LinkedIn has seen huge growth over the past few years and whilst it used to be the place you ‘put’ your CV and looked for a job, today the platform is the place to be to share ideas, network locally and globally, develop your own brand and benefit from the opportunities it is driving, both personally and professionally.
Optimising your profile is essential to maximise all those benefits and is one of the most popular things we get asked about at Tribal, regardless of industry or role.
Here’s our tips on how you can go about that:
First things first, we always recommend reviewing your settings – there’s a lot to choose from but spending 5 mins ensuring you’re happy with the way your profile is seen and how you want LinkedIn to use your data is a good place to start.
A couple of key things we always suggest to our clients is to review their profile visibility and if you have one, linking your Twitter account. Here’s how you do that:
Just like in real life, it’s important to make a good first impression and the digital world is no exception. Just having a photo results in increased connection requests and profile views.
Having the right photo is also important, this is not the time to use your favourite social photo but choose one that is a clear head and shoulder shot, ideally with a light background and approx. 60% of the frame. You want people to be able to recognise you when they meet you so this is one to definitely keep updated.
Everyone has the same LinkedIn blue banner background but it’s a great idea to update this to represent your professional image. You can easily find free LI banner images online that you can download and then upload to your profile. More often than not, if you want to use a company image, your Marketing team should be able provide an image for you to use.
If you’re on other social platforms for business, aim to keep your picture and banner consistent.
Whilst this is not the first thing people see, you want to make it easy for people to get in touch by adding your work email. Editing your URL to remove any extra digits is also something we recommend as it’s better when sharing your info on emails or presentations (or if you link your Twitter account).
The last thing we recommend is to add some websites – this could be the main company website, the blog link (if they have one) or a particular page that references your division. Always select ‘other’ when adding the website as you can add keywords, all of which helps with SEO.
Just like the news (paper or digital), it’s the headline that grabs your attention so definitely spend time to get this right.
The default setting is your job title but you’ve got 120 characters to play with and using keywords that describes what you do, who you serve and how that helps them, all increase your chances of getting found.
Here’s some examples headlines that have been optimised – there’s primarily 2 styles, one using a value statement and others using a succession of keywords.
Everything we’ve talked about is helping your search engine optimisation but most importantly, it’s making your profile more customer centric and your About section is critical to this.
This is your chance to ‘tell your story’. This isn’t where you write your CV.. you want to figure out what differentiates you and what we tell our clients is to think about ‘being an apple in a basket of oranges’.
Writing in first person makes your summary more of a conversation – this is also where you want to ensure you’re using any keywords and phrases that are important to you/your role that help you get found.
We recommend aiming for 3 paragraphs, breaking it down into what you actually do and your knowledge and experience. Follow that up with more specific info on how you help your customers and what motivates you. We believe adding something more personal about you (hobbies, other professional or civil interests), helps you be that ‘apple’.
You can also finish up with asking people to reach out and connect, not just on LinkedIn but any other platform or your contact details – whist they could find this in the ‘contact’ session, you want to do everything you can to make it easy.
Writing this section is likely to take some time and may take a few attempts but it’s the heart of your profile. If you get stuck, taking a look at other profiles that grab your attention always helps… the best thing you can do is write it and publish it , you can always edit later on if you decide it’s not quite right.
Skills & Endorsements
We know that most people landing on your profile won’t scroll down to here but what you might not know is that it does help that SEO ranking.
You can tidy up your skills section by pinning your top 3 (think of those keywords again and if you can tie those in to keywords in your headline, this bumps up the ranking), putting them in order and removing any that are no longer relevant or just creating a long, unnecessary list is quick and easy to do.
Just as with the skills section, giving and receiving endorsements can help with your professional brand but boosts your optimisation.
This all may sound a lot to do but most of the recommendations are quick and easy and there’s no harm if you do a little at a time. Getting your headline and summary right is where it is worth taking more time but as said, you can continually review and edit.
Getting these areas optimised will give you the best foundation for using LinkedIn and if you’re in a Sales role, essential for helping build LinkedIn’s own SSI score.
Hopefully our tips and videos have helped you on your journey with LinkedIn .. if you want to find out other ways to help optimise your LinkedIn activity, we’re often talking about this and more on our blog page which you can follow here.