LinkedIn is the perfect way to help you grow your personal online brand, beyond just the company you work for, or the business you run – but who YOU are.
And people do business with PEOPLE, not only brands, so to get you started on adding some WOW to your Linkedin profile, or just snazzing up the LinkedIn profile you already created, let’s look at 5 simple things you can do with your LinkedIn profile that you might not have thought of.
- Profile Pic
Your profile image is the first thing that people look at even before they review your headline. To ensure that people want to read on to find out more about you, taking you seriously, you need to have a sharp looking profile image, putting your best foot forward.
Consider it visual marketing, which is very powerful. If someone wants to find out more, or if you come up in search (which is what we’re going to work on next), make sure that your profile image is well-lit, crystal clear especially the eyes), and that the background is professional, too. Your background in your profile photo should not be distracting, but rather complementary to your face.
In your profile pic, include your face, preferably looking at the viewer (towards the camera). If it doesn’t show you head-on, make sure it shows the real you (example, Guy Kawasaki’s profile image is a great example of this, where is is looking sort of to the side, but laughing. Now this is a guy you’d want to do business with from the expression he has.
In your profile image, no distracting babies or pets, and definitely NOT in a bar (unless this is your industry and it’s what you want to be known for!)
Your headline is really important to pay attention to when adding WOW to your LinkedIn profile.
Your headline is the second part of your profile that people are going to see and read when they find your profile in search on LinkedIn. When your profile comes up in Google search, the headline is the first thing that people will see in the search results.
To ensure that you rank top for the keywords in your industry, start with your headline…this is not to say that the rest of your profile text doesn’t count, but it’s a good start when you don’t know where to begin. If someone is looking up a person in a particular geographic location that has a particular skill or is in a particular industry, you will come up even if these words aren’t in your profile summary and previous jobs, because it is right up top and you are not competing with others outside of your geographic area for that search.
Your LinkedIn headline has 120 characters to use to best describe what you do and who you are. Use not only letters, but characters and symbols as spacers you feel would separate sections. The best thing to do is to do a search for someone else that does what you do, not in a particular geographic region, and see how they do it and why they come up first. Why reinvent the wheel?
The first thing everyone thinks of when building an online presence is either their website or starting to blog. A website isn’t necessarily the easiest way to go, especially because you have to pay a hosting fee, and definitely purchase a domain name. If you haven’t already, I recommend at least grabbing onto a domain name that speaks for your brand (especially if your keyword is in it, but that’s a topic all its own for another post…)
The simplest way to start blogging is to grab a free wordpress blog on the WordPress website, at http:/wordpress.com.
You can start a blog on Blogger, owned by Google, but it would be easier to move over your WordPress blog when the time comes for you to have a WordPress-based website if that should happen. And if it doesn’t, so what? Wordpress ranks pretty high on the Google barometer.
Most importantly to add juice to your LinkedIn profile, you need to create a LinkedIn blog, which is an option for you on the homepage. You just write a post by copying and pasting all of the content that is super rich with keywords that you worked so hard on in the first place. Create a free graphic image that is eye catching on Canva (http://canva.com) and presto. You have one heck of a LinkedIn profile that will shine just because you blog! Times two if you use the LinkedIn blog post option.
- Your website
If your business has a website, or if you have your own personal website, it looks very impressive on a LinkedIn Profile. You can include it in the links section on your Profile, and also within the profile itself.
Having a website that speaks for you makes you really stand out above the rest of the LinkedIn profiles. If you have a website that you regularly update, you can also include it in your updates, driving traffic to your website even further.
And if it’s possible to have an e-mail with your website domain name (i.e. firstname.lastname@example.org), it looks even more credible if you choose to go public with it in your LinkedIn profile.
You could leave your LinkedIn profile as is, of course, but, to make your LinkedIn profile really shine you should have updates to your profile. Showing your activity on your profile also will update your connections. This is a great way to stay top of mind, especially when someone was thinking of emailing you, but not your update reminded them to.
Activity is super important, particularly on LinkedIn if you are looking to show your professional network that you are the one for the job, particularly if it’s a potential client on the line.
You can update your profile with information ranging from a new job, a new headline, even new projects that you are working on. You do this on the home page of LinkedIn.
Those are 5 very simple ways to get started with making your LinkedIn profile really shine. Do you have a favorite tactic that you use regularly to stay top of mind on LinkedIn? Please share in the comments section below.
And be sure to connect with me on LinkedIn!