With more than 467 million users, if you are not on LinkedIn, your business is seriously missing out. Rendering it the largest professional network on the globe, LinkedIn is arguably the ideal platform from which to create networks of people that they know and trust. In short, it is a professional playground where professionals can connect, influence, interact and grow their businesses.
Whether you are getting ready to set up a LinkedIn, or you already have one but it’s not rendering the incredible results it could, there are several benefits that you need to be taking advantage of on the platform, including:
- Making the right connections for your business
- Linking up with industry influencers
- Leveraging your personal brand, company brand, and overall industry brand
- Making smart connections
With these statistics in mind, it’s time to guide you through the best practices for creating the ultimate LinkedIn profile that will gain influencers and quality leads, helping your company to soar.
“Having a LinkedIn profile is the perfect way to showcase your company, measure the effectiveness of updates, and promote your most important news.”– Steve Phillip, LinkedIn and Social Selling Expert
1. Picking the Perfect Photo
If you are creating a LinkedIn profile with the intention of finding a new career or building a new network, it’s important to remember that people remember faces more than they remember names.
“When we form our first impression of someone else, it’s not a single impression, really. What we do is form two impressions: judging how warm and trustworthy a person is, and trying to figure out what their intentions are.”– Amy Cudd, Social Psychologist
Having a clear image of your face can affect certain decisions or conclusions that people draw about you, such as competence, reliability, responsibility, and hostility. Having a professional dependence means you need to look trustworthy and dependable – even in a photograph.
Here are some tips for choosing an image that will boost your professional standing:
Points to Consider When Choosing a Professional LinkedIn Picture
- Let your sparkling personality shine through to attract people who want to work with you.
- A smile makes you look friendly and approachable.
- Make sure your LinkedIn profile photo is current and high resolution.
- Your picture should depict how you look (professionally) daily.
- The picture should take up a minimum of 60% of the profile frame.
- You want to portray a professional image, so do not use memes, selfies, cartoon pictures, arty pictures, or a picture with your significant other.
- Take a picture wearing an outfit that matches the level of dressiness in your work environment.
- Keep the background clean, clear, and clutter-free to avoid drawing people’s eyes away from your image.
Here is an example of a great LinkedIn profile picture:
2. Reel Them in With the Ultimate Headline
Your LinkedIn headline is the next important thing to capture people’s attention. It is the headline that displays your passion. It’s the ultimate enticement to draw people into your profile to read it properly. It can also help you to maximize lead generation through LinkedIn, which you can learn more about in our blog here.
A LinkedIn headline is one of the most highly regarded elements that influences where you appear when people are looking for you, so, written correctly, it can make you more visible to potential customers, partners, employees, and leads. What’s more, your headline can help to expand your network significantly.
The Benefits of a LinkedIn Headline
- Your headline represents you and your business. It is your online brand.
- LinkedIn depends on keyword usage, so a headline that is correctly optimized will make it easier for people to search for you.
How to Create an Enticing LinkedIn Headline
Let’s talk about keywords.
It should go without saying that you need to use keywords that are relevant to your business and your industry. A few keywords you may want to consider include:
- User experience
- Campaign management
- Marketing analysis
- Problem solver
- Financial solutions
When it comes to creating a memorable headline, consider these three important pointers:
- Separate your phrases with vertical bars or commas.
- Create a headline that contains something that will benefit viewers.
- The headline should be a minimum of 8 words and a maximum of 1 – 3 lines long.
While you are focusing on getting your headline just right, make sure you avoid these three things:
- Symbols – they don’t make your headline pop any more than text does.
- Avoid describing just who you are and what you do. Remember, include a solution/benefit for your readers.
- Don’t use all uppercase letters, emails, or URLS. It’s harsh on the eyes and makes readers feel like they are being “shouted” at.
Here is a fantastic example of a short, concise, headline that explains who the person is, and also uses words that offer solutions to readers:
3. Creating a Compelling Summary
Next up is the summary – it’s your chance to say what you need to say succinctly and with interest.
Just as with the headline, your LinkedIn summary forms part of that all-important first impression for readers, and profiles with a stand-out summary tend to get more views.
How to Write a Summary
- Use the 2,000-character allowance to the max, and load it up with the keywords your target audience will be searching for.
- Include you or your business’s email address and contact number so that people can get in touch with you.
- List your accomplishments, even if it’s one magnificent
- Break your summary up with easy-to-scan headers, sub-headers, and even graphics. We’re all too busy to read big chunks of text, and visuals always garner more interest.
- Keep sentences short, sharp, and easy to digest.
- Bullet points work well.
- Tell people what your brand does better than anyone else.
Consider Tim Peter’s summary below – what would you do differently?
Do you think it is perfect as it is? We believe the use of shorter sentences and sub-headers would make a big difference to its readability and would keep reader’s attention.
4. Your Experience
Why should people do business with you? Why should potential partners consider a venture with you?
Tips for Filling in the LinkedIn Experience Field
- Include talents, awards, and accomplishments.
- If the profile is a personal one, add your current position and at least one or two previous positions.
Here’s how Tim Peters does it:
5. Work History
The job history in your LinkedIn profile must be more than just a list of paid previous experiences. Just like the summary, it should be written with your target audience in mind and include all the bells and whistles of your previous positions.
You should include the following in your work history section:
- Professional positions
- Contract and temporary positions
6. Keep Things Professional
LinkedIn is a professional platform and as such your messaging should reflect you or your brand’s professionalism. Use formal language in your posts, summary, work experience, and keep the tone friendly and approachable.
