Your LinkedIn profile is your professional shop window. Just like any shop window it has only a few seconds to capture the viewer’s interest and draw them in. So does your profile stand out or is it another bland blend in affair?
Whilst the basic profile format is standard there are many ways in which you can make it more compelling, both visually and in terms of content. Research shows that 66% of B2B buyers use LinkedIn when selecting a supplier, the impression they get when they land on your LinkedIn profile better be good.
Here are 10 proven tips for a more compelling profile.
1. A professional headshot
Profiles with photos get 7x more views than those without. Invest in a professionally taken head shot - avoid the 3 Ps: Party, Partner and Pet shots. Ideally you should use the same photo for all your business social networks.
2. Your professional headline
The space immediately under your name is known as the professional headline and is prime promotion space. It defaults to your current job role. This is repeated in the experience section so use this space instead for a snappy strap line or bullet pointed summary of what you offer. Remember you only have 4-5 seconds to get attention and this section is what people see first.
3. Current company and company page link
When the mouse scrolls over your current company it goes blue and links through to your company page. A pop up box with abbreviated company details appears. Check the link is working. If not you may have to re-enter the company name in the edit profile menu.
Many visitors will click on the company page link rather than going to your website. For the 47% of businesses who don’t have a company page notice that the website link is hidden from view in your contact information and easily overlooked.
4. A customised LinkedIn address
Unless you have customised your LinkedIn address you will have something pretty horrible that reads like www.linkedin.com/pub/john-jones/37b81/838. It’s a simple task to convert this to a memorable address. Here are the instructions. Add this to your email signature.
Since the last profile re-design LinkedIn has given much more prominence to your activity on LinkedIn. This is visible to your first degree connections. Keep your profile fit and healthy by making sure you are regularly active i.e. adding updates or liking someone else’s post. As on other social networks updates have a short life time, any given post will only be seen by 10% of your network at most.
6. Your summary, your story
After your professional headline this is probably the most important part of your profile. It is a mystery to me why so many people miss this out. Your summary is your chance to present an up to date picture of what you do now in your own words. The style should be geared to your audience. It’s quite acceptable to write informally and use the first person.
Whether you choose a formal or informal style you should aim to include:
- Who you are
- What you offer
- Why people should use you (your USP) and
- An invitation to get in touch
It would be complete turn off to stuff your profile with keywords; however you should make sure that the key words and phrases you want to be found for appear throughout your profile. Recently I did some testing using “salesforce” as my search phrase, the results included one profile where the only mention of “salesforce” was in the interests section. Interesting.
8. Add videos, images, documents and presentations to your profile
We are suckers for images and videos. They get our attention. It doesn’t even have to be your content it could be a presentation or video from an industry expert relevant to your audience.
9. Give your skills and endorsements a makeover
What could be more important than a section which lists your professional skills validated by your connections - in my experience most people create an initial list of skills but then rarely revisit or review them. If you want a visitor to get an accurate picture of your skill set then this section needs to be actively managed which includes deleting out of date or irrelevant skills.
It is better to have fewer skills that accurately reflect what you offer than a long list that muddy the water. In addition you will need to actively solicit endorsements for your core skills and reject endorsements for non-core skills.
10. Showcase your best recommendations
Recommendations are powerful independent proof of your credentials; however some recommendations will be better than others. By default LinkedIn will show your last two first, however you can change the order to put your best recommendations at the top.
From the edit profile menu scroll down to recommendations section and use the up-down arrow icon to re-order.
I hope you have found these tips useful and are inspired to add an extra resolution to your New Year list: stand out from the crowd on LinkedIn.
About the author
Greg Cooper is a marketing coach, a social media trainer, and a LinkedIn specialist. He runs regular public workshops as well as bespoke company courses. For more details see www.frontofmindcoaching.co.uk or call him on 07917 360222.