Whether you sell a service or product, work for a company and like to keep your feelers out or you’re job hunting, having a LinkedIn profile is a non-negotiable. If people are searching your name on Google, it’s one of the first listings to come up.
From prospects and client to recruiters and employers, a strong LinkedIn profile is an essential part of positioning yourself in front of these people. Open your LinkedIn profile in a second tab and look for opportunities to optimise it, as you read along with this blog.
The headshot, title & contact details
Your headshot is the first thing people see, so make sure it’s fresh (less than 12 months old), interesting and conveys your professional personality.
Under your name, you’ll see the Title which allows for two to three lines, that doubles as your “mini intro”. Make sure to use up all the characters to give a short, punchy description of what you do.
For example, it could read ‘Managing Director of… , Entrepreneur, Innovator, Teacher, and Speaker.’ Don’t be afraid to show your personality and add a little wit to it. For example, ‘and self-proclaimed coffee connoisseur.’
Also, in Contact Info, check the email is your professional address, not a personal Gmail or Hotmail that you may have used to sign up.
About, your latest bio
The About section is the most important real estate on your LinkedIn profile. Maximise this by using the entire character count to talk about current, past and future roles (that you envision). Don’t make it all about you and avoid using I/me/we/us language. Instead, focus on your clients, leads and prospects with you/your language.
Do you work across various industry sectors? In different countries? Any notable clients or industry leaders? Talk about these capabilities in your About bio. Get this copy right and use it, consistently, across your other platforms.
Experience, Education & Endorsements
Pull out your resume and make sure roles under your Experience and Education sections match up. Avoid any gaps in your experience.
While the Endorsements are relevant, what’s more valuable is your Recommendations. Use the ‘give and you shall receive’ rule for this and reach out to your favourite clients or colleagues.
For your Accomplishments section, think about any awards, associations, reports or publication you’ve achieved or been involved in.
Growing your connections & clients
Once you’ve optimised your profile so it’s a positive reflection of what you do, it’s time to use it strategically to expand your network and create offline opportunities. Consider investing in LinkedIn Premium if you use the platform daily, it’s your main online network, and you’re looking to expand.
From your profile, spend time looking at people who Viewed Your Profile – where they work, live, what industry they’re in, and if you have any shared connections.
Have a look at Post Views to see what’s resonating with your network. Is there someone new who liked a post? Go and check them out, as they’re ‘warm’ connections. Check out Search Appearances to see what companies and industries you’re appealing to and what those people are searching for, to find you.
Over on the My Network, you’re presented with a list of possible connections. LinkedIn does a lot of the work, so it’s up to you to see which one captures your interest.
If you click on My Connections, then ‘search with filters’, you’ll be able to run a comprehensive search either using first or second connections in a specific location. This is a great way to discover new people, reach out and organise meetings.
For your daily, weekly or ad-hoc posting, get better cut through using hashtags. This is one of the most underused parts of LinkedIn, so if you do it, you’re likely to see the results. Use industry, subject, title or location hashtags to ‘feed’ LinkedIn’s algorithm.
Remember, these strategies aren’t random ways to find people. It’s a strategic, clearly thought out way to grow your personal brand. The goal is to take these relationships from LinkedIn and into real life, through online and coffee meetings. Be intentional and respectful to leverage the power of LinkedIn networking. It’s all about relationship building that are two way and thoughtful.
Do you need help with your LinkedIn profile and networking? Please get in touch by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, thanks.