“When it comes to your participation in social media, are you spending most of your time on Facebook and Twitter? If so, you might be overlooking the marketing potential of a very important and valuable social network: LinkedIn.” (Source: HubSpot)
Like most entrepreneurs and professionals, you’re probably on LinkedIn because you know it’s the place to be if you are in business. But your LinkedIn account has been dormant for months. You’re also not familiar with how people are networking on LinkedIn. You don’t really know what to do with your profile page; which has prevented you from doing anything with it. Maybe you don’t see what the big fuss is about.
I was in your position 12 months ago. But after learning that LinkedIn operates the world’s largest professional network on the Internet with more than 332 million members in over 200 countries and territories, I realized – it’s worth my time. Since then I changed my tune, and perspective, on the behemoth social media platform. Today, my LinkedIn network continues to grow and support my budding business.
I’ve found these 5 simple steps are paramount to making the best of your LinkedIn profile.
Remove the Boring Picture Or Errr … Add One
“Adding a LinkedIn profile picture makes your profile 7x more likely to be viewed by others.” (Source: LinkedIn) Your profile picture should be vibrant, inviting and intriguing all at the same time.
Invest in professional head shots, and opt for a white background or solid color. That means you shouldn’t post a cropped selfie from your best friend’s birthday bash. If your industry doesn’t adhere to the usual suit and tie company culture, get creative. Post a picture that represents what you do (but be careful; it can add character or come off as cheesy or inappropriate). To be safe, stick with a standard head shot with a light colored background and a smile on your face.
Create An Attractive Headline
The biggest oversight, is the misuse of your LinkedIn headline. To only state your company name decreases the likelihood of drawing more eyeballs to your page. Use LinkedIn as a platform to share what you do, how you do it and if you’re fancy, why you do it. Make it easy for others to find you using keywords of industry interest.
Stand out among a sea of boring headlines. For example: a) Do: Health fitness enthusiast, with over 10 years of training experience, motivating clients into tip top shape; or b) Don’t: Trainer at GoodLife. See the difference? Which headline, would you care to read more about?
Think Online Portfolio, Not Resume
LinkedIn is not the platform for an online version of your resume. Please for the life of Mary’s baby, don’t use LinkedIn as a resume. Use it as a vehicle – a vehicle to attain a new contract, attract more clients, build your personal brand or strengthen your network. None of those things require a verbatim resume. Use LinkedIn to showcase your specialty, talents and skills. Add profile images and videos, links to feature articles, speaking engagements, work samples, etc. Again, LinkedIn is your online portfolio. Use accordingly.