Managed services provider CEOs have a great opportunity to build trust with potential clients using LinkedIn – when you use your LinkedIn profile strategically to tell your story.
Trust is critical for MSPs. Your clients depend on their computers to run their business, and their computers depend on you.
You can use your LinkedIn profile to build trust – to allow people to learn about you and your business, to show your strong tech background, to share your commitment to customer service, and help them get comfortable with you before you even meet.
When people Google you…
Small business owners who have a crisis or decide to find a new provider will typically start their search online.
As they identify potential MSPs, they Google the company name to get more information about the business. Then many look into the CEO and other executives. When they search for you by name, your LinkedIn profile will show up as one of the top results. Since LinkedIn is a trusted website, they’ll most likely click the link to view your profile.
This is your opportunity to have them learn about you – and find out what you want them to know.
Unlike some of the other links on the search engine results page, you have complete control of what your LinkedIn profile says about you. It’s worth your time to put in effort to share your professional story and flesh out your profile.
Follow these tips to bolster your LinkedIn profile.
Connections: Connect with a diversity of people
LinkedIn stops counting how many connections a person has after 500. Aim for that number. As CEO, reaching 500 should be a breeze. Especially if you’ve been in business for awhile, your personal network likely includes thousands of people. Try to move that network onto LinkedIn.
Another thing people look for is connections you share. If they find someone you both know, especially if that person is someone they trust, they might ask the person for insights about you. Connect with partners, customers, your employees, and influencers in your industry, including editors and bloggers.
Resources: Help people learn about your managed IT services
Most LinkedIn profiles have a link to the company’s website, but not to other resources like blogs and social media. Add links to regularly updated websites and profiles, such as your blog, Twitter feed, and your company’s support page.
Summary: Tell your story and highlight your IT specialties
The first thing most people read is the summary. Its narrative form makes it more readable, especially when the profile tells your business story. People tend to connect with stories and remember them.
Here’s your chance to let people know who you are, what’s important to you, and what your vision is for the company. Some share how they started the business. Others write about a time when they helped a client with an IT emergency. You can post your awards and accomplishments, use humor or add a personal touch by listing the things you like to do outside of work.
James Oryszczyn, President of TBJ Consulting LLC, shares an experience. “One weekend, the system administrator of a county government called to report a crash that had taken out 10 systems, including email. Luckily they had installed a solution – one we recommended – to make recovery easier, in case they ever had any problems. We were able to remotely access the systems and work on the problem. By Monday, everything functioned and employees were able start work on time,” he writes.
He has a great quote that packs punch: “Technology is forever messing up.” Oryszczyn explains why he founded his company and how he works with clients. He also includes his contact information and a list of his tech specialties. His photo shows him working on a computer.
Experience: Show what you have accomplished
Most people only list their roles and responsibilities. But your LinkedIn profile gives you another opportunity to show what your MSP can do for its clients. An effective way to do that is to list your accomplishments. In the summary, you may have mentioned a story where you helped save a client. Now use the experience section to list results you’ve achieved for customers.
Did you restore a network within one hour of receiving the phone call? Did your disaster recovery plan save a client’s business? Did your virtualization plan allow the company to let employees telecommute?
This is the time to share the results that make you proud.
Recommendations: Let others do the talking for you
A recommendation requires more effort than an endorsement. Recommendations contain a short narrative whereas endorsements are simply point-and-click. Try to get at least two recommendations for your current and most recent positions. They’ll differentiate you and support your story.
You get bonus points if you get recommendations from partners and customers. Just ask. Most will write one.
You can also write recommendations for others and they’ll most likely return the favor. When you write one, the recipient typically receives an email from LinkedIn that says a new recommendation has come in and asks if the person wants to write one for you.
Media: Share your IT expertise
Technology is daunting for a lot of folks. Some MSP executives speak at conferences, meetings and other events. These topics are often educational, a good way to demonstrate your expertise.
If you have slides, photos and videos of you giving the presentation, post them. If you’ve written articles or been quoted in one, include those too. This is especially important if you want more speaking engagements.
Following: Disclose your interests
You may not know Bill Gates personally, but you can follow him. You can follow influencers, topics, companies and educational institutions. It doesn’t require being connected. Your list of who you follow is an easy way to share your interests.
If you work with a lot of clients in the healthcare business, you’ll want to follow influencers, topics, and companies related to healthcare and technology. This includes business and industry thought leaders, company pages of valued customers, partners and potential partners, organizations in your industry, and publications.
You’ll also want to search for healthcare-related news, such as healthcare, law and government, pharmaceutical and insurance, and share those items as status updates.
Other topics for MSP CEOs to consider are leadership and management, technology, entrepreneurship and small business, social media, customer experience, mobile, cloud, privacy and security.
Groups: Join conversations to connect with prospects, clients, and influencers
LinkedIn groups provide a great forum for meeting people and building relationships. You can join up to 50 groups, so try to join at least 20 groups.
The first groups to seek out are the ones your customers join. Check the profiles of current clients to see which ones they like.
Look for management consulting, tech, security and other related groups for managed services providers. A CEO of MSP that targets financial advisors might join groups related to finance or investment.
For non-business related groups, find groups for alumni and nonprofit organizations you support. With these, you have something in common that makes a great conversation starter.
Tell us about a memorable LinkedIn profile and what made it memorable.