LinkedIn has become one of the most advanced and most popular social media networks in the market today. If you still use LinkedIn as a digital version of your Resume, you are missing the boat. LinkedIn is the portal of your personal brand towards all your potential buyers. Research has shown that today’s buyers many times go to social media first before making a buying decision. By offering insight and positioning yourself as a thought leader in your industry you create trust with the new buyers and you will be able to create more valuable business relationships, which will eventually result into more sales.
LinkedIn is probably one of the most advanced but most misused social network in the market today. Only 50% of all users have a complete profile. According to many sales experts that use this tool the right way, it is very effective to generate new business relationships and position yourself as a thought leader in the industry. However, many business professionals misuse LinkedIn and still see it as an online Resume. Here are 8 tips to create an All-star profile on LinkedIn:
Get a professional profile picture
Profiles with a pictures are 7 times more likely to be viewed by others.
Your profile picture is the first visual representation of your profile. You don’t want a cropped out picture of you standing at the bar, or that one time you wore a tuxedo. This is the first impression that many people have from you and you want to come across as a qualified professional for their business needs.
Create a catchy headline
The headline is many times used to describe the position you hold and the company you work for. But how do you stand out when you are one of the 15 marketing specialist of XYZ company. Adding words like experienced, strategic, or motivated/driven will ad more flavor to your online profile. You can also take it a step further and use your elevator speech to get their attention. You have 110 characters, brand yourself with an unique headline.
Have a detailed summary
The summary is many times the first part that viewers will review when they visityour profile. In this you want to ad details about who you, what you do, and what type of value you offer to your connections. It is recommended that you write in 3rd person and include your full first and last name at least 4 times, so that when people search your name, your profile will rank on the top of the search engines. You can also include pictures of your certifications or any powerpoint / slideshare presentation that you created. Your goal after reading the summary is the get the viewer to connect with you.
Get endorsed and ask for recommendations
Over 2 billion endorsements have been given out since the launch of LinkedIn and this continues to grow.
Endorsements and recommendations will affect how often you show up in search.If you receive endorsements from you contacts, send them a thank you note and return the favor. You can put in 50 skills that people can endorse you for, make sure you use all 50. You can also ask and give out recommendations. Recommendations will be placed onto your profile and will also show up in the feed of the person that send out the recommendation. It creates credibility and generates positive Word of Mouth for your personal brand. When you receive a recommendation, you should always return the favor.
Test scores, certification, memberships, and projects you worked on
By including test scores, certifications, trainings, and professional memberships you can boost your personal brand. It shows your expertise and removes any risk your potential buyers might have when looking for a service provider. When you work on projects, always give credit to all the team members. Also don’t forget to include any volunteer work. Many times recruiters and hiring managers will see your volunteer work equal as your professional experience
Join groups and have discussions
You can join up to 50 groups on LinkedIn. Groups allows you to talk with LinkedIn members that have a similar interest, even if you are not connected. In many groups you will see that group members just post article after article and there is no engagement. This is not how you build business relationships or create thought leadership. If you want to share an article, tell the group why and start a discussion. Many times you can offer your expertise in the discussions and start building strong new business relationships.
Connect with your past and new connections
Find all your previous and current coworkers, class mates, and clients and connect with them. You want to stay informed with all your connections and LinkedIn offers an easy way to stay in touch with your rolodex. Every time when I attend a networking event, I take all the business cards and connect with them on LinkedIn. This way they are seeing my updates which creates Top of Mind awareness and I always have their contact information available if I wish to reach out to them. People are getting more open in accepting new invites if you offer good insight.
Post regular updates
In order for you to position yourself as a thought leader, you have to display your expertise and knowledge by writing blog articles and sharing valuable content that you have found on the web. LinkedIn has a very powerful blogging tool, that allows you to write articles and place them directly onto your profile. If your article gets a lot of views it might even land into the LinkedIn Pulse reader section. Creating and sharing content is a great way to build personal brand awareness, start discussions, and build valuable new business relationships.