Facebook this, Facebook that.
Yes, I’m on Facebook and everyone else should be too.
But recently I’ve turned my attention back to LinkedIn, the social networking site dedicated to building business connections.
I signed up for LinkedIn years ago. I made my profile and I basically forgot about it.
Every now and then I’d get a request to “connect” with someone on LinkedIn and it would take me weeks to check out their profile and accept or deny their request.
For the past 6 months or so I’ve been using LinkedIn more and more and am beginning to see a greater utility for it for my Independent Clinicians.
While Facebook is more popular and certainly more fun, there are aspects of LinkedIn that are worthwhile looking into.
#1 Reason to Join LinkedIn: To Find Clinicians Like You
Step #1: Join LinkedIn
It goes without saying that this is the first step. Likely you became a member of LinkedIn years ago and might need to reset your password. www.LinkedIn.com
Step #2: Set Up Your Profile
Just like Facebook, setting up your profile is the first step. Because LinkedIn profiles are organized with your professional (vs. social) life in mind, you’ll want to use the site like an online resume.
Current & Previous Job(s)
Just like your real resume, your LinkedIn profile will focus on your current position(s) as well as previous positions you’ve held. You’ll list your professional title, companies, job location and a description of the position.
LinkedIn will allow you to have a primary current position if you have more than one job. It will then list in reverse chronological order all of the previous positions you’ve held.
Social Media Links
You can add links to your personal and/or business websites and also your Facebook or Twitter accounts. Because you’ll be using LinkedIn to build business connections, you may choose to just put your business social media accounts vs. your personal accounts.
Adding links here, especially to your website, is a great way to drive traffic and establish connections with very little effort and NO money invested!
I’m not sure how many people truly look at the interests, but this will come in handy for the search engine.
Step #3: Join Groups (the best part of LinkedIn!)
Groups are what I use the most on LinkedIn. I am currently a member of 54 groups, including “Occupational Therapist Networking Group,” “Pediatric and School Based SLP’s,” “Proud to be a Therapist,” and “Pediatric Feeding Therapist Association,” just to name a few.
You can search by your profession or keywords to find groups you may be interested in joining. Once you join several groups, LinkedIn will suggest more groups you may like.
The most important aspect of the groups is the discussion board. Here you can start discussions, add your own comments or questions or just read about topics that are currently being discussed. The discussions are much more interactive and professional than any discussions I’ve had on Facebook pages/groups. This is a great way to find out more about what your peers are doing about things like insurance, marketing, difficult situations, etc.
Click Here to Join:
Why You Should Be On LinkedIn
You’re probably thinking, sure I’ll join, but I’ll never check it. While I had the opinion for quite a while, over the past few weeks I’ve surprised myself how frequently I’ve been checking my LinkedIn page and being active within the groups.
For job searchers, LinkedIn is a great way to network and find jobs. I’ve never used it that way, so I can’t attest to that. It’s also a nice way to keep in touch with friends and former co-workers to see what they are currently doing professionally. I suppose if one of my acquaintances was working at the location of my dream job I might contact her/him to see if there was an opening, but personally I might not reach out to a random person at a company and ask them for an interview.
I actually recommend that you use LinkedIn for another purpose all together…
The whole reason I started The Independent Clinician was to help SLP’s, OT’s and PT’s who were starting to treat privately find fellow clinicians in their same situation.
While I’d like you to continue to use my site for that purpose, LinkedIn to be another great way to interact with fellow clinicians.
Maybe you’re a Speech-Language Pathologist who is thinking about renting office space and wants to know who to call first.
Or maybe you’re an OT who is contemplating getting a special certification and wondering if it’s “worth it.”
Or are a PT who wants to know what kind of billing software others have had success with.
With LinkedIn, you have thousands of like-minded peers to ask.
Here are Two Groups That I Started (and would LOVE you to join!):
Feel free to join me and fellow SLP’s and OT’s in the group!
LinkedIn is just the kind of place where you can ask these questions and share advice with those exact people who you need to connect with. There are TONS of clinicians who have both small and free standing private practices who are eager to discuss and share situations.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re across the country from each other or in the same town (although if you are in the same town, it might be cool to meet in person!)
I hope you give LinkedIn another chance to see if it can help you with your private patient business. I know it’s helped me tremendously.
See you on LinkedIn!
My Public Profile: http://www.linkedin.com/in/jenacasbon (don’t hesitate to “connect” with me!)
Jena H. Casbon, MS CCC-SLP is a speech-language pathologist and private practice consultant. She started her own speech therapy private practice in 2006. She is the founder of The Independent Clinician and author of The Guide to Private Patients and The Guide to Creating a Web Presence for Your Private Practice. Since 2008, she has helped thousands of clinicians get the flexibility, income and freedom they desire from starting their own private speech therapy, occupational therapy and physical therapy practices.