Using LinkedIn to Grow Your Practice and Expand Your Reach
These days, one of the first things you’re supposed to do upon entering the professional world is create a LinkedIn profile. It’s the equivalent of eating your vegetables as a child. You do it because it’s good for you, because it will help you grow strong, and because, well, it’s just what you do.
But is it relevant for counselors and their practice? Before we answer that, let’s take a closer look at what exactly LinkedIn is.
What is LinkedIn and Who is It For?
Everyone has heard of LinkedIn, and most people are on LinkedIn, but a lot of us are unsure of what exactly we’re supposed to do with it.
Like most social networks, you create a profile and start connecting with people. And also like most social networks, you can share links, write posts, and join conversations that span the globe.
But LinkedIn’s defining difference is that it’s exclusively for your professional life.
So instead of posting pictures about your weekend or a trailer of the latest movie, you post about your job skills, accomplishments, and industry insights. Instead of connecting with friends, you connect with coworkers, peers, and business contacts.
And there are plenty of people to connect with. Since it’s founding in 2002, LinkedIn has grown into a platform with 500 million users, 106 million of which are actively engaged on the platform.
On LinkedIn, your profile is essentially your resumé. Many people use it to find a job or find someone for a job. Others use it to grow their professional network, finding new sales leads, distributors, partners, clients, etc.
And some use LinkedIn to try and become an influencer in their industry, someone everyone looks to for guidance, wisdom, and relevant news. With LinkedIn’s built-in blogging functionality, you can easily write full-length articles about any topic of your choosing.
Not only are these shared with your LinkedIn connections, but they can be shared outside of LinkedIn as well.
So Where Do Counselors Fit in on LinkedIn?
Since LinkedIn draws a hard line between your personal and professional life, it can be the perfect social platform for counselors. Rather than connecting with your clients, you can connect with industry voices, fellow counselors, and larger practices.
Not only does this keep you in the greater conversation, but it can help you gain referrals while also providing you with trustworthy people to send referrals to.
It’s natural for every practice to have leads come in that simply aren’t a good fit for them. LinkedIn can help you find a place for those leads.
Additionally, LinkedIn allows you to better establish yourself in your industry, creating a trustworthy reputation that will strengthen your practice.
How Do I Create a LinkedIn Profile for My Practice?
Creating a LinkedIn profile is simple and free. Before you create one for your practice, you’ll need one for yourself. All you do is fill in some blanks, add a nice picture, and you’re all set. If you don’t have a professional photo of yourself, we’d highly recommend investing in having some taken.
The first thing people will notice about you and your profile is your picture. Before anyone ever meets or engages with you, they’ll form an opinion of you off your picture. So why not start off on the right foot?
Also, make sure you’re thorough and up to date with your experience and accomplishments. As we said before, this is essentially your resumé, and resumés should be crafted to sound as impressive as possible.
Once you have your own profile setup, you can create a page for your practice. Anyone else working at your practice can then connect to it as well.
Expanding Your Online Reach
While LinkedIn is a great tool for counselors to grow and strengthen their practice, it shouldn’t be your only online focus. Every digital strategy should begin with a functional, professional-looking website. Once that’s established, you should make sure your practice can be found where people are searching for counseling.
We can help with both of those areas. Torrch is an online platform designed to connect people searching for professional help with Christian counselors who specialize in their area of need. With Torrch, you’ll receive exclusive leads right in your inbox.
Best of all, creating a Torrch profile is free.
In addition to the online platform, Torrch designs, hosts, and supports counseling websites. Choose from a variety of layout options, customize it to match your branding, and you’ll have a brand new site up and running in less than a week.
All of our sites feature modern design, pre-written content, professional photos, and mobile responsiveness, so they look great on any device.