Of the many social media platforms, LinkedIn is one of the most useful for professional networking. If used right, it can be a goldmine of networking and hiring opportunities, referrals and information gathering.
Over the past few years, we’ve noticed a growing acceptance of LinkedIn within the allied health fields. With many practitioners now having a profile, it’s come a long way since the days when the allied health industry as a whole seemed to consider LinkedIn irrelevant.
It’s important, however, to understand exactly what LinkedIn is, and what you can expect from this social media platform, in order to make the most out of it. This is especially the case for private practice owners who are on LinkedIn out of apparent necessity, and would rather do just about anything else than scroll through the feed in their spare time.
In this blog post, we’ll dive into the world of LinkedIn for the allied health industry and explore its pros and cons.
LinkedIn in the allied health private practice industry
Allied health professionals in the private sector seem to be embracing LinkedIn more than ever before. Private practice owners frequently have both personal profiles and company pages, and our clients in private practice coaching report increasingly better results in recruitment through LinkedIn. Below are some of the pros and cons of LinkedIn for allied health professionals in the current times.
Pros of LinkedIn
Build direct, targeted connections
LinkedIn allows you to connect with professionals based on their job titles, helping you build a network of individuals relevant to your needs. So, you may connect with psychologists if you’re a private practice owner looking to hire psychologists, or wanting to keep up to date with the industry. You could connect with marketing strategists if you want to learn more about marketing by reading their updates.
Promote your practice
LinkedIn is built for professionals and businesses, which means you can shamelessly promote your practice and services (within AHPRA guidelines, of course), as opposed to some Facebook groups where you must follow the group’s rules which often include no self-promotion.
If you’re looking to grow your private practice team, you can use LinkedIn’s built-in recruitment tool which comes with one free job ad. You can also search for and directly reach out to potential candidates, which is often discouraged on allied health community groups on Facebook.
See what other people are doing
Connecting with similar professionals on LinkedIn lets you stay in the loop about what they’re up to. Want to know if Practice X is offering online courses or if Practice Y is making a big move? Just follow their updates and you’ll be in the know.
Stay plugged in, globally
LinkedIn makes it much easier to find and connect with people from other countries, which can allow you to get ideas from people anywhere in the world. This can help get your creative juices flowing and consider ideas you haven’t thought of before.
Network and collaborate
As professionals are much more eager to connect on LinkedIn, it can give you more opportunities to network for referral purposes or build collaborative opportunities. For example, you could reach out to the HR person at, say, a nursing home, to offer your therapy services, or connect with a company to propose an EAP contract.
Keep things at arms length
Connecting with random people on Facebook or Instagram can feel a bit …much. Unlike Facebook or Instagram where connecting with strangers often feels intrusive, LinkedIn encourages networking with unfamiliar individuals. This removes the uneasiness associated with reaching out and establishes a more professional and comfortable environment.
Cons of LinkedIn
It takes time and effort
When you include LinkedIn in your private practice marketing, it can feel like you have to really be on LinkedIn – constantly posting, commenting, reacting, engaging… This is somewhat true although it does depend on your goals. But as with anything, if you’re going to see results and engagement, you’ve got to put some effort into it.
Sorting through the noise
As you build your network, your feed can get cluttered. LinkedIn shows you posts that your connections have liked or commented on, which means you’ll often see posts from people or businesses that you’re not following. This can make LinkedIn feel less curated and targeted to your desired use purpose.
It can lack authenticity
LinkedIn can often feel like an echo chamber of “professional speak” where people parrot each other in comment sections. It can be a bit disheartening when you’re trying to build real connections with real people.
It’s also a bit spammy
Further to the previous point, LinkedIn is cluttered with profiles that utilise automations and bots. They can send you impersonal sales messages (“Are you looking to build a website?”) or post clearly inauthentic comments on your posts (e.g. “Good work! 💪🔥”). You’ll get used to it, but it can quite simply be annoying.
Limited targeted discussions
Many allied health professionals belong to various Facebook groups often managed by organisations or associations. With proper moderation and prompts for engagement, they’re useful for authentic and targeted discussions around private practice business, clinical discussions or advice around specific topics. On LinkedIn, currently, there’s a lack of such moderated communities for allied health professionals that are specific to a group (e.g. psychology private practice owners in Australia), meaning engaged and authentic discussions may be scattered and hard to find.
So, what should you do?
LinkedIn is becoming increasingly valuable for allied health professionals in private practice. With its potential for networking, recruitment, and promotion, LinkedIn offers numerous advantages for those looking to expand their professional reach.
And while it lacks some of the curated authenticity and targeted discussions found in some Facebook groups, it remains a powerful tool for building connections and accessing a broader professional network. By leveraging it effectively, private practice owners can tap into a wealth of opportunities.
So, if you’ve been on the fence about getting on LinkedIn, or if you’ve been letting your profile sit dormant, get on it and get active! With a strategic approach and a willingness to engage authentically, LinkedIn can be a game-changer for your private practice and professional growth.
And if you’re on LinkedIn but unsure how to “get active”? Read our 24 LinkedIn post ideas to get started!