Getting Started with the Essentials
“If you are not on social media, then you do not exist in the business world” (Verdonck, 2017) As discussed in the presentation, LinkedIn Profiles for Social Business Success. LinkedIn is a social media platform that allows individuals to connect. But be aware, the biggest mistake people make on LinkedIn, is using it as a billboard and not a tool.
It all starts with your profile and visibility. Consider your presence and connect ability. In the video, the presenter reveals three things to keep in mind when building your profile.
- Profile – be found, look good online
- Presence – strong network
- Participation – reputation informed content
LinkedIn is a great place for thought leaders to build credibility by publishing content and positioning themselves as trustworthy.
Keeping in mind that people may misspell your name. A good hack to this is to add all the variations of your name that you can think of. Further, if your name can be shortened or you have a nickname, add the nickname in brackets to your name on your profile. For example David (Dave) Johansson. Your profile picture is your first impression, be sure to use this impression to its fullest potential. Make sure to use an up to date professional headshot.
Your headline can be very impactful. A good headline will grab the reader’s attention and make them want to learn more about you. In the presentation, the author revealed the following professional headline tips
- Tell them why they should choose you
- explain what you do
- share what you can do for them
- offer a conversation starter
- use a thought-provoking statement
- Add something you have in common
- tell them something unexpected
- Use dividers
Be sure to fill out your intro in its entirety. Don’t skip on a simple thing like location, keeping in mind you will want your location to reflect where you want to work.
Your Contact Info
If you want to be contacted on LinkedIn, make sure to provide all your contact information. The more information you disclose, the easier it will be for a user to interact with you. If you have any other professional social accounts consider adding them, this will add an increased credibility to your profile. In the video, the presenter shared a great tip to take your profile up a notch with potential prospects, LinkedIn and Google. This can be achieved by creating your own vanity URL. It’s as easy as, going to your profile, select view your public profile, then click the area where a unique website address appears. Here, you can edit your URL to make it more appealing. You can use your full name or another rendered version of it. As the presenter explains, “this personalized URL is easier in your communication with others. It also shows that you are past the novice level on LinkedIn and it will increase the ranking of your LinkedIn profile in the search results on Google.” ” The easier you make it for people to do business with you, the easier it is coming towards you.” (Verdonck, 2017)
What do you want to accomplish with your summary? You want people to read on. So start with a piece of corporate branding. Then move on to professional branding, but do not go into details, as that with being covered under your experience. As the presenter stated, you want to “arouse interest and give them a call to action.” (Verdonck, 2017) You can also use this summary to tell people more about you. You can achieve this in a couple sentences or you may even just choose to list keywords.
Helpful tip: Before you begin, be sure to get clearance from your company before you put anything out there about them.
Your experience should describe what you offer and what you do on a day to day basis. Just like your summary be sure to put in a call to action. How relevant is your prior experience? Be sure to describe to your audience what you loved about your previous job, and what you accomplished. You could even go as far as to describe the culture of the organization and why you liked it. Now a day’s people do not have time to read the text, they are more drawn to images and video. A great way to elevate yourself on LinkedIn is to use rich media. Slide Share is a great tool to add rich media to your site. Slide Share is well ranked in Google and will come up when people are searching certain keywords. As mentioned in the video, “Think about other content like an infographic, a visual map or pictures to enhance the experience of those visiting your profile.” (Verdonck, 2017) By following this advice your profile will get extra hits.
Create Your Own Brand
Awards, certifications, or patents can be added to your profile but ensure that they are relevant to your work experience. Being awarded MVP in a little league does not count! This can be easily done by selecting add profile section under your picture on your profile, then easily make your way to accomplishment then select your preference from there.
Another way to leverage your Brand on LinkedIn is by adding projects, this can set you apart from other users. By adding projects to your LinkedIn profile, you increase the chances of people picking up examples of what you can do to help them.” A strategic way to begin to establish yourself as a thought leader is to publish original articles via LinkedIn. This can put you in front of peers across the globe.” (Verdonck, 2017) You can start by clicking publish an article on your home page, ensure to add an engaging headline and appealing picture. After you have written your awe-inspiring article, be sure to share it with your network. In the video, the presenter revealed the following tips when writing your LinkedIn article.
- Write about an area of expertise
- Use a compelling headline
- use your own voice
- Be specific with stats and numbers
- 300-500 words
- Post on Tuesday & Thursdays
- Be consistent and post often
Think about tips or advice that you can share with your network. Sharing advice is a sure way to be recognized on LinkedIn. The more relevant and valuable tips you can share, the more your advice will be shared across the network. ” You are sharing pieces of your knowledge to show that you are an expert in your field. ” (Verdonck, 2017)
Skills and Recommendations
Remember LinkedIn is a place to gain exposure. This could be your only chance at a first impression, so you want to use relevant keywords that portray who you are. When choosing your skills, be sure to sure to choose words that other people will endorse you for.
Recommendations are an asset to your profile. When a someone lands on your page to discover you have been awarded a recommendation, it will reaffirm their already perceived perception of you. “Recommendations really increase the trust of your profile visitors in you, but only if the recommendations are genuine with tangible results.” (Verdonck, 2017)
“Adding your continuous education elements to your profile helps people understand that you take lifelong learning seriously.” (Verdonck, 2017) Explained the presenter in LinkedIn Profiles for Social Business Success. To do so, you must fill out your acquired Education. Make sure to add start and end dates, GPA (if applicable) and other details like, what attracted you to your program. Another way to ramp up your education section is to add any certificates or courses you took. Even if it is just Microsoft training, it shows that you take your personal development seriously.
Make the Most of Your Personality
Remember you want people to get to know you so that they will want to do business with you. What better way to do this than to add some personal touches to your profile, it will make you human after all. (Verdonck, 2017) so go ahead add a little bit of YOU to your profile. Volunteer work can say a lot about a person so it would be thoughtless to leave it off your profile. Make sure to include any volunteer work you have done and elaborate on what skills you achieved and or developed while volunteering.
Extra Strategies to Stand Out
While your profile is about you, it is not for you. Making sure your profile have searchable keywords that appeal to your target audience is very important. Consider including a different abbreviation for your keywords throughout your profile. Being active in a group can set you apart from the rest. Sharing valuable content could elevate you as a thought leader, in the very least it will help you build your network. LinkedIn is about creating connections, so go ahead get connecting.
Now What, What’s Next?
Although I have had LinkedIn for many years, I have not been using it to its full potential. After watching this educational presentation my profile benefited greatly. Some key strategies that I have already executed are, elaborating my title, adding some key parts of my profile, like certificates, awards, and volunteering. Another key takeaway that I will be sure to execute in the near future, is being more present in groups. As advised from the presenter, it is my intention to spend a couple minutes a week to work on building my brand on LinkedIn. Maybe I will even work on publishing some relevant content. In the meantime, I will leave you with my newly edited title (of course not disclosing my name) let me know what you think!
Marketing & Sales | Social Media Manager | Business Connector | Entrepreneur | Lover of Art!
Bush, C. (2016, April). For Nurses. Retrieved from https://thesocialnurse.com/for-nurses-10-steps-to-build-a-linkedin-profile-that-doesnt-suck/
Verdonck, B. (2017, 02 03). LinkedIn profile for social business success. Retrieved from Lynda: https://www.lynda.com/LinkedIn-tutorials/LinkedIn-Profiles-Social-Business-Success/512777-2.html