career direction or to NOT showcase your search for a new one (if your current boss is on your list)
- In your headline, put in an enticing copy that can start with “I help X do X, so that they can X, so it’s more engaging to click on your profile
- Use groups to be connected to the people or tribe you want to be a part of, and give value or discuss topics that relate to your work. You can be visible and tell people what you do by engaging in these groups
- Make sure to read and follow the LinkedIn group “house rules” to not be a dick and how to engage in the group
- Give value value value (like Gary Vaynerchuk’s “Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook”), before offering promotions or ways to work with you to give people authentic help
- Use LinkedIn between 7-9am on the weekdays, because most people that use this platform is before work to check their newsfeed and pulse feed for news articles. You don’t have to worry about weekends
- You can re-purpose your content from your Facebook pages or Twitter on LinkedIn when you post on your LinkedIn profile so that you aren’t making up new content for each platform
- Spend your time optimizing your profile with specific keywords of your skills and experience, rather than pumping up new content for LinkedIn
How powerful are LinkedIn articles and the best way to leverage these?
Use the publisher option in LinkedIn to publish your blogs and your articles as it’s simple and beautiful to use. If you do not have your own blog and feel like writing, it’s a great way to get your feet wet to start writing. It is a great way to get exposure and be found.
Google really loves LinkedIn, so if you are writing articles and blogs via the LinkedIn Publisher, your profile will rank high, sometimes even higher than your Facebook profile.
Connect with Kamara!
Contact Kamara to give her some love or to get her help on how you can optimize your LinkedIn profile:
P.S. If you find today’s video helpful, please forward it to a friend, colleague, or anyone you think that could benefit. And of course, comment below to speak directly to me and I would love to support you 🙂