Primary research firms like Apex Leaders scour sites like LinkedIn for seasoned industry experts or subject matter experts to advise top-tier Private Equity investors who value experts’ guidance during their investment due diligence process. PE investors are increasingly turning to such firms to help identify key people to influence their decision-making. Short-term advisory work often leads to long-term partnerships with clients.
For professionals actively seeking consulting work, it’s imperative to increase your visibility on social media. Putting the time and effort into fine-tuning your LinkedIn page can significantly pay off.
If you do nothing else, remember this: craft a well-written and focused introduction, fine-tune your skills and experience, and grow your contacts on LinkedIn to boost your chances of being found and contacted by research firms. But details matter, so here's eight practical ways to attract a research analysts' attention and earn you more consulting work.
1. The word on keywords
Just like any search engine, LinkedIn utilizes keywords and SEOs to help filter results. If you include only general terms, the odds of being found greatly decrease. If you have a particular skill set, or your field uses industry-specific jargon, use those words in your profile. Where you include the keywords in your profile for searching purposes is less important, but good places to list keywords are in the summary section or in the description under each role you’ve held.
2. Include your contact information
If you ask to be contacted for opportunities, or specify you’d like to be contacted by a specific method—email, home phone, work phone, cell phone—include your contact information publically and explicitly on your page. If you don’t, the chances of being contacted greatly decreases. If you only include your contact information in the private section created by LinkedIn, it can only be viewed by your connections.
Pro Tip: If you don’t want your personal email or number to be shown, set up a sub account that will forward messages to your normal email account. You can also set up a free Google Voice number.
3. List specific skills
Get nitty gritty with your experience. List out niche, specific skills. Delve into accomplishments and your industry-specific knowledge you possess. More often than not, clients are looking for niche experience. If you don’t specify, you’ll be overlooked.
4. Connect with past employers
It’s quick and easy to link your LinkedIn page to an employer’s company LinkedIn page or their external webpage. By linking your job experience to your employer’s corporate LinkedIn page, you’ll show up in searches for the company, increasing your exposure. This also helps legitimize your experience. It’s also helpful to link to a company page if your employer has a common name–it helps searchers distinguish between firms with the same moniker. If your current or past employer doesn’t have a corporate LinkedIn page (they should, see why here), you can always include a URL link to their webpage in your job description to legitimize and confirm your experience.
5. Connect with others in your industry
Networking is a huge part of LinkedIn, and of growing your career. Sometimes clients locate experts by coming across one person in the industry and looking at their connections. If your connections are in your career field and also have solid experience, that helps legitimize your experience and expertise.
6. Include ALL your work experience
LinkedIn is first and foremost a resume database. Include your entire resume. This is time consuming, but once you’ve entered it, you won’t need to do it again. Without the work history, clients are hesitant to trust you.
7. Spell check
Double-check your job titles and company names. The reason for this is two-fold. One, the number of profiles with spelling errors is embarrassing. It creates an aura of carelessness and makes people think you’re unprofessional. It may rule you out before you even begin a conversation. Two, research analysts find experts via searches. If you have a spelling error, you likely won’t be found in their search.
8. Create a business page for your consulting company
If you’re serious about building a consulting base either as a supplemental income or as your main income, creating a business page is by far the wisest way to be noticed. LinkedIn makes it easy to create a business page. Be sure to include your contact information (email and phone), a list of services (keep keywords in mind), and your skill sets If you have an external website, and link to it!
Dedicate a few hours a week for the next few weeks to enhancing your LinkedIn page, and you’ll be well on your way to increasing your exposure and landing more consulting work. If you're a sesoned industry professional, read more about how to become an advisor and how we work to help you monetize your experience.