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8 Steps To Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile

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8 Steps To Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile

As a business leader, you pour your blood, sweat and tears into making your company successful. You’re always on and strategizing how to position your brand and generate meaningful results.

When it comes to connecting professionally on social media, you’ve probably established a thoughtful, well-curated LinkedIn presence for your company. After all, LinkedIn is most commonly viewed as the top social network for business and lead generation

Building company connections is definitely important. You want to make sure your business is featured in front of millions of LinkedIn users (more than 610 million, to be exact). 

Even if you’re keeping your business information up to date, you might be overlooking a secret weapon you can use to improve your business’s online presence and connectivity: your personal profile. 

When you have a personal profile that stands out, you can use it to attract attention, create familiarity, build relationships and position yourself as a trusted expert in your field, all of which can contribute to your business success. 

Making your profile stand out doesn’t have to be a long and arduous process. We’ve compiled some of our favorite tips and tricks to make your LinkedIn personal profile professional and memorable. 

Tip #1: Keep Your Photo Fresh 

Your profile picture is important, because it’s the first thing most people notice on LinkedIn, whether they’re looking for you specifically or searching for professionals in your field. A professional profile picture humanizes you and draws your viewer’s attention; in fact, profiles with photos receive 21 times more views than profiles that don’t include an image.

When choosing a profile image, your photo should be: 

  • An image of you: not a superhero, pet or company logo (unless that matches your company vibe!)
  • A recent, recognizable image: less than five years old is a good guideline, but it can also be updated more frequently if your appearance has changed significantly
  • A professional image that reflects your brand: no selfies, dating site photos or casual/leisure pictures
  • A photo that’s consistent with the rest of your online persona: if you maintain a professional page on other social networks, or if you have a photo on your company’s website, keep it consistent so you can begin to build familiarity with your audience

Tip #2: Amp Up Your Headline

Along with your profile picture, your headline and location are some of the first facts LinkedIn information seekers see. Think of it as commensurate with an email subject line; you want your headline to intrigue your viewer and to invite them to engage further. 

You can certainly feature your job title (no need to call yourself a ninja, guru or maven - unless that's part of your company lingo); however, you can also use the space to describe a problem you solve for clients or a benefit you can provide them. 

For example, instead of saying “Financial Planning Professional” or even “CEO/Owner of XYZ Firm,” something like “Investment professional helping executives meet their retirement goals” turns the focus on what you can do to make your clients’ lives better. 

Tip #3: Make your Profile Summary Pop

Your profile summary is your opportunity to tell your story. In your own words, you can let your potential clients and business partners know what differentiates you from others in your market, and can highlight the benefits you offer potential clients. 

Instead of listing a few plain-and-simple facts about you (“I employ 6 people,” “I manage investments for high net worth clients”), add some sparkle.

Use this space to show your potential clients exactly what they stand to gain from building a relationship with you (“Grew our business from a single advisor to a group of 6 professionals focused on providing investment strategies that help clients achieve their retirement goals.”). 

Tip #4: Give Your Website Some Link Love 

LinkedIn drives more visits to company sites than any other social media platform (accounting for 46% of social media traffic to corporate websites).

By making sure you include your website link on your profile, you can encourage additional interaction with your business from LinkedIn viewers visiting your site. If your online presence includes a blog, consider also featuring that link, as well as your email and other professional social media handles into your profile. 

Tip #5:  A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words (Integrate Visuals). 

As part of your LinkedIn profile, you have the opportunity to share examples of your work or to highlight recognitions you’ve received. 

If you have online content you’re serving up in other areas (blog posts, social media images, infographics, webinars, etc.), use your LinkedIn profile as a way to highlight and cross-post them.

By using visuals when sharing your successes (awards, accomplishments, achievements), you can extend your reach, get your content in front of additional eyes, and continue to position yourself as an expert in your field. 

And, most importantly, your use of visual content can create opportunities for conversation, which can be nurtured into eventual business partnerships. Sharing content with a visual element increases the likelihood of receiving comments from other users by 98%

Tip #6: Take Time To Connect 

Making yourself visible and creating connections is important on LinkedIn. You have multiple options to do this effectively, including: 

  • Sharing interesting, useful content: Sharing useful business information positions you as an expert and shows those who review it that you’re a professional they can trust. When they have questions related to your industry in the future, you’ll be top of mind. 
  • Engaging with other users’ content: By commenting, sharing or liking relevant content from other users, you can begin to build or reconnect a relationship. 
  • Sending inbox messages: If you’ve seeking to connect directly with a business connection or start a conversation with a prospect, you can send an inbox message. A typical LinkedIn message has a higher open rate than traditional sales emails (one company’s study reported an 11x better open rate for InMail than traditional email marketing), which means you have a better chance of your content being seen and taken seriously. 

Tip #7: Let Someone Else Tell Your Story (Request Recommendations)

We’ve talked about telling your own story through your profile summary and accomplishments. Your recommendation section allows your colleagues and business partners to tell your story as well. 

Ask colleagues and contacts to recommend you on LinkedIn. If there are specific projects or proficiencies you’d like them to mention or stay away from, don’t be shy; let them know. For example, some industries may have specific compliance guidelines regarding testimonials. If that’s the case in your field, your recommendations can focus on your willingness to create a personal connection and spend time outlining client goals, rather than on the actual dollars and cents results that were generated. 

Tip #8: Key in on Competitive Keywords. 

Searching for keywords on LinkedIn is easy but can require some creativity and experimentation. Keyword research can include reviewing competitor’s pages and searching LinkedIn hashtags, then plugging those terms into LinkedIn’s advanced search option. 

When you find keywords that resonate, use these words as naturally as possible throughout your profile, from your headline to your job descriptions to your skills section (listing at least five relevant skills can boost your messages by 31 percent). 

Once your profile is up to date, your work on LinkedIn is only halfway done. To optimize your LinkedIn presence, you need to continue to connect, build and strengthen relationships via the platform on a daily or weekly basis.

And, when you level up on something in life, whether it’s a new role, a new skills or training, or the creation of a new piece of content, don’t hesitate to share it. By sharing information on LinkedIn and updating your profile frequently, you can put your page back at the top of your connections’ news feed and create more opportunities for conversations and relationship nurturing. At Out & About Communications, we’re focused on building relationships and helping our clients become visible online. LinkedIn is just one of the many areas where we help our clients build winning strategies. Take a look at some of our other digital marketing how to guides here.