Are you using LinkedIn properly?

So, you missed our recent Magpie CPD session called “LinkedIn Masterclass”, but you still want to get to grips with the platform?

Maybe you’ve been using it for some time and you’re ready to see your follower count rise because, let’s be honest, only having 25 connections is getting a bit embarrassing.

Especially if one of those connections is your mum…

Well, you’re in luck because the LinkedIn Masterclass presenter, Jo Edwards (who also happens to be the Senior Director of JE Consulting) has boiled down her advice to five easy steps.

This won’t make up for you missing the Magpie CPD session – so make sure you sign up for the next one – but it’s a start!

Step one: Clean up time

Think about it – how many LinkedIn profiles do you see without the proper information on them?

They’re sparse and don’t really give any information about the person you’re looking for.

Perhaps they have a profile picture and the location of their current job, but without the necessary background information they simply look unprofessional.

To combat this, you need to include as much information in your profile as possible.

And yes, that includes information about your schools, universities and any other education you’ve received.

Not only does it look better, but it also helps the platform recommend you to other connections.

If you don’t have photos for the banner and profile picture, you’ll also want to include these.

Step two: A picture says a thousand words

Any photo can work but a professional photo is best.

Try to use one of you in a work appropriate setting and outfit and remember that your profile picture says a lot about your professional abilities.

Maybe the photo of you on the lad’s holiday to Ibiza, with a beer in your hand, isn’t the best option.

Similarly, if the photo includes you doing something that may cause offence or look unprofessional, leave it out.

Try to use one that shows your face in full so people looking for you can recognise you easily.

Similarly, with your banner photo (the one above and behind your profile picture), use your firm’s dedicated branded image if possible.

The company you work for might have a high-resolution, LinkedIn optimised version already, so ask to be allowed to use it.

They’ll most likely be very happy for you to show off their branding on your LinkedIn profile!

Step three: A well-crafted bio

Your bio – the longer piece of text after your main heading – says a lot about you.

Remember, it’s not just about showing your audience what you do and listing your achievements – it’s also about demonstrating that you’re articulate and can write well.

A well-crafted bio should do three things:

  • Tell your connections what you can offer them.
  • Tell them why you’re good at whatever you do.
  • Show your ability to communicate.

Sometimes it’s not easy to do these things in only a few lines but we highly recommend you don’t try to fill all 2,600 characters.

Making a bio overly ‘stuffed’ with information just limits the amount of people who are going to sit and read it.

It’s far better to write something snappy, eye-catching and direct.

Step four: Building connections

This is a slow process and, unlike the other steps above, can’t be done in one session.

You should try to build a few strong connections every day, aiming for people who could provide some value to your business or career.

Whether that’s following up with people who you’ve met, adding clients to the list, or reaching out to industry leaders you admire, it’s going to take time.

The carpet-bombing approach – where you simply connect with every profile that shows up – can build your following quickly but often with the wrong people.

It’s great to see your connections count rise, but if none of them can provide you with genuine value, it’s pretty pointless.

We suggest only connecting with people who you’d genuinely talk to in real life – regardless of the subject matter – as these are the ones who’ll be able to help you out in future.

Step five: Continual valuable content

Now that you’ve got a functioning, well-adjusted, good-looking profile, it’s time to grow slowly.

Yes, you should continue to add connections over the long-term, but you should also be amending the profile for any career changes you undertake.

Maybe you’ve achieved a great achievement at work, passed an exam – include this as a post!

If you move company or get a promotion, change this information as soon as possible!

Similarly, you’ll want to be sharing relevant, valuable and regular content on a weekly basis.

Perhaps this is a blog that your business has written and posted on their website, or a webinar that your boss is hosting.

Either way, you want to provide your connections with a reason to stay.

If you’re an accountant, share relevant tax information and advice for your connections to use.

If you’re a solicitor, you might want to comment on a recent law change that could affect your clients.

Remember, the key here is value and consistency – that’s the way to grow any social media profile.

Have a LinkedIn profile to be proud of by talking to our team of marketing experts.

To grow your following and receive strategic advice call 0121 355 4774 or email

Categories: Blog