By Mike Lloyd O'Brien, Wellesley Information Services, LLC (WIS)
This is the first post in a continuing series of tips and resources focused on helping SAP consultants increase their marketability and revenue.
With 70 million members in 200 countries, LinkedIn offers the SAP consultant a no-cost (or low-cost, with premium account) platform for driving home the unique attributes of his or her personal brand and services.
Here are 8 tips for raising your profile on LinkedIn:
1. Let potential clients know what separates you from the pack.
Optimize your LinkedIn profile header to highlight your unique value proposition. Example:
SAP CRM Certified Application Associate specializing in on-time projects for manufacturing industry.
In the summary and specialities sections, include keywords that prospects would use to find a professional with your set of skills.
2. Seek recommendations from clients. Testimonials help reinforce your brand.
Once you have completed another successful SAP project, connect with your client in LinkedIn and ask for a referral via the “Recommend this person” tab on your LinkedIn profile page.
3. Participate in LinkedIn groups.
Under keywords “SAP,” you’ll find over 3,000 groups, but you can get granular. Type in keywords “SAP” + “CRM” for example, and you will find 120 LinkedIn groups to choose from to network and assist members.
Better yet: Start your own LinkedIn group – SAP CRM for Manufacturers or SAP CRM New England?
4. Post status updates frequently to increase brand recognition.
Reference your ABAP article in SAP Professional Journal, your new blog post on Insider Learning Network, a credential you’ve earned, a new client you’ve added, etc.
If you’re attending an event, such as SAP Financials 2010 in Barcelona or TechEd 2010 in Las Vegas, add something of value to the update. “RSVP for 30-minute lunch session to get your questions answered on SAP and International Financials Reporting Standards (IFRS).”
5. Participate in the LinkedIn “Answers” section, where you can ask or answer questions in your specific areas of expertise and interest.
Enterprise Software, under the Technology section, is a good place to start.
6. Add the SlideShare or GoogleDocs application and create and attach Powerpoint presentation or related collateral to demonstrate your expertise.
Provide thought leadership on a burgeoning area (cloud computing, for example).
Post case study on problem you solved for a client (get permission first).
Provide a services walkthrough with a call to action.
7. If you Tweet, add the Twitter application to automatically post your Tweets to LinkedIn status updates.
You’ll also get the latest Tweets from LinkedIn members you’re following on Twitter. A LinkedIn-only Tweet feature is also available.
8. Search by company.
By clicking the “Follow” tab on a company LinkedIn profile, you can keep abreast of news from organizations you’re interested in doing work for and pick up some talking points.
What’s working for you on LinkedIn?
Mike Lloyd O'Brien is a Major Account Manager at WIS, home of SAPexperts.com. Mike helps customers take control of their SAP projects with validated informational resources. Prior to joining WIS, he ran his solo communications practice, M.L. O'Brien Communications, LLC, which provided writing and editing services and PR and marketing support to help clients increase marketplace visibility and sales.
Contact Mike at firstname.lastname@example.org. Connect with him on LinkedIn (www.linkedin.com/in/mikelloydobrien), and follow him on Twitter (twitter.com/mikelloydobrien).