9 tips to grow your LinkedIn audience as a female entrepreneur

5 mins read

An entrepreneur is a person willing to take risks to receive a reward. A female entrepreneur can sometimes face even more risks and define a reward as something far more than just profit. For me, a big part of my career has involved social entrepreneurship. I have started two social enterprises – NewcomersNetwork.com in 2001 and CamberwellNetwork.com in 2012.


In 2003, I went looking for online networks and I found LinkedIn – and joined on 21 December 2003. I am member number 77,832. There are now around 800 million members worldwide. I became an Independent LinkedIn Specialist in 2008.

But why is LinkedIn so important now for female entrepreneurs?

You may believe it is just an ‘online resume,’ but LinkedIn is so much more.

LinkedIn is a place to:

  • Build your local and international network (network = net worth)
  • Be found online for your name (highly search engine optimised)
  • Publish articles (that can be found in search results)
  • Engage with your audience (the best value social media platform)
  • Maintain ongoing relationships (why not host an event?)
  • Find clients, partners, professionals, collaborators, venture capitalists, peers and mentors (search in LinkedIn or via a Google Advanced Search)
  • Give and receive Recommendations, Endorsements and Kudos (24/7 recognition)
  • Show your support to others (employees, industry colleagues even family and friends)
  • Showcase your enterprise/s, your strengths and your achievements (tell your story once)
  • explore your potential, in a variety of ways (optimise and attract opportunities)


Key ingredients to have a successful LinkedIn profile

Be friendly and professional

I understand that it is a form of social media, but it is a professional network, not a personal network – so my motto is ‘friendly and professional,’ not ‘attractive and personal.’ I am all for women having their own style and brand, but the focus on LinkedIn is more about information, education and thought leadership. I once saw a video from a woman explaining that she broke up with her boyfriend and how she was feeling terrible about it – definitely NOT appropriate for LinkedIn.

Build a relationship first

Some people think that an automation process can work on LinkedIn. Firstly, it is against the LinkedIn User Agreement https://www.linkedin.com/legal/user-agreement and secondly, you risk having your profile deleted, without warning. You cannot use automated tools or a virtual assistant in another location either. Both will be detected by LinkedIn security algorithms. You can however systemise your business development, but please be respectful and do not connect and pitch. It is about building relationships first.

Complete your profile

There are way too many people who do not complete their LinkedIn Profiles in full. They often do not select an item from a drop-down box (so logos appear) and there is often too little information included, and some people forget to include their achievements.

Try new features

There are new features being added to LinkedIn all the time, so at least every six months, you need to click on all the options and make use of them. Some that are particularly relevant at the moment are the voice pronunciation of your name, the 30-second video cover story showreel you can add next to your photo on the phone app, the Creator mode that you can turn on to encourage more Followers and hashtags for thought leadership topics and the Featured Items component for you to showcase some of your most relevant news items.

Create a company page

Company pages appear to be the long lost cousin of a lot of enterprises on LinkedIn. Sure, we all know that Posts don’t receive as many views via a Company Page, but if someone is completing due diligence, they need to see what your Company is all about. You can now add Articles, Events and native Videos to your Company Page. These are features that if you use and your competitors don’t, you will gain an advantage.

Consider new #keywords

We have all heard of keywords by now. But how many keywords do you include in your LinkedIn Profile, your Posts, your Articles and your hashtags? There are some very important strategic locations for these keywords – most importantly in your Headline underneath your name but also in your current and past Job Titles and in other sections too.

Increase your activity and engagement

Three Posts in one week and then nothing for three weeks? Always Posting and never Liking, Commenting, Sharing or Sending? Remember that social media is a place to Engage first and Post second. People like people who like their stuff! Be a Personal Encourager – it can win you a lot of brownie points.

Check the statistics

Low on Recommendations (both given and received) and Endorsements? Aim for at least six in all of these. Are you receiving at least 100 views per 90 days and at least 50 appearances in search results in 7 days? Do you have more than 500 Connections and more Followers than Connections? How often do you log in? Make sure it is at least once a week for 20 minutes to keep your network alive. Do you Connect with EVERYONE you meet on LinkedIn? This can be done if you click on the Search bar in the App and scan a QR code. Make sure you are connected to all of your clients, suppliers, stakeholders etc. because everyone will eventually change their email, phone, place of work etc at some point and you need to be able to keep in touch. Being active on LinkedIn keeps your network well informed of your progress.

Customize your LinkedIn URL

Finally, publishing. LinkedIn is highly optimised in search results for your name, but can also be used to be found for keywords in either your LinkedIn Profile or your LinkedIn Articles. Try searching for ‘LinkedIn Specialist’ or ‘LinkedIn for authors’ and my content will appear. You can make this happen too! You can even try ‘LinkedIn for women’ and you will find more tips at https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/linkedin-women-sue-ellson.

Do you want to know more about LinkedIn? Feel free to get in touch with Sue Ellson in the links below

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