WHY IS YOUR LINKEDIN PROFILE SO IMPORTANT?
LinkedIn is the most important professional network and there are now more than 400 million members. This is no passing fad and the growth is likely to continue. LinkedIn is a professional, not a social network . This means your LinkedIn profile needs to be complete and present a good impression.
A complete profile presents an opportunity to optimise your profile with careful use of the right keywords. This means that someone doing a search is more likely to find your profile and they will make an instant judgement by glancing at the results from the LinkedIn search results.
So how do you make your LinkedIn profile more effective?
First Impressions Count in LinkedIn Too!
Here is an interactive image of my LinkedIn profile. Note the following elements:
- Keyword-Rich Heading. This can be a sentence or words separated by a special character. Someone viewing your profile can see at a glance what you do or what results you deliver.
- Professional Portrait Photo. This appears as a thumbnail image in searches. So if you want your photo to be visible, just show the head and part of the shoulders. Don't get confused with Facebook!
- Custom Background, which in my case has a clear statement: "Get Results with Online Coaching".
- Personalised URL, which is easy to set up. My URL is https://nz.linkedin.com/in/simonfawkes. This looks more professional than the URL that LinkedIn assigns each user.
- Followers, which can show that you are worth following.
- Posts. You last three LinkedIn Posts appear here. This is both a sign of activity and authority in your field.
There are two hot spots in the image above. The top one has a link to my LinkedIn Profile and the bottom one links to the post: "3 Tips To Get Better Results From YouTube".
We All Had To Start From Zero!
I joined LinkedIn in 2005 and it took me five years to grow my network to reach the 500 milestone, but just about three years to reach 1000. How did I do this? You can do the maths. Two new contacts a week gives you 100 in a year, multiply by five to reach 500. The relationship is not linear. As your network grows, so does your ability to attract people to connect with you. It is not just "a numbers game" and quality is more important than quantity.
I was rather pleased to receive an email from LinkedIn in early 2013.
Simon, congratulations! You have one of the top 1% most viewed LinkedIn profiles for 2012!
LinkedIn Continues To Grow
LinkedIn celebrated reaching a milestone of reaching 200 million members in late 2012. The latest figure is 433 million and this rate of growth looks as though it will continue.
If the crowd is getting bigger, it becomes even more important to know how to stand out from the crowd and get noticed for the right reasons.
LinkedIn may have started out as a tool for recruiters and people looking for a job, but it has developed into a fully-fledged social network for the business and professional sectors.
Microsoft paid $26.2 billion USD for LinkedIn in June 2016. This equates to $60 per member. According to the article in Forbes, "Microsoft will be hard pressed to turn LinkedIn around". That may be the case, but this is not excuse for not having a professional LinkedIn profile!
Build Your LinkedIn Profile In Stages
There is no need to try and achieve excellence in one fell swoop. Aside from breaking a huge task into more manageable micro-tasks, there are rewards for updating your profile. LinkedIn sends an update to your connections each time you update your profile. This can help keep your name "top of mind". You can turn off "activity broadcasts" and this is advisable if you are going to make several changes in one session or over a weekend.
What are the other key element of a Linkedin Profile?
I wish to acknowledge Julie Mason who is great source of knowledge and inspiration, I have adapted some of her tips on how to get the most from your LinkedIn Profile. Do take a look at her profile. The WHY, HOW and WHAT come from Simon Sinek, who is not in LinkedIn. He may not need this, but the rest of us do!
Use the language of your target audience. Refer to their concerns or problems and then explain the results you deliver. Finish with a call to action and the best way to contact you.
Experience - Current Role
Pay particular attention to this part of your profile. I have concise paragraphs under the following headings:
- My WHY - What Drives Me
- HOW I Do This
- WHAT I do
- WHO I Work With
- My Style
- What is Your Next Step?
Experience - Previous Roles
There are four parts to this: Your role, the company, your greatest achievement and finally the skills you learned.
These are of high value and they are about a specific role. You need to ask someone to provide you a recommendation, which you can review before accepting and publishing.
These are of low value and they relate to specific skills listed in your profile. Start by listing your main skills, which are searchable. Anyone can endorse you and LinkedIn will pester you with people and skills to endorse. My advice is to do this sparingly.
You have a wide choice of media that you can add to your Summary as well as each role. Unlike Updates that are soon forgotten, media items remain on your profile. This is where you can demonstrate your skills and experience. This is free promotion., so make good use of it. You now have five different types of media that you can upload.
Get the LinkedIn Profile Mind Map
This is a great tool to help you improve your LinkedIn Profile!
Please contact me if you have any questions about LinkedIn. There is plenty to digest in this post, so take it in bite-sized chunks.
Simon Fawkes, Director, Business to Markets Ltd
You can reach me on mobile or Skype. You can also use the chat box below.