Did you know that you can optimize your LinkedIn profile for the search engines? In fact, if you want to get the right exposure or any exposure at all on LinkedIn and in the search results, you must optimize your profile. That means, adding the right keywords the define your skills, offerings, and experience.
The most important and effective sections to use keywords in your profile are:
- The headline
- The summary
- Under Job Titles
- Under Recommendations
Just using the right keywords can double to triple your LinkedIn views.
Don’t see the point of recommendations? The average CEO on LinkedIn has almost 1,000 connections, and there are over a billion endorsements on the platform. These are not figures to be taken lightly.
Recommendations are a highly valuable tool when it comes to building professional credibility. They also help to increase your profile’s visibility, and they can count towards your SEO efforts.
Fast Facts About Recommendations
- You must be active in getting recommendations. Ask, follow up, and keep on top of things.
- You can get recommendations from anyone: happy customers, colleagues, employees, partners, etc.
- To get recommendations, directly ask the people in your network who already know you or your brand.
- If you want to keep growing your network, keep building recommendations and seeking skill endorsements, and watch how those actions open up your interactions on LinkedIn.
Bear in mind there are two key things that people want to know when looking at recommendations:
- What are you/your brand like?
- Are you good at what you do/offer?
An example of recommendations:
If you are asked to give recommendations to others on LinkedIn (and it is certainly polite to do so if they have already given you a recommendation), make sure you can answer:
- What do they do better than anyone else?
- What are they truly good at?
- What impact did they/their business have on you?
- What made their brand stand out?
- Did they deliver a particular result or solve an individual problem?
- What, if anything, took you by surprise?
A recommendation should be about 6 – 8 sentences in length, broken down like this:
- 1 sentence about the person/business/brand.
- 1 sentence about why you are recommending the person/business.
- 3 – 5 sentences about your experience.
- 1 sentence that is a call to action, for example, “I recommend you use this ”
9. Groups & Associations
LinkedIn Groups are an excellent way to build relationships and network with similar businesses, potential customers, and potential partners who have similar interests. It is a good idea to join as many relevant groups as possible and contribute to the conversation, thereby building your reputation as a trustworthy industry influencer.
How to Join Groups
- Join industry-related groups that are relevant to your line of work.
- Lend your expertise to conversations and show your value to others in the group.
10. Make Sure You Complete Your Profile
Completed profiles are 40 times more likely to receive opportunities on LinkedIn, so you do not want to leave anything blank.
What You Need for a Complete LinkedIn Profile
- Industry and location
- A current position with a clear description
- One or two past positions
- Your skills – at least 30 items
- Your education
- A clear, professional profile picture
- A minimum of 50 connections
11. Engage Employees
Your staff are your number one brand ambassadors, so do your best to encourage them to add your company profile to their own LinkedIn profile. By doing so, they will automatically receive your messages in their newsfeeds and since they already have a connection with you, they are a lot more likely to interact with your content and share it. In turn, this serves to improve your reach and show off just what an attractive employer you are.
12. Customize Your URL
LinkedIn is the ultimate professional networking site used by job hunters, employees, business owners, and potential customers alike.
How to Customize Your URL
- Log in to your LinkedIn account.
- Hover over “Profile” at the top of the screen and choose “Edit ”
- Just below your profile picture is your profile URL. Click “edit” next to it.
- Go to “your public profile URL” which you will find on the lower right of the window, and click “Customize your public profile ”
- Enter your chosen URL name in the field – choose something related to your business and keywords to make you more searchable.
- Click on “set custom ”
13. Keep Things Up-to-Date
Just one status update can reach as many as 20% of your followers on LinkedIn. But, everyone who actively views your profile will see your updates, as they appear on your profile page.
Regular status updates are an excellent way to create a distinguished reputation and remain top of mind for customers.
What to Share in Your Status Updates
- New trends and tips – offer updates that are related to your industry to garner interest. Write about success stories, new trends, and so on.
- Industry insights – as many as 60% of LinkedIn members, actually want to check out industry insights more than any other form of content.
Posting Updates – The Timing
While posting updates in real-time are the most ideal scenario, can you always schedule them for your audience using tools such as:
- Sprout Social – you can use this tool to schedule updates for your profile.
- HootSuite – a favorite tool for scheduling updates to be published in groups, company pages, and your own profile.
- Buffer – another popular option for scheduling statuses at optimal times for your own profile and business
14. How to Use LinkedIn Badges
LinkedIn offers several different profile badge designs that can significantly help you to promote your profile to the world.
How to Find Badges on LinkedIn
- Click on “”
- Clink on “Edit your public ”
- You will see “profile badges” on the right
- Choose “create a profile badge” where you will be directed to a page to choose from the different designs
Tim’s profile badge looks like this:
15. Recognize Your Skills
We have already mentioned how important a completed LinkedIn profile is, and that includes endorsements. With over 10 billion endorsements on LinkedIn already, why be left out?
Endorsements enable users to validate you for the skills you have listed and even recommend ones you may not yet have listed. The endorsements are displayed on your profile in the Skills section.
Look at the example below. Tim’s endorsements are depicted by the numbers in the blue blocks, next to the skills.
A completed and accurate LinkedIn profile is a surefire way to build an incredible network of partners, customers, leads, staff, and influencers. It is also a great way for you to build your business’s brand awareness and place yourself as a trustworthy and credible influencer in your industry. With the perfect profile picture, heading, summary, and all the details filled in, you’re sure to grow your network at a rapid pace. Don’t forget to optimize your profile for search results and start joining groups and associations and get involved in the conversations.
If you need help with your LinkedIn profile, get in touch with GlobalYogi Labs today.