For most professionals working in a business environment and for emerging and established business leaders, LinkedIn is the “go to” social media channel of choice. It is also where you can make a good, strong first impression.
You’ve done it yourself. Searched for a company or particular person before meeting them or requesting a connection. So it stands to reason, they’re doing the same to you.
One misconception about LinkedIn is that the only reason for being on the site is if you are looking for a job yourself or you are a recruiter looking for a candidate. Yes, there are many job seekers and recruiters on LinkedIn; however, anyone in business who wants to succeed should also be showcasing their brand and what they do.
Whether you are an entrepreneur, CEO or new to your industry, stating your brand position can open up possibilities and lead to new opportunities.
This is the perfect time to review your LinkedIn profile and perhaps readjust or rewrite to reflect your 2019 brand.
Try these tips to help your LinkedIn profile stand out.
- Headline. Say what you do. Use four to six words which sum up your unique expertise. For example, Senior Branding Strategist, Business Coach to Executives, Event Manager, Travel Editor, Best Selling Author. Play it big. I suggest that you don’t write your headline as Owner of XYZ Property Group or Founder of Ms CEO enterprises unless you are very well-known. Consider your headline as acting like real estate where you have the opportunity to spruik what you do.
- Headshot. Your profile photograph is an important aid in making a strong first impression. Create visual impact by using a professionally photographed portrait image. People are viewing your page every day, so you do want to present a favourable visual image with a warm, welcoming expression. In my book IMPRESSario, I share more detail on how to express your brand with captivating photographic images.
- Summary. This is the first part of your content that will be read by others so it should sum up who you are and what you do in a compelling way. It includes what you are doing now or have done most recently so ensure that you convey this information with personality to your target market. Only the first two sentences are shown before people click through to read further. Ensure these first sentences grab attention. To make the complete summary stand out, use paragraphs with headings and/or bullet points. Include all your specialties using your key words and include contact details. By keywords I mean the personal brand words or phrases you want to be known and found for.
- Activity. Include interesting elements on your LinkedIn profile that will help you to stand out. Regularly share updates on items of interest to you and your target market. Share from online blogs or keep abreast of items of interest to post by signing up for Google alerts. Write your own articles and publish them as LinkedIn posts. Visual elements are eye-catching. Include videos, copies of publications, articles or books you have written, plus examples of certificates or awards. In addition, include logos of companies you have worked for. Keep active on your LinkedIn profile by searching for appropriate connections and regularly inviting people to connect with you.
- Credibility. Back up your experience and expertise by including valuable third-party endorsements. Include recommendations from clients or former employers. Make sure your recommendations are relevant and only include endorsements of skills that you want to include. Don’t have too many listed; just the ones you want to be known for. Make sure you list any accomplishments you have achieved and use keywords in your summary and descriptions that you want accredited to you as this will help optimise searches.
- Experience. This is the part that looks more like a resume and details your experience and timeline. Include everything relevant to you from your past work experience that highlights your knowledge, background and expertise. Factor in education, qualifications and additional experiences such as being involved with associations or boards. Don’t just upload your resume; remember that LinkedIn is really a self-marketing tool. What do you really want to be known for?
A comprehensive LinkedIn profile will take time to write so I suggest doing that offline and only update your profile once you are completely satisfied. By the way, you can turn off your activity settings in your privacy controls so people will only see your updated activity when you have completed it.
Want to know more about how to showcase your personal brand. Sign up for my video series, NOOK, LOOK, HOOK, 3 Steps to Build a Stand Out Personal Brand.
Sue Currie is a speaker and the author of IMPRESSario, Present and Promote the Star Within You. She is recognised as a leading authority on personal branding to boost image, profile, brand and business. Through her image management and profile building programs, workshops, consulting and keynote presentations, Sue helps businesses and entrepreneurs position and present an influential professional brand.