Once considered only a website for job seekers, LinkedIn is now the most popular social media network for professionals in the world. It’s often the first place people look when they want to know more about you. But many of us don’t take full advantage of this powerful marketing tool. Whether you’re in business, planning a career move or want to be seen as an industry expert, having an effective LinkedIn profile is vital.
Here are 5 simple tips for creating a profile that gets noticed by more of your ideal audience.
1. Use a Quality Photo
A clear, up to date photo is as important as looking your best in a face to face meeting – especially because your LinkedIn profile is often the first point of contact. A professionally done headshot looking straight at the camera with an uncluttered background usually works best. LinkedIn research backs this up, with profiles that have a professional photo getting approximately 14x more views. Don’t ever substitute your logo for a personal image – your audience wants to connect with you, not a faceless brand.
The same rule of quality applies to your company logo and background images. If you don’t have a clear, interesting and uncluttered background image, use a solid colour matched to one of your primary brand colours.
2. Use Plain Language
Your audience will quickly form an opinion of you based on the words you use – so make sure the ones you choose feel natural and express your message clearly.
Industry terms and jargon have their place, but use them selectively: it’s great to demonstrate your knowledge, but if your audience doesn’t understand or the jargon doesn’t enhance your message, you’ll look like you’re showing off and they’ll simply tune out.
3. Be Precise and Concise
LinkedIn is not the place to share a long life story. Your audience will skim through your profile looking for what’s important to them, so each point you make should help them relate to you and encourage them to find out more.
Be pragmatic about your career history. Unless a previous role shows an important step towards your current career or a valuable skill you want to highlight, leave it out.
4. Share Your ‘Why’
People do business with people, not brands. So the best way to build rapport with your audience and encourage them to connect with you is to let them in to your world. Tell them what motivates and inspires you, why you love what you do, your goals and your purpose.
5. Use Common Keywords
Being creative and showing your personality is great, but it’s also important to use generic keywords or terms that the average person would search on if they didn’t know you personally. You don’t have to be an SEO expert, but it pays to research the words that are getting most traction.
Focus on the solution or benefit your audience is looking for: for example, if you’re an expert barista, say so – don’t make your job title ‘Latte Master’. It might sound more exciting, but people won’t find you.
An effective LinkedIn profile is one of the most powerful ways to stand out in the crowded online space. Whether you’re growing your brand or network, changing careers or looking for more customers, using clear, purposeful words and photos will help you connect with your audience, demonstrate your point of difference and build a strong professional image for you and your business.
Ready to start using LinkedIn more effectively and take your online presence to the next level? Join us at the next LinkedIn Strategy workshop: more info