LinkedIn has grown to be one of the most widely-used social media platforms in the world, even with it’s “business only” concept. More accurately, it’s likely because of this concept that it still continues to grow. It gives LinkedIn a unique quality when other platforms are starting to blend together. LinkedIn is the place to be to get yourself noticed in the business world.
LinkedIn is deceptive because it’s very easy to learn, but it’s also quite tricky to master. Interested prospects will carefully read every word of your profile to get an idea of who you really are. Don’t just enter cookie-cutter details, get creative, and have some fun with it while remaining professional.
Not sure where to start? We have some ideas to help you get the ball rolling. Have a read and take what you need. It’s free!
Customize Your URL
A custom URL only takes a minute to set up but will have an impact for a lifetime. The regular URL LinkedIn provides you is an ugly mess, filled with random letters and numbers. Try using your business name or, if you don’t have one, make an ultra-short description of yourself. Linkedin.com/in/SassyLender or Linkedin.com/in/EngagingWriter sound lightyears better than Linkedin.com/in/jane-Afgt5H67v.
Don’t expect a custom URL to open the floodgates, but it will help keep you in the minds of potential prospect longer and will make you easier to find if they forget other details about you. If you have a common name, your name might already be taken. That said, adding numbers or a location can be a workaround to it. It could also get you an extra click or two when you share your link around.
If you want to do this, click the “gear” beside the public profile link. After that, click the pencil message beside the URL. The personalized URL has to be with five to thirty characters.
Create a Captivating Headline
A lot of LinkedIn users leave the headline as it sets by default – your job title, and company. Whether this is because many don’t realize you can even edit your headline or because they think it’s “good enough” as it is, there is no good excuse in such a competitive space. Simply put – to extract the most out of your LinkedIn profile, your headline is massively essential.
Forbes recommends an easy-to-follow formula to create an attractive headline. The formula is Job Title Title and Company + Keywords + Zing. Your job title and the company you work for is essential information that you can’t really spice up. Keywords help your self get found in the search, so think about what people might type to find someone with your qualifications. “Trusted Analyst” or “Award-Winning Author” are good examples.
The “Zing” part of the formula can go a little more personal. Add your interests or something that makes you stand out. ‘Avid Snowboarder” or “ Office Trivia Champion,” to give you an idea. A full headline might look something like this: Vice President of Operations | Acme Inc. | Financial Expert | Cost Cutter | Proud Grandfather | Patriots fan.
Make Use of Multimedia
Plain text is the easy way out, and it’s boring. LinkedIn gives you the option of adding all sorts of media files to your profile. Add an image of yourself receiving an award, a video of you giving a speech, and Powerpoint presentations showcasing your various skills.
Using visual meda will help you stand out. If you don’t have anything to add, make something. Just having something as opposed to nothing will automatically give you a huge boost over most other people on the platform. It’s an amazing add-on to your standard resume information.
Join Relevant Groups
If you use any other social media service, you’re likely familiar with groups. In LinkedIn it goes further than making friends with similar interests; you’ll create solid connections with others in your industry.
Don’t be scared to ask and answer questions and share things you find interesting that relate to the topic of the group. Just making an effort gets your name out there and seen by more people. More exposure means more opportunities. Help others with their question to gain credibility and show off your knowledge.
Once you’re done with the initial setup, you can’t just let it sit and rot. Continuously update your profile by adding new skills, accomplishments, and milestones. Your contacts will see that you’re passionate about your work, and that will instill confidence in you and your abilities.
If you never touch your profile, it will get buried, and no one will find it except for rare searches that precisely match your information.
Give Examples of Results
Don’t just talk about what what you do, talk about what you’ve done. Numbers are a powerful way to create something tangible that people can see and understand right away. Show how many successful products you’ve launched, how many people you’ve helped, number of awards, or number of Fortune 500 companies you’ve worked for.
It doesn’t have to just be about numbers, and it doesn’t have to be prestigious. Any accomplishment shows you can get the job done, and that’s what people value most.
Ask a Close Friend to Review Your Profile
When you’re a little too close to the source material, it’s common to put your blinders on. A close friend will tell you honestly if your profile looks professional and summarizes you as a person. They will have their own ideas about what makes you interesting, and chances are some of them are things you’ve never thought of or considered. This can lead to more business opportunities, because let’s face it, “fresh eyes” are always handy.
Closing Thoughts for LinkedIn optimization
LinkedIn is one of the best places in the world to make connections and to find prospects. That’s true even when you combine both online and offline venues. It can also be the hardest to use effectively if you don’t spend the time to learn and take advantage of everything that’s offered.
You don’t need to worry about filling everything in the second you sign up. Take some time to think about what makes you special and unique and add as you go. Check-In every day to keep up on industry news and interact with people operating in your space.
Even if someone isn’t initially interested in what you have to offer, staying active will keep you in mind for when the need arises. If you’re fresh in a prospect’s mind, chances are you’ll be the first on the reach out to for help or information.