By now almost everyone knows that they should have a LinkedIn profile. I say “almost” everyone because I know there are still some out there who think LinkedIn is not necessary or who think their customers, clients, or audience aren’t on LinkedIn. If you’re in one of those two groups let me just say please get with it! I’m joking, sort of. I firmly believe that anyone in business today should have a LinkedIn profile. And I’ll be writing a separate post to explain that more fully. But for now I’ll focus on my top 5 tips for maximizing your LinkedIn profile.
Tip #1: Have a complete LinkedIn profile
My top tip for how you can get the most mileage out of LinkedIn is to make your profile complete. LinkedIn is really helpful in that as you’re building your profile it will guide you through which sections still need to be completed and how far along you are in completeness. Strive for 100 percent completeness. There will probably be some sections that don’t apply for you. For example if you’ve never volunteered then you won’t fill in that section. But most every section will be relevant and should be filled in.
The more complete your profile is the more of a true picture of your personal brand you’re showing to your audience.
And that helps them to engage with you more deeply, builds trust, and lets them see how you might be a fit for certain work, projects, collaborations, etc.
Tip #2 Have a profile Image
I realize that this sounds like a no brainer. But you’d be surprised at the number of LinkedIn profiles I see that do not have a profile image. Let’s think about this. You want people to connect with you online yet you’re not willing to show them who you are? This is really going to be counter productive to your efforts to build connections and relationships because it comes across as very impersonal. Ask yourself this. Do people connect more deeply with faceless entities or do they connect with people, real human beings, with a face, who are smiling? Trust me when I tell you it’s the latter. So up your connection chances by including a recent headshot, professionally taken if possible, that shows you smiling. You can thank me later!
Tip #3: Customize your headline
Your headline is the words that appear beneath your profile image. If you don’t take the time to customize it LinkedIn will just use the title from your most recent job. That’s not always the worst thing. But consider how you want your audience to see you and what sorts of things you want to show up for if someone is searching in LinkedIn for specific skills, knowledge, etc. For example, let’s say your job title is Marketing Director and it appears as your LinkedIn headline. Does Marketing Director really say everything about you if you also do public speaking and blog for industry publications? Not really. So think through those keywords that someone might use to search for the things you want to be known for and include them in your headline.
Tip #4: Spend time on a well-written Summary section
Think of the summary section as just that, a chance to summarize all that is your unique personal brand. As such, you want to be sure to convey not only facts about the skills and abilities you possess but also some insight into your unique personality and what makes you different from others in your industry. Don’t treat this section as just a job description or mini resume. The rest of your profile has sections for that. Really maximize this section by writing an engaging summary that mixes facts with your unique personality that makes you you. This section will probably take the most time to complete because there is a nuance to writing a complete, concise, and engaging summary. You definitely want to take your time with it.
Remember, wrap in those all important keywords, again keeping in mind what you want to be known for and how your audience might search for someone with your skills and abilities.
Tip #5: Connect with people
I know it sounds silly. But so many people use a set it and forget it approach to social media, especially LinkedIn. They create their profile and then just expect the connections, job offers, recruiter requests, or networking opportunities to come rolling in. Well, I hate to disappoint but that’s not exactly how LinkedIn works.
For example, if you go to an in-person event or function and you meet some new people connect with them on LinkedIn afterward. And be sure to customize your connection request to say something like “it was so nice to meet you at XYZ business breakfast yesterday. I’d love to connect further and add you to my LinkedIn network”. That way you remind them how you met them and you open the door to further connecting.
And don’t forget to connect with your connections. By this I mean don’t just connect with someone on LinkedIn and then never communicate with them again. Read their profiles, endorse them for skills you know they have, like and reshare their content with your audience, and comment on their posts and published content. Continually connecting with your connections shows that you support their work and want to help them in their professional journey. And they will, in turn, want to support you.
An important point to keep in mind is that at the end of the day social media is not about selling but about connecting and building relationships. And LinkedIn is one of the best and yet most underutilized platforms for building professional relationships that can help you expand your network in so many different ways. By nailing the basics of your LinkedIn profile you’ll convey a clear, consistent, and authentic personal brand that engages your audience, builds trust, and supports your goals.
Let me know how I can help! Authentically,
The Brand Teacher
Want to make sure your personal brand is healthy and working for you to attract your dream job or clients? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let's schedule a chat about how we can work together or book a Personal Brand Boost Strategy Session today!