Tip 1 – Get Your Name Right
Make sure that the name you use on LinkedIn is actually the name people know you for in business, and matches the name they would search for you on LinkedIn. That way there can be no confusion especially if you don’t have a unique name. If you prefer to be called Terence by clients but everyone knows you as Terry then choose the first name that you are most likely to be searched by or the name that fits with your current online profile. linkedin profile
In addition, make sure that your business card matches your LinkedIn name, so if you meet someone at an event and they go to connect with you on LinkedIn afterward that you can be found easily. Sounds simple, however, an apostrophe in the wrong place or a double-barrelled name can be the difference between you making a connection and someone not bothering because they couldn’t find you easily.
Tip 2 – 100% Profile Complete
The initial goal of any LinkedIn Personal profile is 100% completion, any number less than 100% is simply saying ‘I couldn’t be bothered’. Less than 100% affects your credibility and this also impacts upon your power to attract new connections. Make sure that each and every section of your profile is complete from your education to your work history, your skills, summary, and headline. The other reason for this is the accuracy level you will start to see when LinkedIn begins recommending ‘People You May Know’.
This ‘People You May Know’ feature appears in a few places on LinkedIn and is based on the information which you enter into your Personal Profile. If you do not complete your profile then you have less chance of connecting with someone you know well, that could lead you to a new client or a great big piece of business you were not expecting.
Tip 3 – Your Professional Headline
Your LinkedIn Professional Headline when written well can drive massive opportunities your way, whether that be job offers or new clients. The reality is that most people use this part of their LinkedIn profile to demonstrate their current job title or position and their company name.
The professional headline of your LinkedIn profile is the one short description, 110 characters in length that you can see underneath your name on your profile. It is also what others see when you post an update or when you ask someone to connect with you.
Look at your current professional headline on LinkedIn. If it says your job title or position and company name be prepared to transform your LinkedIn visibility. It is important if you want to get hired for a job or develop new business for your company. This one part of your profile will determine how many times you appear in search results.
It will also determine how many people will want to connect with you and is your chance to set you apart from the competition. By changing these 110 characters to include what you offer and what you want to be found for, you will change your visibility, credibility, and profitability on LinkedIn.
The Importance of Keywords and the Professional Headline:
As with all web-based content, your LinkedIn Professional Headline is keyword searchable. Pick one main keyword or phrase that you want to be found for. Have you got one? Now go to LinkedIn and put in a people search with that keyword or key phrase in the top right corner. Did you appear on the first page? If not then the person who is in the top spot is probably getting the clients that you want!
How Should I write my Headline?
Choose your keywords wisely and you could rocket up the search rankings instantly and appear on the first page of LinkedIn searches. We recommend that you include the keyword or keyword phrase you have picked out, at least twice in your Professional Headline. Make sure these same keywords or keyword phrase also appear in other parts of your LinkedIn profile as well, especially in your current job title.
What else can I do to Improve my Professional Headline?
Focusing on the end benefit to the customer is another good way to grab attention. Always remember to include the keyword/search term twice:
Old Headline: “Nutritionist”
New Headline: “The Nutritionist Who Increases Staff Happiness – Nutritionist who reduces absenteeism in the workplace”
Old Headline: “Recruitment Consultant”
New Headline: “Changing the way the world does recruitment, saving you time and money with fixed price, low-cost recruitment”
Old Headline: “Business Coach”
New Headline: “Business Coach helping work less hours and make more money! Business Coach for Entrepreneurs
The easiest way to think about this is to answer the question, what does my client get AFTER they have done business with me? What do they feel, think or say after you have delivered your product or service to them? Think about the benefits to the client and focus on that in your headline.
In summary, your professional Headline should feature your main keyword twice, the earlier in the headline the better. It must read well ie. not look like it’s stuffed full of keywords and the same keyword must also feature in your summary.
Tip 4 – Your Photograph
Sam was once asked to introduce a connection of a good business contact to one of her best clients. As she always does, she went to check the person’s profile out on LinkedIn. The first thing she saw was the photograph. It was of a scruffy looking man, in a string vest in his garden! This was a person looking to be connected with her number one multinational corporate client, and yet he chose that photograph to appear on his business profile.
It sounds obvious, I know, but your professional photograph should be exactly that… professional. In a smart business suit, regardless of your trade or profession and taken by a professional photographer, preferably with a friendly and inviting picture. You only get one chance to make an impression on LinkedIn.
Tip 5 – Your Public URL
Your public URL is the small blue link that appears at the bottom of your LinkedIn profile. This is generated by LinkedIn and quite often contains random numbers and letters. You can edit this to make it match your name or business name. Change the public URL to your name or your name and business name. You can see this underneath your LinkedIn photograph and next to your contact details.
Tip 6 –How to Use Your Public Profile URL
Once you have a public URL you are happy with, you can then use this link to drive visits and connections from your email signature, your website, your business card, and other social media channels. If you are just starting out in business and don’t have a website yet, you can use this link to give people a place to learn more about you and your business.
