There’s more to LinkedIn than just posting, liking and commenting. Way more. But in this blog, I’m going to focus on how to make a great LinkedIn profile – the very foundation of a successful account.
The first step is to take a look at your current profile. Does it convey the right message? What does it say about you? Is it obvious what you do? Your ultimate aim is to make it clear that you have the solution to your customers’ problems and to let them know how you can make their life easier.
1: The profile picture
Make sure that your LinkedIn profile picture reflects who you are and captures exactly the personality that you want to portray. Marketing research proves that you should adopt the following rules to achieve a good LinkedIn profile picture:
- Look straight into the camera.
- Make sure that it looks like you. You’ll want people to recognise you; I love it when people come up to me at networking sessions and they instantly know who I am and what I do and feel at ease starting a conversation with me.
- Point your shoulders into your profile. When you face into your content, it demonstrates that you are interested.
Think about what’s important to you and your customers?. Do you want to appear friendly, professional, informal, formal? Really think about the message that you want to get across and ensure these characteristics are reflected in your picture.
Remember, people are drawn to work with people they like and trust. Don’t wear sunglasses or inappropriate clothing. And if you don’t want a professional profile picture, you can do it yourself with a good quality phone/camera and a neutral background.
2. The banner image.
Upload a banner image to really improve your LinkedIn profile with ease. It surprises me how many people don’t bother using this space or simply find any random photograph to fill the space.
This is a FREE marketing space and you should use it. It’s a wonderful opportunity to place a relevant image that speaks a thousand words and mirrors your values. Plus, you can also create a banner and place bullet points on it to display your products and services.
3. The headline.
The headline is the text that sits directly under your name. Take this opportunity to tell your potential customers how you can help them, it’s also useful to state who you help. This makes your headline speak directly to, and resonate with, the customers you want to attract.
You’ll notice that my headline doesn’t say that I am a Director of my own company – although this is true, this doesn’t tell anyone what I do.
The reason why this is so important, is that this is the first bit of content that your potential customers will see. They’ll see your headline on your profile and it will be the piece of content that they see when you leave a comment.
And you also need to teach LinkedIn what you do too. After all, they’ll be the one doing the match-making when someone searches for someone just like you.
4. Step away from the CV!s.
Don’t fall into the trap of writing your profile like a CV.
If you’re wondering what to include on a LinkedIn profile, it’s best to focus on repeating the key messages of how you can help and make lives easier. Your customers are busy people, just like you, and won’t want to waste time reading about your qualifications and experiences that are of no relevance.
5. Ask for recommendations and use them.
Right at the bottom of your profile is the place where your recommendations live. They are so important as they provide social proof. And if someone has taken the time to write a recommendation, they must be impressed with your work! They are public recommendations, use their wording in your marketing and your social media posts.
It’s good practice to ask for recommendations. This is easy to do via the LinkedIn platform as they encourage it.
You can always leave recommendations for others too, it’s likely that they’ll repay this kind gesture.
On another note, if you are using LinkedIn to find a job it really is essential to have recommendations from your previous employers. And don’t worry too much, if the role is different to the ones you are looking for now – your fantastic hardworking behaviours will remain the same, traits that are welcomed in all sectors for all roles.
6. Use keywords.
Think of LinkedIn as a search engine, just like Google. Because, in fact, this is exactly what it is!
Identify your keywords, the words that help customers find you. Litter these keywords throughout your profile. Next time someone searches for someone like you, LinkedIn will connect you. These keywords are also necessary to tell LinkedIn who you are and what you do.
Take a look at my profile, I use the keywords Social Media Trainer and Social Media Consultant throughout. Don’t be afraid to repeat the keywords.
Can you see, underneath the images, right at the bottom, it says that the hashtag has been suspended? It’s not obvious, but now you know!
Further material for social media tips:
Have you ever considered setting up a LinkedIn Group? They act like a virtual forum to bring professional communities together, and are a great place to showcase your talent, add value and hear from like minded people. My blog, “LinkedIn Groups For Business: Are they for you?” is a great source of information to get you started.
What’s coming up: LinkedIn workshop
Now, you’re on your way to maximising your profile, it’s time to think about your engagement strategy and content strategy. My next online LinkedIn workshop focuses on how to create a LinkedIn profile that attracts business enquiries and a strategy to strike up a relationship with potential customers.
Over four days on zoom (just an hour each day) I’ll share my knowledge, experience and proven tips on how to drive business enquiries through this fantastic networking platform.
You’ll learn ways to stay in touch with your existing customers, grow your network and nurture new relationships. To find out more and to book your space, click on the link button below
Bye for now,