As well as connecting you to people you wish to do business with, LinkedIn also ranks highly with many search engines’ algorithms – in other words your LinkedIn profile is likely to be among the top results when somebody types your name into Google.
Here are some simple pointers on making your LinkedIn profile work for you, including some tips from Steve Phillip, the Founder of Linked2Success – a firm which helps other businesses make the most of LinkedIn and other social media.
- Know what you want
Before you start, set out exactly what you’re trying to achieve and what you want to convey to your target market. Are you looking to raise brand awareness or add to customer service? Are you recruiting? Do you want to improve lead generation? Or is it simply a networking tool?
- Time well spent
Your profile is advertising who you are in business – the content and the way you present yourself on LinkedIn can reflect you in an engaging and professional manner – or achieve the opposite result.
So spend time getting it set up and running (as personal branding expert Jennifer Holloway says, “once the hard work is done, it’s done”). However, make sure continually review and refresh the information.
- Say cheese
Add a head and shoulders picture, preferably done professionally. And try to smile; you’ll look more approachable and who knows, you may even like it.
- Headline news
Create a professional, but keyword-rich headline. People will search for relevant keywords to their industry, and it will also help LinkedIn to suggest you as a connection.
- Fill in the blanks
Make sure all sections are filled in, and that includes utilising all three website links. These can either go straight to your own website, or even to reviews of your products or services, your client case studies or personal blog.
- Sum it up
Pay close attention to the summary section as this is where you get across your key marketing messages. Don’t just treat it like a CV – instead explain what you do and use qualitative examples of what it is you deliver. Again, use keywords and be specific – if you’re an accountant for example, use the word “accountant” but also include areas that you cover such as “insolvency” or “restructuring”.
And don’t forget to add your contact details at the end.
- Easy on the eye
Make sure the summary section is easy to read by adding paragraphs to create white space. Nobody likes reading a long, grey list of text with no paragraph breaks.
- Abridged history
Are every one of your past 10 jobs really that important? Of course, include the most recent ones, but think about whether older ones show off the skills you’re trying to promote or whether the employer adds credibility to your profile.
- Who are you?
It is worth filling in the interests section. Not only can they be useful icebreakers when introducing yourself to a new contact, they can broaden your appeal. But don’t be creative with the truth – if you claim to be an expert on whisky because you enjoy a shot down the pub with Coca-Cola, you may end up red-faced when a LinkedIn contact tries to talk to you about it.
- It’s who you know
Personal recommendations from colleagues, managers, clients and even friends can give you a boost. Consumers always look at product ratings on sites like Amazon before making decisions, so if you can get some five star reviews, it can show you deliver on your promises.
And be aware that some people will look at your contacts to see if they know anyone they can ask questions about you.
For a more indepth look at how your company uses social media, visit Linked2Success’ website.