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29

Jan 2015

Beginner’sGuide To A Perfect LinkedIn Profile

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In a world dominated by search engine like Google and social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, LinkedIn has doubtlessly maintained its #1 rank as the world’s most popular, most trusted and most used professional social networking platform. Any professional looking to find dream job or get found by the dream employer must have a well-equipped, updated and a perfect LinkedIn profile. But it’s not everybody’s cup of tea. One needs to have thorough understandings and know-how of LinkedIn’s working system.In this article, we’ll help you learn LinkedIn’s significance that will enable you to optimise your LinkedIn profile easily and thus establish a solid foundation among your vertical on LinkedIn.

Let’s get started!

1. Research Keywords for LinkedIn

Before editing your profile, it will help you if you have a list of targeted keyword phrases in mind for which you would want to come up in search. These are the actual words and phrases that you think prospects and potential connections might actually type into a search. If you’re a plumber, make sure you use the word “plumber” in your profile, along with variations you think might work like “plumbing.” We will be reviewing specific instances where you can and should use these targeted phrases, so write them down. I suggest coming up with 10 – 12 keywords and then prioritizing them so that you know which one is the most important one for you and then phrase it.

2. Use a Current, Professional Profile Image

First, let’s get this out in open right now. If your profile picture is so old you no longer resemble that person, and your own children wouldn’t know that was you, change it. We’re all getting older and most of us would rather be defined by our younger, better-looking selves, but your professional image needs to reflect who you are today. I’ve written at length about what makes for a good, personal brand image. You should have an excellent profile pic on LinkedIn and one that’s used on all of your other personal profiles as well — at least the ones you’re using to promote your business.

3. What’s Your Name, and What Do You Do?

Give careful thought to your Name and Title. Along with your profile image, these are the pieces of information most commonly associated with your account throughout LinkedIn, so they’re extremely important.

4. Offer Complete Contact Information

Below your header is a tab for Contact. This contains all of the contact information that you’ve chosen to share with your connections. Make sure this is complete! At a minimum, you should have your email address, phone number, and website and Twitter accounts.

5. Grab a Custom URL

Have you claimed a vanity URL for your LinkedIn profile yet? A vanity URL is easier to remember and use, and of course looks more branded and professional.

6. Make Sure Your Profile Is Visible

If you’re hoping to get business from your LinkedIn profile, than you want to make sure that anyone can view it, whether they’re logged in or not.

In the same drop down menu next to the Edit Profile button, click on Manage public profile settings. The left side will be what anyone can view from your profile, and along the right you’ll see a set of checkboxes for each of your sections. Generally, you’d want to have them all visible, but do take a moment to review them and make sure you’re not invisible to the public.

7. Support Additional Languages

Do you cater to other countries and languages? If so, you can offer your profile visitors an alternate version in their language. To the right of the Edit Profile button, click on the down arrow to reveal an additional options menu and click on Create profile in a different language. You choose from several dozen languages, with more being added regularly.

When you add additional languages, those alternate versions are then available to profile viewers via a button below your profile image.

8. Update Your Connections

If you’ve never used the LinkedIn Networking tools, or perhaps it’s been a while, now’s a good time. In fact, I recommend doing a quick check every month so that you can connect with people you’ve emailed recently. Basically, LinkedIn will scan your email accounts (with your permission) and offer to send a connection invitation to any existing members LinkedIn finds in your address book.

9. Update Your Background

The Background section includes your Summary and any media you choose to associate with it. Your Summary can include up to 2000 characters and I strongly recommend using every single available space. According to LinkedIn, summaries that have more than 40 words makes you more likely to turn up in appropriate searches, which makes complete sense. The more you’re talking about your business and industry, the more likely you are to use important keywords.

10. Add Media / Links

One of the outstanding features of your LinkedIn profile is the option to add Media to some sections. Media can include images, links or video, and can serve to help educate and engage profile visitors.

Look for this icon in the upper right of sections:

11. Review Skills & Endorsements

The Skills & Endorsements section is one of the most misunderstood and berated features of LinkedIn, so it’s not surprising that most people aren’t taking advantage of all this section has to offer. Yet according to LinkedIn, members who include skills and utilize this section receive 13x more profile views.

12. Move Sections Around

Another feature that many LinkedIn members aren’t aware of is that some of the sections of your profile can be moved around, allowing you to customize and prioritize the information you present connections and prospects.

Look for this icon in the upper right of your sections:

Sections that can be rearranged include:

  • Summary
  • Skills & Endorsements
  • Publications
  • Certifications
  • Projects
  • Additional Info
  • Volunteer Experience & Causes
  • Organizations
  • Experience
  • Education
  • Courses

13. Add / Update Projects

The Projects section is an ideal place to show off some of your actual work, similar to a portfolio. One of the great ways in which you can communicate to a potential client what you can do for them is by showing them what you’ve done for other similar businesses.

14. Add / Update Publications

Publications isn’t just for published books and written work, though if you’ve been published that should definitely be included here. You can also include links to blog posts, particularly if you’ve contributed articles on sites other than your own.

15. Ask for Recommendations and Give Recommendations

Recommendations are an extraordinarily powerful tool within LinkedIn. They represent independent reviews of your business, and can go a long way toward establishing your expertise with potential prospects.

And while recommendations can only be displayed for the specific position for which they were given, they’re still a powerful conversion tool.

Make sure that you’re displaying all of the recommendations you’ve received. And then take the time regularly to ask your satisfied customers and connections for recommendations.

16. Regularly Publish Posts

LinkedIn has implemented an actual blogging platform within the network which allows you to craft and publish posts like you would on your own blog.

17. Review Group Memberships

Finally, take a moment each month to review the LinkedIn Groups that you’re a member of. Are they offering you valuable discussions and connection opportunities? Are you in groups that are appropriate for your business and industry? And have you joined the maximum 50 groups? While many LinkedIn Groups have devolved to nothing more than link dumps, there are still many that can be valuable assets. Participate in those groups, and make sure that viewers of your profile can see the groups that you’re in.

18. Daily LinkedIn Activity

Like every other network, success on LinkedIn requires that you be present regularly. There are many activities that you can be doing with regard to lead generation and prospect research, but there are a specific set of activities I recommend you perform daily.

  • Endorse Others
  • Review Recent Profile Views
  • Share Evergreen Content
  • Share Curated Content
  • Comment on Group Posts

We talked above about the importance of regularly endorsing other people. Whether or desktop or mobile, take a few minutes each day to endorse some of your connections, and you’ll be rewarded for the effort.

 

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Passionate about digital marketing and branding. Helping businesses evolve to next level of digital success with niche specific, customer centric marketing strategies. Blogging often to provide latest insights on digital and social marketing and offers actionable tips and tricks to catch the social media and online marketing momentum.

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