Kristie Overstreet Ph.D., LPCC, LMHC, LPC, CST
Whether you love it or hate it, social media is a must for a therapist. There are many social media platforms that you may choose to be involved in, but if you are a therapist, you need to have a LinkedIn profile. Whether you use it to stay connected to other professionals, referrals, or networking, there are benefits to LinkedIn.
People will often look up both online and on social media before meeting you. This is why you want your LinkedIn profile to be professional, relevant, and up to date. Whether it’s a potential new employer, someone who wants to collaborate with you, or a possible client, they will see your profile before they meet you.
LinkedIn is similar to Facebook in regards to there being a difference in a company page versus a profile page. Start with creating your profile page on LinkedIn. This will give you the opportunity to add a photo, work experience, skills, achievements, and interests. If you own a private practice or business, you can also create a LinkedIn company page. However, you will get the most benefit from posting through your profile versus focusing on your profile page.
There are personal and professional benefits to being visible on LinkedIn including:
- Marketing yourself as a therapist
- Sharing your expert status
- Connecting and building a network with others in the field
- Serving others by sharing helpful articles
- Staying up to date with clinical articles, research, and data
- Potential job opportunities
Tips for your profile
- Use a professional headshot for your profile picture. You don’t have to have a photographer take it but have a friend do it versus taking a selfie.
- You can add a banner to your profile or leave it blank. If you do decide to add a banner, make it visually appealing, and don’t overcrowd it.
- Let yourself shine on LinkedIn. Don’t hold back on your experiences, credentials, awards, education, or trainings. Your profile is a demonstration of who you are as a professional so give yourself permission to let all of your success shine.
- Avoid sharing personal information about your life and relationships. LinkedIn is a platform for your professional self. If you feel the need to share your personal life choose another platform.
- Add a logo or image of your work experience when you list out current and past employers. Most companies will have an image that will appear when you enter the business name in your work experience.
- Be creative in your posts. For example, if you want to share a quote add a few sentences about why you chose it. Doing this gives insight into you as a professional that stands out from others.
- Don’t be shy when it comes to taking a picture when you attend training or complete a certification. You can share the image with a few sentences about the event. Doing this shows that you enjoy learning and staying up to date with education in the clinical field.
- Set a date once per quarter to update your LinkedIn profile. Doing this will remind you to add new training, experiences, and skills to your page.
- Share blog posts or articles that you have on your website to your LinkedIn feed. This is a great way to display your work and help others learn about what makes you different. The posts that do best are those that are related to your industry.
- Don’t over post on your newsfeed. For example, some people post four or more times per day, and this can be too much. Remember that LinkedIn is for your professional life and most people don’t have a lot of free time to spend on social media. People get annoyed when they see multiple posts per day on their newsfeed especially if it isn’t relevant information to them.
Don’t miss out on the opportunity to connect with other clinicians in your field, showcase your expertise, and find new work opportunities by creating a stellar LinkedIn profile. Not only does the platform allow you to stand out as a clinician but you can also find others in your field by using the search bar. Challenge yourself to connect with someone new each month. Consider reaching out through LinkedIn messaging and share your interest in their work. You may find a new friend, colleague, or future employer just by going through your newsfeed.