How to Smash your LinkedIn Profile for Business Development and Connections, Thought Leadership and Work

Whether you are open for work and looking for a new role, run a business or startup, positioning as a thought leader and/or you might be seeking board appointments, having reviewed thousands of LinkedIn profiles, you can apply the Smash (in a good way) your LinkedIn system to your own profile.

The SMASH system covers Skills, Messaging, About/Activity, Strategy and Head Shot/Heading so follow these steps to be a ‘go to’ person on LinkedIn.



The foundation of your LinkedIn profile is a mirror of your resume including:

  • Skills & Endorsements – skills from you and endorsements comes from others
  • Experience – reflect your resume
  • Education – add all your qualifications and accreditations
  • Recommendations – this is important, ask colleagues and clients for recommendations, plus you may need to return the favour
  • Accomplishments – Honors, Awards, Projects, Publications
  • Interests – not too important but shows the variety of areas you are involved in


  • Consider personalising the reach out message but don’t be salesy – most people don’t like it when you connect with someone and then 2 seconds later there is a message in your in box = delete!
  • Be pragmatic about it – if you think someone will hit connect without a message then just connect, if you’ve met the person face to face or online, been at an event or have another real reason to connect (that is not about sales) like maybe an interest in common, then perhaps try that to help the reach out make sense.


This is your career summary and it is the key to your LinkedIn profile but many people don’t have this section and/or they write just a few lines – suggest you use the max characters and it is like the above the line on a website.  Here are a few tips to consider and feel free to check out the About section in my LinkedIn profile.

  • About: – expand on the roles, what your expertise is and who you work with (types of clients/projects), what industry sectors you’ve got experience in, which countries and locations, add more detail on the extra things you do, strengths and capabilities; call to action at the end if you can fit it.  NB. Don’t use I, me, my, we, our, us; start your sentences in an interesting way plus use verbs; match with your bio and content on your website.
  • Activity – this relates to your comments, shares, articles – for content here you want to be active building up from weekly – daily.  Content would include original materials as well as sharing others relevant posts, events and links.


You’ll need a strategy for reaching out and building up your connections but this is where you’ll need to consider who you want to strategically be connected to and why.

  • Connections – people you may know; targeted potential clients and organisations; follow the ideal client and/or their organisations; check out more suggestions for you from LinkedIn ; who has searched your profile; consider the number of people you have in common (the more people you have in common the more likely the person is to accept your connection).
  • LinkedIn app on your phone – a few spare minutes can be used to help with all of these points.
  • Engage with key potentials clients posts, like and/or comment, share etc.
  • Consider whether you’ll accept everyone (LION) and/or only certain connections – I accept everyone but if you ask for a date or try to sell = delete!

Head Shot and Heading

  • Head shot – no less than 12 months old; consider personal brand (pic of just you); head and shoulders; think about the background and light.
  • Cover image – not the standard blue but replace with something that is relevant, could be a collage image if you are involved in a number of different things and ask does the image make sense to your customers and clients?
  • Heading (title): All of the roles that you play e.g. current role, board roles, coach and mentor, speaker, industry expert or practitioner in xyz etc.  Put the titles in priority order and use language that makes sense to your clients and customers.

If you are a Switch Start Scale client then working on your LinkedIn profile is something that you can have done at no cost to you and/or if you’d like some advice on your profile, then please feel free to message via LinkedIn or send an email to, thanks.

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