A collective sigh goes up. Not another social networking site to eat into the already precious time of the Virtual Assistant? Hang on though – before you run away, frightened that it’s just another place to tell the world you’ve just eaten a Jaffa Cake (or even more daringly, you might have one in a bit), think again.
In an increasingly web-driven work-o-sphere there are certain social network sites that are more or less devoted to business, or connecting with like-minded business people. LinkedIn is one of them. We know Twitter and Facebook are the more popular – and can generate much in the way of work, but for some they are just too much. LinkedIn can provide a viable and well functioning alternative to the norm and is well worth considering if you feel that “the other two” just aren’t for you at all.
What is it?
Whereas Twitter and Facebook are a melding of social and business networks (i.e. you can sign up for an account and just connect with real people and have virtual conversations OR you can sign up to promote your business and just tweet links or other useful information pertaining to your work) LinkedIn is purely for business, so you can just engage solely with professional contacts with a view to finding or supplying work, both long term and short term. It’s like organising the delivery of a parcel from a service like parcel2go. You wouldn’t just send a parcel off with anyone and hope it got delivered; you’d want to check them out to know they were reputable – LinkedIn is the same. It can be used by employers who wish to take on new workers and people who are seeking jobs can, by virtue of their contacts – be introduced to them.
On Twitter for example, you gain a list of followers who you can follow back if you wish. On LinkedIn you maintain a list of connections that can generate work for you and also a list of recommendations, garnered once you build up trusted connections and good working relationships with employers.
I’m Convinced – Now What?
Well, once you’ve signed up it’s worth taking on board a few points to make sure your profile is working for you properly as a virtual assistant – here’s how:
- Make sure your profile is a winner. You want it to be returned on search results when people are searching for a Virtual Assistant, therefore keep your profile keyword rich with the following terms “Virtual Assistant”, “Admin”, “Secretarial”, “PA” are all excellent terms to use as well as detailing your work experience past and present. Consider this your online CV of sorts – when writing a CV the best advice is to sell yourself, but keep it brief and only use the salient points. The same goes here. Use bullet points to highlight your strengths and knowledge base.
- Make sure you add your company page to your profile. If, of course, you have one. The more people see this, the more contacts you are likely to make. If you have a blog, Twitter feed or Facebook page for your Virtual Assistant work, add that in too.
- Make use of “groups”. Groups are places in which connections and contacts who have the same interests can chat and connect, to discuss their business or ask for help and advice. Again, the more of these you join, the more chance you have of building up connections and contacts which can lead to work, and if nothing else you will gain valuable tips and information.
- Make use of LinkedIn Polls. These are invaluable in terms of gaining customer insight and highlighting the types of work you do. Create a specific poll relating to one of the services you provide and garner some feedback from other individuals or people seeking work. People have been known to gain work just from creating polls and asking questions as they are maintaining an active profile and advertising themselves.
- Personalise your profile. It may seem obvious to highlight this, but the more you personalise your profile the more people are likely to want to take notice of it. Use a smart photo of yourself on your profile, and also your real name. This is the initial key to get prospective employers to begin to trust you and know that you’re genuinely who you say you are.
Written for: http://www.p4d.co.uk/