Making the Most of Your LinkedIn Profile

If you’ve read my first two installments of Why LinkedIn them you already know why you NEED LinkedIn. Not read them yet? Click Here for the first and Here for the second.

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But LinkedIn is a vital tool for your personal—and professional—brand.

Here are some secrets to making your profile stand OUT among the others.Your profile as your “pitch” about you and your brand to your public.

Focus on your buyer’s goals and how you are integral in helping your client reach them:

· Your Headline should be announcing who you help, and how you help them.

· Your Picture should be professional, but not too formal. Make sure it’s current, hi-res, and would make someone trust you with their business. Including a picture on your profile is NOT optional!

· Your Contact Info needs to be thorough and up to date. Include your email address, phone number, Twitter handle, blog, and company website to make it easy for prospective clients to get in touch.

· Your LinkedIn URL should be customized to look like www.linkedin.com/in/yournamehere to make it easily searchable. Include a middle initial or number if your name is common.

· Connections should number at least 500. Look to quantity and quality. Send customized invitations to anyone you’ve interacted with, and if you’re requesting someone you’ve never met, make sure to personalize the invitation with your relevant reason for reaching out to them.

· Your Summary should be roughly three paragraphs with three (or fewer!) sentences each. Include keywords your buyers may be searching for.
First Paragraph: Reiterate your statement from your headline.
Second Paragraph: Get specific about your work, what projects you’ve been involved in, results you are responsible for, companies you’ve worked with, and how you achieve the mission statement from your headline.
Third Paragraph: Include a call to action that makes it clear why and how a buyer should get in touch.

· Display 2-4 pieces of visual content in your summary; stick to eye-catching pieces that will be helpful to your buyer.

· Write Your Experience Section with your buyer in mind, and keep in mind what they will be looking for. List professional positions, titles, and include a brief summary of your role at each job, including 3-5 major duties. Keep the focus on the results you helped your clients achieve, and your methods to do so.

· List Honors and Awards you’ve won with a short explanation and description.

· Include Publications you are part of; blogs, articles published on 3rd-party sites, etc…

·Education: In addition to formal degrees, include any relevant online courses or certifications you’ve completed.

· Join Groups that your buyers are in, and participate!

· Request Recommendations thoughtfully. Wait until you’ve worked with someone for six months before making a request, and think of asking clients to share their positive experiences in addition to colleagues and bosses.

Once you’ve got your profile whipped into shape, you will definitely take LinkedIn by storm and impress potential clients!

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