Online Networking: How To Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile
LinkedIn profile optimization is not only for job seekers and hiring businesses. The social media platform has become the go-to place for professionals to connect and discuss relevant industry advancements and issues. It’s a place where businesses can establish their expertise and increase visibility with customers.
But business growth on LinkedIn doesn’t happen in a bubble!
It starts with employees. By sharing industry knowledge and company content on their personal LinkedIn profiles, employees can have a major impact on company brand development – as well as their own personal brand development.
In this article, we list 12 steps professionals can take to optimize their LinkedIn profile and expand their business network.
1. Pick a professional profile photo.
Social media users make snap judgements based on your profile image. It’s just human nature. To make a good first impression, your profile picture must paint you in a light that is both professional and genuine, trustworthy and personable.
Now we are not saying you have to go hire a professional photographer. Most iPhones can take quality LinkedIn-worthy profile pictures.
Just find a clutter-free background and a friend or coworker. Have them take several photos. For the best results, point your eyes directly toward the camera. The image you select should be 400 x 400 pixels and show your face clearly.
2. Use an intriguing background image.
If your LinkedIn profile photo makes the first impression, your background photo makes the second. Here, you can start building your personal brand a little more. Use the space to give people a glimpse of your personality and what you bring to the table.
This image can be anything you want. It can relate to your work or your personal interests. It can highlight your personal or company mission statement. It could even feature your work contact information and website URL.
The more creative you can be with your background image, the better!
And with a free Canva account, you can easily create a custom 1584 px wide by 396 high px LinkedIn background picture with ZERO design experience.
3. Spend some time on a creative headline.
LinkedIn users tend to underutilize their profile headline. Instead of being descriptive and using the opportunity to continue developing their personal brand, most users simply include their job title. Yet, your LinkedIn headline has SO much more potential!
The headline gives you 220 characters of space to formulate a captivating description. Intrigue other users by taking a slightly deeper dive into your personal mission, role, and/or work specialties.
4. Use your summary to tell your personal story.
From a personal branding standpoint, your LinkedIn summary is prime real estate. It’s where you can show other members your passions and motivations – all that makes you YOU!
To best captivate potential connections, this section should be more than just a list of your most impressive skills and experiences. There are other sections on LinkedIn for you to highlight those. Instead, your summary should present your story. Talk about your personal mission and what led you to your current role. Explain how your skills and perspectives work together to help you do your job well.
5. Differentiate between keywords and buzzwords.
You can optimize your profile for LinkedIn search performance by including relevant keywords in your headline, summary, and experience section. Adding keywords that relate to your specific job or industry will help you rise in LinkedIn’s search engine ranks and capture more attention through the platform.
But before you start plugging in keywords, you must be able to tell the difference between keywords and buzzwords. Unlike keywords, overused buzzwords like “specialized,” “experienced,” and “expert” do NOT help with LinkedIn SEO. To the contrary, they can actually hurt your search performance.
6. Take advantage of the skills section.
This is so easy and so beneficial for your personal brand. In LinkedIn’s designated skills section, you can easily search and select up to 50 relevant skills to highlight on your profile. Make sure the skills you pick are specifically related to your current line of work and business growth goals. Otherwise, you’ll be flooding your profile with keywords that aren’t actually doing you any favors.
7. Endorse and recommend your work connections.
After you highlight your most valuable skills, other LinkedIn members can go in and endorse them. When supervisors, coworkers, clients, and other professional contacts leave endorsements on your profile, you get a major credibility boost.
In addition to endorsements, other users can post recommendations on your page. These personalized testimonials allow your contacts to dive a little deeper into how much they love(d) working with you.
Don’t love the idea of asking your professional contacts to endorse or recommend you?
Try leaving positive endorsements and reviews on THEIR profiles. They may very well return the favor!
8. Highlight your business services.
LinkedIn now offers the ability to showcase business services in a more visible way. The feature is intended to help small businesses boost their LinkedIn presence and attract more viewers to their business profile.
If every employee uses this handy LinkedIn feature, your business network will start to expand exponentially, suddenly reaching each employee’s personal connections.
9. Build your network.
All of your hard work optimizing your LinkedIn profile will be in vain if you don’t establish a strong network through the social media platform. Use LinkedIn search to connect with former and current bosses, colleagues, clients, and friends. Search and follow relevant businesses and influencers in your industry. Then, when you make a meaningful professional contact in the future, make sure you connect with them on LinkedIn!
10. Be an active LinkedIn user.
Every comment you make, every post you like, every article you share – it all pops up on your LinkedIn profile. And all the content you share appears in your network’s newsfeed. THIS is how you get noticed through the platform.
But don’t just share or leave comments on every piece of content you come across. Only interact with content that lines up with your professional goals. That way, you will gain credibility as a prominent figure in your industry.
11. Share company posts.
Share content posted on your employer’s LinkedIn business page. It’s one of the best things you can do to help increase your company’s brand awareness and visibility on LinkedIn. People tend to have an easier time trusting a business when they hear directly from the REAL people who work there.
12. Create your own posts and articles.
If social media has taught us anything over the past several years, it’s that consumers are craving content that is genuine and authentic. That’s why posts coming from real people tend to perform better than content posted on company pages.
To elevate your personal brand – and give your business a credibility boost – share relevant insights and news on your LinkedIn profile. Highlight a big project you are working on or just completed. Talk about what you love most about your job. Give a shout-out to your coworkers for a job well done. Share your perspective on an issue in your industry.
BlueTone Media | Social Media Optimization
No matter the industry, businesses large and small are successfully using LinkedIn to expand their customer base. And with these twelve steps, you can, too!