With over 277 million registered users in more than 200 countries, LinkedIn offers you the opportunity to build, connect and engage with your professional network. It’s not just about having a profile page, the real value comes from creating relationships and networking with your connections. But how can you optimise your profile to encourage people to connect with you get found in search?
Last week I visited Google Campus to hear from Cemanthe McKenzie, author of ‘Social Media for Business’, who gave advice on how to use LinkedIn to improve your online marketing. Her tips below will help to make your profile stand out from the crowd.
1. Make your headline search-friendly
Your headline is the first thing people see when they search for you on LinkedIn. It gives you an opportunity to say what you do and where you do it. Instead of just stating ‘Managing Director’, for example, add details about where you work and what benefits you can bring to the reader. Here’s an example from Cemanthe’s profile:
2. Use a professional photo
You have probably seen people using photos of them sitting on a beach or at a party. If you work as a lifeguard or a party planner, this is fine, but if not then make sure your photo is relevant to your workplace. It doesn’t need to be a professional photo but make sure it’s clear and a good representation of you.
3. Optimise your summary
The summary section may be the first and only thing people read on your profile page. This means that it needs to be clear and explain more about you and your experience. Who are you? What do you do? How do you do it? What makes you special? Think of it as a covering letter and a place to boast about your skills.
4. Include recommendations
Recommendations are comments written by a LinkedIn member about your work. Cemanthe suggests that you should aim for 10 recommendations, so reach out to your manager, colleagues, customers and clients and ask them for a recommendation. If you’re not sure how to request one, read the LinkedIn recommendations summary.
5. Change your public URL
Do you know you can change the URL of your profile on LinkedIn? I didn’t before the event so here’s how. On your profile page click on Edit and you will see the option to change your current URL. Make it more personal to you and easy for people to remember. Here’s mine:
6. Share an update daily
You probably don’t check the home feed on LinkedIn as much as you do on Twitter or Facebook. But this gives you an opportunity to share your knowledge and best practice advice to your connections. It’s great for your personal brand awareness and will make sure you stay in the forefront of your connections minds.
Don’t just use it to promote your personal blog, write a daily update about an interesting piece of content you have come across, or an event you are attending. Below is an example from one of my connections:
7. Join and become active within groups
Last but not least, contribute to group discussions. This can really help to establish you as a thought leader and, according to LinkedIn, group participants have four times the number of profile views. So what are you waiting for? Search for groups that are of interest to you and start following and contributing. A word of warning though, don’t overdo it – focus on a few groups to begin with.