Most of us know that LinkedIn is the Social Media Channel to use for Business to Business Marketing with around 50+ million members in Europe alone. There are a lot of key factors in using LinkedIn effectively and successfully but hopefully its obvious what the starting point is -your profile.
LinkedIn say that having a completed profile provides you with a 40% greater chance of
marketing, prospecting, networking, recruiting successfully. Having an effective and completed profile is important as ‘first impressions count’.
A good profile tells people who you are more and is a showcase for your talents, background, experience and interests. It also makes you appear to be a more competent user in the network and therefore someone a prospect would like to network with. Your profile is the foundation for growing your influence and building your business.
Here are key steps in building an effective profile:
1. Upload a Professional Picture.
Absolutely essential really. Without a picture people think you have something to hide or maybe just cant be bothered. You should use a recent (you want people to recognise you when you meet) clear, in focus ‘Head and Shoulder’s shot of you. Avoid holiday snaps and silly expressions or poses. This is your best opportunity to make a great first impression,and it is essential to attracting connections.
2.Create a Compelling Headline
You only have 120 characters at the top of your profile to describe what you do and attract attention. Typically I see people use a Job Title but I recommend you use that space more imaginatively. Your current position further down your profile will give people your title. Use brief, descriptive, compelling keywords so the right people on
LinkedIn can discover you. For example: Automotive Manufacturing Expert rather than Manufacturing Director,Automotive Components Ltd. I know it sounds a bit corny to some of you but it does work.
3.List Your Current Position and At Least Two Past Positions
Use the same descriptive keywords that you quoted in your headline if possible, and be sure to describe your role for each position. Don’t go all the way back to that paper round you did as a Teenager but some history is good as it helps you pick up useful contacts amongst former colleagues.
4.Complete the “Summary” Section of Your Profile
Describe who you are,what you do and how you help people. Its often suggested that you write your summary in the third person and I agree. If you don’t you will be using the letter “I” quite a bit which puts some people off.
5.Complete the “Specialities” Section of Your Profile
These are the terms that will help you show up in search results within LinkedIn so think carefully what you want to put. Just like SEO don’t just use keywords that you think describe what you do but use phrases that people in your target markets might search for re your background, experience, and products/services.
6.Give and get some recommendations as soon as possible.
You will need at least three recommendations in order for LinkedIn to label your profile as complete. The best way to get recommendations is to give them so connect with people you know and ask them.
7.Complete the “Interests” and “Groups and Associations”
Your potential connections like to see what kind of person you are and what your professional interests are so give them an idea. Join at least a few groups relevant to what you do. Each of the terms in this section will be hyper-linked and will take you to other users in the network who share these interests.
8.Edit your Public LinkedIn URL
LinkedIn allocates you a rather lengthy LinkedIn URL unsurprisingly because unless you have an unusual name there are going to be 100’s or even 1000’s of people with your name. Customise it using the edit mode in LinkedIn. For example uk.linkedin.com/in/janklin looks so much better and shorter. Customisation will optimise your LinkedIn profile to show up in search results on major search engines when someone searches for your name.
9.Customise Your “website” Listings
Under the “websites” section of your LinkedIn profile, you can list up to three URLs. Choose the “other” option when setting up these links and describe them with relevant terms. For example,rather than using the terms “website,” use your business name or name of a blog if you have one. Not only is this more descriptive, it also gives you a better opportunity to rank for those keywords in search engines.
10.Include a Link to Your Twitter Profile
Adding the link to your Twitter feed give people another opportunity to connect with you!
11.Make Your Entire LinkedIn Profile Publicly Visible to Everyone.
Linkedin allows you to restrict who can see your profile in its privacy settings. If you have something to sell and want other professionals on LinkedIn to be able to find you being invisible won’t help you build your network. Once you have implemented these tips you will then be ready use LinkedIn to really grow your network and your business.
I hope this helps and get in touch if you need assistance – Richard@janklin.com