Reading time: 3 minute(s)

You’re not looking for a new job, you’re not hiring anyone, so why should you use LinkedIn?

Well, for starters, when someone googles you, your LinkedIn profile will likely show up at the top of the search results.

LinkedIn is also very powerful social media tool that is growing exponentially in Africa. In South Africa, this professional network now has no less than 5.1 million users. Nigeria has 2.7 million LinkedIn users, and Kenya 1.3 million.

So, as a travel agent LinkedIn is a great way to increase your reach and possibly find new clients.

Not sure how to get started? We’re here to help.

Use a professional looking picture

LinkedIn can become your business card for potential new clients. Numerous travel agents make the mistake of posting destination pictures for their profile photos. However, if you want to come across as the professional you are, it’s better to post a great headshot of yourself.

Think about your headline

Below your name and next to your profile picture, you’ll find your headline. Most people just add their job title here, and that’s fine. However, try to come up with a more creative headline without being cheesy.

Executive recruiter Pete Leibman came up with an easy 4-step process to follow for the perfect headline:

Step 1: Say WHAT you are

Step 2: Say WHO you help

Step 3: Say HOW you’ll make their life better

Step 4: Give PROOF that you are credible

So, for a travel agent, this could be: Professional travel agent creating unforgettable luxury holidays for VIP clients. Certified by ASATA.

Make your summary stand out

LinkedIn gives you 2,000 characters (including spaces) to summarize your background; make these characters count. Your summary is likely the first thing people see.

Focus on talking about who you are, who you work with, what problems you solve and what sort of results your clients achieve. Describe the things you do better than anyone else. If you want to include things like years of experience, make it the last sentence.

Be proactive

LinkedIn will notify you when someone has viewed your profile. Be proactive and reach out to the people who have visited your profile and ask them if you can assist them in any way.

Don’t be shy, ask for recommendations

Nothing will position you as a professional more than recommendations of happy clients. So, ask a few of your most loyal clients if they can recommend you and your services. Don’t use the generalized request for recommendations, instead prompt the person you ask with a couple topics or questions.

“I’m really proud of the holiday I organized for you and your family to Botswana. Could you write a bit about which added services I offered that you appreciated the most?”

If you can get your connections to endorse you, their connections are more likely to reach out to you.

Join relevant groups

There are discussion groups on LinkedIn for almost every niche available. These groups are a great way to position yourself as an expert in your niche. Give your expert advice by answering questions and giving support.

Don’t neglect your LinkedIn account

Don’t forget to regularly update your status and to comment on other people’s status. Post about industry trends, motivational quotes and general business questions. All of your updates should be relevant and appropriate for your target market. You can comment, like, and share just like with other types of social media.

Now that you know how to get started, hop onto LinkedIn to find clients and other valuable connections.