Get Started with the Essentials
LinkedIn is a great opportunity for any person to grow their network. It’s important to make sure your account is set up properly, so prospects can find you easily. A great way to enhance your LinkedIn profile is to engage and network with like-minded people. Also, creating quality connections and sharing knowledgeable content will help you create a reputation. “When you start posting status updates, liking, commenting, and sharing, or even participating in groups, it all contributes to an increase of your likeability” (Verdonck, 2017). All of this helps by positioning yourself as a leader, people start to see you and respects the content you put out. This is where using LinkedIn can be a great tool for creating credibility.
A few things to follow when creating your profile is to provide a professional profile picture and headline. Describe yourself to others in a proper and engaging manner. Also include the location and industry you are currently working in. Keeping information updated is imperative for those viewing your profile.
Developing yourself within LinkedIn can be tough but once things get started and you continue to be consistent its simple. For myself, I have created many of new networks through LinkedIn and its helped me in the long run. But I found throughout the years of using it, a lot of people tend to send you sales messages promoting their own brand. This to me was a huge turn off and I don’t recommend anyone doing this. The best way to be effective on LinkedIn is to network and build long-term relationships.
Your Contact Information
There are different sections to include your contact details on your LinkedIn profile. The way people can contact you through LinkedIn is by email, Instant Messenger, phone, and address. It’s crucial that the information you provide is listed correctly. When people are impressed with your profile they want to take the next step to communicate with you.
LinkedIn also provides a section to input website links and other social media accounts. These are great contact interface’s as well. They can be useful for those that may want to see more what you are working on or the content you are creating. For myself, I am currently running 6 websites and feel this could be a good way to also showcase my website development skills. Now I wouldn’t share all my websites, but I would provide my visitors with the top sites that are relevant to the content I put out to connect with like-minded people.
The most important part of your LinkedIn profile is your summary. This is where you will describe who you are, your professional role, and the company you work for. When creating this section of your profile it’s best to develop the information readers will engage with. This is also the part where you might tell visitors what you don’t do and what you’re not interested in.
For example, on my profile I include that I don’t like profound sales pitches. I am on LinkedIn to network and create new connections throughout the business world. In my experience, you can create great relationships and I have not once developed a relationship with someone who tried to sell to me right off the bat. The goal is for people to learn more about you as a person. You should be fun and sincere when writing for this section. Make your summary worthwhile, not only for people to read, but also invite them to discover the rest of your profile too.
Experience is the next section you will fill out for your LinkedIn profile. This part is similar to the summary above but its specific to the experience you had in the work field. Keep in mind when writing this that it’s not formalize like a resume. Provide readers of your profile with one or two paragraphs about your organization and the department you worked in.
Within this section you will also want to include the professional role while including personal and corporate branding. “Redirect them, educate them, and share your responsibilities and your achievements” (Verdonck, 2017). Remember this is your personal profile to potential get leads, job offers, and networking connections.
From personal experience as someone who posts daily and runs 3 high traffic blogs; any content that you put out in the future can’t be copyrighted, disclosing confidential information, or going against laws or regulations. Unless you have the authority to promote the content. This goes for LinkedIn or any other social media platforms, if you are producing wrongful content, you will pay the consequences.
Create Your Own Brand
The whole point of your LinkedIn profile is to show people what a unique and valuable individual you really are. So, LinkedIn has a section for highlighting the extra mile you’ve gone, and the special things you’ve done that make you stand out from your peers. Every little bit of information on your profile is important. From experience to knowledge or education, even one thing I found great was certificates. I know for a fact that having special certificates will help you get the future job or certain network interactions. A great resource I’ve learned is that you can share your certificate’s of completed courses in Lynda to your LinkedIn profile. I have also listed these certificates on my current resume.
As you continue to learn and expand your reach of connections and followers you will be able to create your own audience. This all helps in developing your own brand because people then see what you are doing and want to be apart of your movement.
Over the past few years I have been a website developer and just over the past few years I have been engaging on social media at a good rate. This has helped me create an audience of people that have the same interests of me. I have gained over 15,000+ followers on Instagram, 36,000+ YouTube views, and 400+ connections on LinkedIn. It takes time to develop an audience and create your own brand. For my personal Instagram account this has taken about 3 years to gain those targeted followers. You can fast track it by using paid advertising (which I haven’t done for any of my personal accounts). But as for my most recent project and blog, QuickenSites.com/blog. I have taken my website development to another level of offering websites for sale, ready to go for those that don’t want to take on the hassle of developing a site. Check out the blog when you get a chance!
Skills and Recommendations
Identifying the proper skills and recommendations will play a big role towards those viewing your profile. Having the social proof of your skills is how you will gain authority and grow your brand. Similar to what I said above; adding certificates and recommendations to your LinkedIn profile helps create social proof and credibility to the skills in your experience. Focusing on the skills that are real to you will better develop your knowledge and interests. I recommend that you also look at choosing some skills that are broad and some that are more niche targeted. Adding these to your profile help create a better first impression and allows for people to engage with you.
The education section of your LinkedIn profile does impact the way users and future recruiters may look at you. “Most people are surprised that their education is important on their LinkedIn profile” (Verdonck, 2017). Even for myself as a new post-secondary student I never thought about adding my current education to it. Although, I know how important my skills are to those I network with. And having the education of a marketing student will help interact with those of similar interest. The way to look at it is the more experience you gain over the years, the better value you have to offer to your profile.
Make the Most of Your Personality
Too many LinkedIn profiles are dry and just too professional, leaving no room for your personal touch. As I said in the first page, I receive lots of messages from people advertising their business. Where is a basic: “Hello, how are you? Nice to meet you”, not “Hey, great to meet you if you need any help with your business or advertising check out my link”. I’d say this is where LinkedIn fails in the aspect of myself wanting to use it. Adding you own personal messages is great to communicated and connect with others. I recommend that throughout your profile make sure you allow room for the personal stuff. Your interests can be shared through sections of your profile within the headline, experience, or media. Also including your volunteer experience can help acknowledge users of your personal goals and interests.
Extra Strategies to Stand Out
One of the best strategies to use in your LinkedIn profile is to maximize on usage of targeted keywords. The reason this helps is because it allows search engines to find your specific keywords. Checking on my profile analytics I was able to see 9 people recently viewed me from search engine searches. Another great strategy to stand out and this works on Facebook as well is to engage with groups. So being added to a certain group within your interest and expertise can help you develop a growing audience.
A strategy that is much easier for new users is by following influential users and leaders in your specific niche. This way you can learn from them and take what they are doing and apply it to your own profile. I learned to enhance my audience from users like Gary Vaynerchuck. I also engagement more with his following which in return allowed me to interact with the same audience in my niche.
Taking into consideration how great LinkedIn can be to network, it truly is a dominant social platform to use. After viewing this course, I was able to pick up some key notes like the ones I quoted above. Using the platform while understanding the features LinkedIn offers can adapt your profile to achieve great results. Below I have two screenshots of before and after this course. I ended up redoing my summary, accomplishments, skills, headline, and education. To view more of my profile and connect with me, click here.
Before (via LinkedIn) After (via LinkedIn)
Verdonck, B. (2017). LinkedIn Profiles for Social Business Success. Retrieved from https://www.lynda.com/LinkedIn-tutorials/LinkedIn-Profiles-Social-Business-Success/512777-2.html?org=nait.ca