In Part 1 of this series we talked about using LinkedIn for Keeping Your Knowledge Current.
Now, Part 2 of the Making LinkedIn Work for You series focuses on using LinkedIn for Networking.
More important than a Facebook page or a website, in my opinion, is a great LinkedIn page. I invite you to take a look at my LinkedIn page and connect with me.
First lets talk about how to create your profile page.
I discourage you from making it look like a resume by only highlighting the most pertinent areas of work experience depending on your goals.
My profile still has a bit of my past work experience, but it is used strategically to show my background in community pharmacy and clinical hospital pharmacy before I began my consulting business. However, I do not include everywhere I do relief or all the places I do MTM consulting because it isn't important.
Most people are more interested in what knowledge and insight you have to offer based on your experiences. It is a good idea to include small bits of personal information that can help highlight your expertise as well.
I like to include a bit of personal info about my consulting business to highlight my interest in connecting with other Independent MTM Pharmacists.
I also use a catchy headline, "Helping Pharmacists Find New Opportunities in Clinical Retail Services" to convey that I want you to contact and connect with me.
For instance, your headline could be something like, "Helping Community Pharmacies Set Up Sustainable MTM Programs" if that is the type of consulting that you are interested in.
Be descriptive and don't be afraid to show a bit your personality.
Your LinkedIn profile should be easy to scan and not overly distracting. You can personalize your profile URL, too. It is easy to do in the settings on your profile. Instead of having a long number, you can personalize it so your profile will have an easy to remember URL.
Mine is LinkedIn.com/in/BTPharmacyConsulting. It looks a little bit more professional so you can use it in place of a website if you want to connect Facebook to your LinkedIn page.
The next step, after you have an attractive profile, is connecting with others.
When you add new connections on LinkedIn you may see with people titles that indicate they are founder/CEO of their own consulting business or have something to do with MTM consulting in general. I encourage you to message them and introduce yourself.
Don't be afraid to reach out to others and say, "Hello. This is what I'm doing and I see that you are in a similar field. I was wondering how your consulting business was going? If you'd like to chat about where your business is going, what you see as potential threats to the profession, what opportunities you see, etc, I would be open to scheduling a short conversation at your convenience so we can chat and share ideas."
LinkedIn is such a great way to network. Last summer, I challenged myself to reach out to three new interesting people each day for one month. That simple practice led to building relationships with people that I still maintain today.
It helped me get out of my "bubble" and realize that many pharmacists are searching for the same information.
For some reason, we feel isolated from each other, but that should not be the case. I am trying to change that by sharing building trainings, writing for the Pharmacy Times and interviewing other Pharmapreneurs on the Pharmacy Podcast.
I want to share ideas and everything I have learn to help others; it is the reason I wrote this book.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Blair Green Thielemier, PharmD is an independent consultant pharmacist living in Arkansas with her husband and daughter. She is the founder of Pharmapreneur Academy, an online teaching platform where she guides pharmacist-entrepreneurs through the process and barriers of building a pharmacy consulting business. She is the author of How to Build a Pharmacy Consulting Business, a contributing author for Pharmacy Times and guest host on the Pharmacy Podcast. More information about Dr. Thielemier can be found on her website http://BTPharmacyConsulting.com