31 August 2012

How To Improve Your LinkedIn Profile

Is your LinkedIn page getting the notice it deserves?  In particular are you getting the right audience to your Linkedin page? If not, the following steps will help significantly.
  1. Your Photograph - Many will argue that your photograph should be a professionally taken studio shot against a plain white background.  The only problem is that you then look just everyone else.  Personally I choose to have a high degree of light and shadow in my photo with a map of the world in the background, declaring my global intentions.  Be different, stand out, get out of the office.  Needless to say, if you have no photograph people will not want to link in.  Its a matter of trust.
  2. Your Name - There seems to be a debate here also.  Many will say your name should be your name only.  If you want to stand out with authority in a LinkedIn group discussion you will need more.  If you have qualifications that others don't have in your field put them in.  Differentiate yourself again.  If you are talking to an accountant you want to know you are talking to a CPA.  The term LION which I have in my title, I will explain later.
  3. Your Public Profile Link - We all have a public profile link on LinkedIn.  To change this go to your name on the top right of your LinkedIn page.  Click "Settings" and then "edit your public profile".  If you want to be seen you need to set your profile to "make public to everyone".  Your profile has its own URL which initially has a default of random numbers and letters.  Click "Customize your public profile URL" and replace the garbage with your name.  Now if you type your name into Google, your Linkedin profile will be among the top listings.
  4. Summary, Work Experience, Skills, Interests And Expertise - Use keywords here for which you want to be found.  Its that simple. No need to go crazy with multiple keywords meaning the same thing but keywords nonetheless.  Make your "summary" personal by speaking in the first person, this draws more attention for some reason.  Also your "summary" can be used to address your target audience directly . Give readers a reason to connect and do business. 
  5. Recommendations - The more you have the better.  I'm told 10 is ideal.  Just ask those that you have done business with.  Recommendations are an easy thing to overlook but they add credibility to those that don't know you.
  6. Your Connections - It definitely looks good to have lots of connections.  The truth is, the more connections you have, the easier it is to connect with anyone.  I joined the LinkedIn Open Networker group to increase my connections, hence the term LION after my name. LIONs like to connect and expand their network.      
  7. Your Websites - By selecting "other" rather than "website" you can replace your website's URL with a more meaningful term such as "my marketing blog".  This will simply make more sense to the reader who will then more likely go and have a look.
  8. Groups - You can join up to 50 groups on LinkedIn.  I would suggest you join as many as you can.  The more groups you join, the more it shows your field(s) of expertise.  Naturally it makes sense to participate on the groups discussions.  By answering other's questions you demonstrate your knowledge and expertise and gain connections. 
  9. Answers - Under the "More" tab on the top right of your LI page, you will find a section called "answers".  Here you can answer peoples queries, show your expertise and connect.   Equally this is a great place for asking questions and get an opinion on a matter.  Either way it forces engagement and connections.
  10. Share Your Update - This section has now been moved to the LinkedIn Home page.  If you are doing something important that is best broadcast, share it with your LinkedIn connections here.  If you are promoting a new blog post this way, I would announce it more than once as the LinkedIn home page now reads like a Twitter feed.
  11. Blog Lists - Again under the "more" tab there is a section called "applications".  There are a variety to choose from. In particular choose to list your blogs.  These will be displayed at the very bottom of your LinkedIn page.  Show your expertise that you have gathered in your blog posts.
  12. LinkedIn and Twitter - There was a time when your tweets could automatically be sent to LinkedIn by including "#in" at the end of your tweet.  This seems to have been done away with, just recently.  Now when you post an update on the LinkedIn homepage and press "share" the update is also sent to your Twitter followers.  I can see this changing in the near future as it is not as effective.
PS Blog lists and Twitter were removed from LinkedIn from the 12/12/2012.  Answers disappeared at the end of January 2013.
    That's plenty to get you on the right track.  I will do another blog post on getting business with LinkedIn in the near future.  Keep watching
If I have forgotten anything which you feel is of importance please let me know via a comment below.