Does your LinkedIn profile make you stand out as an apple in a basket of oranges?
LinkedIn has firmly established itself as the go-to professional networking platform. The number of users has risen significantly to 690 million members and in the UK around 40% of the population use it. It's unsurprising when you look at the statistics on how it drives social selling and more career opportunities.
LinkedIn’s growing user base makes it a place of opportunity and it’s where salespeople are turning to help drive opportunities and revenue - but it also means that there’s more competition to stand out.
Your LinkedIn profile is where people decide if they want to find out more. We have a saying here at Tribal that you should focus on how to be an apple in a basket of oranges, so here are our top tips for doing so!
Grab People’s Attention With Your Picture, Banner Image And Title
Newspapers have mastered the art of captivating interest on their front covers, with headlines that hook you and large photos to further pique your interest. Translated to your LinkedIn profile, this means you should focus on a friendly yet professional photo, an enticing and relevant banner image and a title that makes people want to click.
Your title should make it clear what you do or can offer. While keyword-focused titles can help get you found, if you can, include what value you can add to a client or an employer, or even an unusual hobby.
Again, what makes you an apple in a basket of oranges?!
Your About Section
Your About section is the first thing that people will look at after clicking on your profile, so it’s one of the most important sections of your profile - if not, the most important. Essentially, it’s a place to explain why someone should connect with you over someone with exactly the same experience
Your About section should be about YOU - it’s your chance to shine! It’s just like if you attended an interview, you wouldn’t reel off all of your work experience to date or the services your company offers.
Instead, you’d have a brief elevator pitch of what you offer and have achieved and be prepared to answer questions like:
- Why do you do what you do?
- What makes you different from others with your experience?
- How do you approach solving business problems?
- What are your values?
- What are you most passionate about in business?
- What’s led you to where you are now?
- What do you love doing in your spare time?
It’s best to keep your About sections short and sweet so that you can quickly communicate what you offer, so aim for two to three paragraphs. You should also write in the first person, as it’s a friendlier style that helps build a connection with your audience.
Lastly, always include a call to action to connect and try to use keywords as you go through, or if it’s too forced you can include them in a speciality section using relevant hashtags to help you get found.
LinkedIn is currently rolling out a new section for your About section, which effectively replaces the media links you used to be able to add. Featured content allows you to showcase your personal brand without people having to leave your profile and go somewhere else to find out more
This is a great place to link to content that establishes your thought leadership, expertise and what you can offer, such as relevant white papers, PDFs and case studies. And we know that video is rising rapidly in popularity, not just with millennials, but with the C-Suite too.
So why not take the opportunity to attach a short video about what you can offer - it’s much easier to communicate your passion and values in person than in writing.
Extra LinkedIn Profile Tips
While your skills and endorsements are much further down your profile, don't underestimate the keyword value they provide. When someone endorses you on LinkedIn it bumps you up the keyword searches on LinkedIn and Google. So make sure you pick the right skills you wish to be endorsed for on your profile and delete irrelevant ones.
To achieve an all-star profile on LinkedIn, you’ll also need at least two recommendations but you shouldn’t just aim for the minimum. Recommendations provide social proof to everything you’ve communicated so far. Try to include at least one client/customer, manager and colleague recommendation to give a 360-view of what you’re like to work with.
It may take some time to create a LinkedIn profile you’re proud of but it’s never been more important and the results are more than worth it. We’ve seen clients see a significant increase in their profile views with these steps alone before they even begin to network properly on LinkedIn.
If you want extra guidance on how to discover your “you”, our LinkedIn Personal Brand Worksheet takes you through a series of questions, along with a winning format to help you pull it all together.