Tip 7 – Your Professional Summary
This is the section directly underneath your photograph and contact details. You can add a summary about you and your business, this is under-utilized by many business owners on LinkedIn. A general structure for building your LinkedIn summary is below. Keep it to 2-3 sentences per paragraph. Make a great first impression.
1. About the Company and your Role in the business.
2. Key Benefits, What you Deliver to Clients and what makes you different – make it very clear why your target market should do business with you.
3. What you are passionate about.
4. Additional Activities eg. Community Work, Volunteering etc.
5. Awards and Achievements.
6. Specialties: AKA a list of keywords to help you get found.
Your profile should ooze credibility, and this will help you appear as someone who is serious about their business and someone that they should connect to.
Tip 8 – Your Experience
The section covering your previous positions and jobs is important because it allows LinkedIn to suggest potential connections for you based on where you have worked before. Make sure you complete this but don’t write a novel under each heading, just a few lines.
Tip 9 – Add Skills to Your Profile
LinkedIn allows you to add Skills to your profile which you can then be endorsed for, the trick with skills is to keep it to the skills that you actually want to be endorsed for, so you probably have 100 different skills that you are good at to some extent if you want to be credible and get known for being great in a particular area then restrict your skills list to 25 or 30 core skills that you would be happy for someone to endorse you for.
Tip 15 – Add a Phone Number and Email to your profile
Also bear in mind that skills you once had may not be relevant to what you do now, so always keep this list up to date and add or remove skills from time to time. This list will be used by people in their searches for people with relevant skills, it is a tool most useful for recruiters and head-hunters, less relevant for business owners, however, it is important that you list skills and that you can then be endorsed by others for having those skills.
Tip 10 – Add Rich Content & Media to your linkedin profile
At the time of writing this book, LinkedIn is gradually rolling out the ability to add videos, links, and documents to your LinkedIn Profile. When you go into ‘Edit Profile’ you will now see a plus ‘+’ button next to the edit tools, and this allows you to add a link to a video, for example, a YouTube or Vimeo video, or a link to your blog or a landing page. You could also include a PDF brochure or PowerPoint presentation about your Product or Service.
This will really bring your profile to life and give people the opportunity to explore your business and professional profile in more detail. The phasing out of this relatively new ability to add rich content to your profile is expected to be completed by the end of 2013. Don’t worry if your profile won’t allow you yet, keep checking in and make sure you add some great content when your profile allows you to.
Tip 11 – Add Publications to Your Profile
If you have written and published books, articles, papers etc. then you can now add these to your profile. If your publication is available online you can add links to your profile to drive sales, this is one way to give you books more exposure. In addition, publishing papers or articles raises your credibility so you will be positioning yourself as an expert in your field the more publications you have that you can link through your profile.
Tip 12 – Add Voluntary Experience to Your Profile
When people look at your profile, most of what they read is all about you as a business 15 Tips for your LinkedIn Personal Profile. After all, LinkedIn is a business networking platform, however, you can add some personal details to your profile which contain details of your philanthropic work, or voluntary work raising awareness for causes and charities that you support. If you are involved in any voluntary or community work you can share this on your LinkedIn profile, if you have a JustGiving.com account then why not add this to your voluntary section and use LinkedIn as an additional way to raise funds.
Tip 13 – Link Twitter to your Profile
You can easily link your LinkedIn profile to your Twitter account(s). You will develop more followers this way, you can choose to post your Status Updates via Twitter, directly from LinkedIn.
Ensure that you link your Twitter accounts to LinkedIn. You can do this is the contact section of your profile.
Tip 14 – Use Calls to Action on to Your Web Links
When you are adding your website to your LinkedIn profile, the standard way to do this is within the ‘Edit Contact Details’ section of your profile. Most people use LinkedIn’s standard drop-down box which includes ‘Personal Website’, ‘Company Website’, ‘Blog’ etc. These are pretty boring descriptions and everyone uses them on LinkedIn.
They do not really entice someone to want to click on the link though. There is a different way to add your website to any link that you want, and be able to include a ‘Call to Action’. Instead of choosing ‘Company Website’ from the drop-down menu, choose ‘Other’. LinkedIn will then give you a short space to write some text, and then a new place to add your link. So here are some
Old Description: Blog
New Description: Click for top Business Tips (link goes to your blog page)
Old Description: Company Website
New Description: For great value Hosting Packages (link goes to your products page)
Old Description: Personal Website
New Description: Get your FREE special report (link goes to a landing opt-in page)
Tip 15 – Add a Phone Number and Email to your profile
It sounds obvious, that you would want people to make contact with you once they have found you on LinkedIn, however many people still miss this vital element of your profile. Make sure that you at least have an email address for business and a phone number for your office. From the LinkedIn smartphone App, people can make a call to you directly from within your LinkedIn profile