Contractor business coach backs at least five new LinkedIn hacks

A LinkedIn coach to contractors is endorsing five new tips from an AI-in-recruitment boss -- and a post from a neuroscientist -- on using the business networking platform better.

The five tips start off by saying that despite representing a professional worker’s “prime real estate,” too often a user’s LinkedIn profile is “bare and not utilised.”

Instead, contractors should give their profile “polish” by taking five actions related to the page’s “set-up”, recommended Darren Westall, of AI marketing assistant for agencies Paiger.

'Take out those random numbers in your LinkedIn URL'

“Head to the top right of your profile and take out those random numbers…[which appear in your URL to non-LinkedIn users by clicking] ‘edit public profile and URL,’” Westall began.

“[Next], your profile image [should not really be] party or holiday selfies. And your banner? Make it branded to you and your company.

“[Thirdly, your LinkedIn] headline needs to describe more than what you do and who for. [Instead], make it the problem you solve.”

'Not chunky'

For his fourth tip, Paiger’s CEO said a LinkedIn user’s ‘About’ section should be broken up and easy to read (“not a chunky paragraph”).

And for his fifth, Westall said use LinkedIn’s ‘Featured’ section as “an opportunity to feature well-performing” projects, work, or the user’s most popular posts/links.

Matt Craven, a LinkedIn coach who specialises in contractors, endorsed what he described as five “great” tips -- for both first-timers trying to specialise and outside IR35 contractors.

'Landing page'

“The key is indeed to see your LinkedIn profile as your landing page. It’s serving as your [back-up] website where potential clients look at you with a critical eye,” the coach told ContractorUK.

Managing director at the CV & Interview Advisors, Craven also said that whereas Westall has five tips, he believes LinkedIn profile prowess broadly falls into three main categories.

“First, aesthetics. So your profile photo, your LinkedIn background image and any imagery on your featured posts/activity. Also, use emojis to give text formatting and visual appeal.

'Align with buyer-psychology'

“Second, content,” continued the boss of the CV & Interview Advisors, which is offering a free webinar to ContractorUK readers on June 26th.

“This is what you write. Key is your message. [But how does the content position you to your target audience? Is it aligned with the psychology of the buyer i.e. your potential clients?”

The third category is best-described as the contractor’s (or LinkedIn user’s) “professional footprint.”

'Make you look more attractive'

“This is more about the overall feel of your profile,” Craven explained yesterday in a statement, addressing contractors.

“Who you are connected to will come into play, and your activity and posts definitely have a bearing on how you are perceived.

“Awards, certifications and any thought-leadership activity are all going to boost your profile -- and make you look more attractive to your prospects.”

But there’s few things more unattractive on LinkedIn than commenting on your rivals’ posts, or following the followers of your rivals, solely to steal their followers.

'LinkedIn gurus are crippling mental health'

Neuroscientist Sonal Bhaskaran explained her prognosis. “The most common advice I see from LinkedIn gurus, is the most crippling for your mental health.

“I’m talking about [advice like do ‘x, y and z’,] to steal their followers. [Advice like] ‘comment on the comments on your competitors’ posts to steal their followers.’

“[Advice like that] amplifies a serious problem that's already too big in society. It preys on people who have a scarcity mindset.

“[And] it kills their focus on what's actually important. It crushes chances of building relationships. It's not even healthy hustling.”

'Commenting like a Duracell bunny on speed'

A mental performance consultant, Bhaskaran also said that when people follow such advice, they risk “burning themselves out just to have eyeballs” on their rivals.

Other unedifying results include comments that have “minimal-to-no value”, due to the user preoccupied with their rivals commenting “like a Duracell bunny on speed.”

Bhaskaran, founder at Projects 55, reflected in a post of her own: “You can't steal from someone what they don't own, i.e. followers, who are actually humans with their own minds.”

'LinkedIn algorithm rewards peer-to-peer connections'

At the CV & Interview Advisors, Craven said that following rivals and commenting on their posts isn’t something he’d bother doing, although “it is a good way to improve your ranking.”

“LinkedIn’s algorithm rewards this kind of activity and can help where you are in the pecking order when people are searching for freelancers / contractors with your skills,” he acknowledged.

“My understanding is that LinkedIn’s algorithm rewards peer-to-peer connections. So, if you’re a software engineer, you’ll come higher in the searches for software engineers if you connect with, and interact with, other software engineers than you would spending your time doing the same with CTOs.”

But the work-winning coach for contractors then conceded that interacting with CTOs “would be beneficial” for the software engineer in other ways, indicating that actually, the “best strategy” is -- Craven said -- “do both”.

Profile picture for user Simon Moore

Written by Simon Moore

Simon writes impartial news and engaging features for the contractor industry, covering, IR35, the loan charge and general tax and legislation.
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