written by Derrick English Jr.
Having a strong professional brand accounts for 30% of what it takes to be successful. When we maintain our business reputation, it can help us to advance in our career and grow our business. However, how can you grow your business network or showcase your expertise without having a LinkedIn profile that makes others want to get to know you?
About 180 million people use LinkedIn on a daily basis for one purpose – business.
Whether you’re interesting in receiving business leads, finding a new job, or building up your network, LinkedIn is the best B2B social media platform to use. By having a professional, optimized LinkedIn profile is a great way to make sure that you can be found by the right people, at the right time.
Here are tips on how to make your LinkedIn profile stand out from the crowd:
1. Optimizing your LinkedIn profile photo and cover photo
Did you know that you can make your profile 7x more likely to be found in LinkedIn searches by adding a profile photo? As humans, we are more stimulated by visual imagery – by simply adding a professional, friendly headshot can translate into a great first impression when other see your profile in search results.
As for your cover profile, it’s a billboard that you can use for branding, portfolios, quotes, publications, photos of you influencing others, etc. So don’t slack by using just any stock photo or showing of your hometown. Take the time to use this space to select an image that expresses an interest secondary to your CV, but which helps professionals get a glimpse of your skills or work ethics.
Make sure to think about the professionals that you’re trying to attract when deciding on which headshot and cover profile to use, and to utilize hi-resolution images. The quality of the image and the context can signify your professionalism.
2. Optimizing your LinkedIn headline
By default, your headline is set to your current job title, but how lazy does that make you look. Your headline is the first piece of copy that professionals will read about you. Why not grab their attention by stating the value you can add and immediately establish yourself as a thought leader in your field.
Your headline should be used as your unique value proposition.
Focus on the benefit you provide in the work you do and have 10 words or less in your headline to peak someone’s interest to further explore your profile.
Here’s an example of a headline that includes a great value proposition:
If you want your profile to be easily searchable, include the appropriate keywords that fits you. In the example above, Seth is clearly stating that his value is being a customer-centric CEO and marketer.
There are plenty of CEOs out there, so do you think that you or the example above could rank higher than Elon Musk just on this keyword? Nevertheless, by adding what you truly do such as “customer-first marketer” can be the long-tail keyword people are searching for which will give you a better chance to be found and clicked on.
3. Optimizing your LinkedIn summary
If someone’s reading this section, then they’re clearly interested in learning more about what you have to offer. Use this space to quickly outline your experience, the value you provide as well as a CTA to contact you or view any content or media (lead magnets) that may appeal to them. For example:
“My coaching services help executives be more productive, feel free to contact me about how I can help you at firstname.lastname@example.org”
Have your targeted audience in mind when you write the summary and then describe all the benefits that you can offer them. Make sure that the first two lines of your summary contain the most important information because LinkedIn truncates words and asks readers to click on the “See more” to continue reading. Try to stick away from writing in third-person – you wouldn’t do that on your CV.
Overall, your summary should contain the following:
- A brief introduction to capture the reader’s attention.
- A paragraph that explains what benefits you have to offer.
- A paragraph that explains what your business does.
- Lastly, a way to contact you, a link to your website, relevant media/publications or another relevant CTA.
4. Having relevant work experience on LinkedIn
The experience section is your online CV. This section is designed for you to list all the tasks and accomplishments that have occurred in your career. It is recommended that you use bullet points to make it easier for the readers to scan over your accomplishments.
Include relevant employment (current and past) and education that relates to your current job title or your future career goals. Even if you are a bitcoin miner in your spare time doesn’t mean it correlates with your headline value proposition as an expert marketing strategist – don’t add it to your profile.
Think about more of using this section as an continuation of your summary by emphasising important benefits that makes you stand out. If you have media to backup your accomplishment, then add them here as well for more lead magnets to close the deal.
5. Having featured skills & endorsements on LinkedIn
The featured skills & endorsements section is a tricky one, because anyone can endorse you for any skill, even if you don’t have the experience.
However, it is still important because it can increase your chances of being found in LinkedIn search results, it’s a way recruiters can find you, and it’s how your readers can see potential skills you have.
In fact, your profile is 13x more likely to get viewed if it contains five or more skills. Take the time to review the top skills in your industry to include on your LinkedIn profile to help increase your chances of being found.
6. Having recommendations on LinkedIn
Recommendations and word-of-mouth continues to be a vote of confidence that attests to your qualifications.
Reach out to former colleagues and managers, and ask them if they would write you a recommendation on LinkedIn. Better yet, add value by recommending your former colleagues or managers first, and the odds are that they will reciprocate the favor.
7. Having regular status updates on LinkedIn
In order to show people that you are focused and a thought-leader in your field, it’s good to be active on LinkedIn. There’s no right or wrong on how often you should post but limit it enough to prevent from being seen as a spammer.
We recommend posting a minimum of 3x per week, and make sure to share a balance of different types of content that resonates with your targeted audience. For example, sharing articles that you’ve recently read, articles you’ve written, and updates on your industry.
When it comes to building your business network, I honestly feel that LinkedIn is the best social channel to use to display your professional brand. Whether you work in marketing, finance or life science, LinkedIn is a great social network for connecting with professionals as well as sharing and publishing professional content.
Once you start showcasing your professional brand on LinkedIn, you’ll be amazed at the number of leads and opportunities that are seeking you out. Follow these LinkedIn profile tips and you’ll be well on your way to generating leads, building new connections and becoming a thought leader in your field.
Don’t forget to switch your profile to be viewed by the public – that’s how interested professional can find it.
What tips or best practices do you follow to get the most out of your LinkedIn profile? We would enjoy reading your contributions in the comments below.