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It doesn’t matter if you are using LinkedIn to look for a job, network with other members in your industry, or gathering leads for your business, have a professional and attractive LinkedIn profile is the best way for you and your business to ensure that you are being found by the right people, at the right time.
When you create a LinkedIn profile, it is important to remember that if you want to get noticed by the right people, you have to write for your audience, as opposed to writing for yourself. Your profile should not be focused on boosting your ego, but rather on showing your expertise in a way that will get your target audience to say to you, “I’d like to know more about who you are and what you do.” Ultimately, your LinkedIn profile is about your personal and professional branding.
Your company profile on LinkedIn is the basis on which all your communication and interactions on the networking platform are built, as well as being the foundation of your personal brand. When all is said and done, your LinkedIn profile should provide you with some quick wins, and an ample number of opportunities to build many long-term business relationships.
If you’ve been on LinkedIn for a while and aren’t seeing the results that you’d hoped for, or if you are new to LinkedIn, here are 11 steps for creating a killer LinkedIn profile to get you noticed.
Add a Cover Photo to Your Profile
LinkedIn now provides members the ability to add a background or banner picture to the top card section of your page, which can significantly increase the professional look and feel of your company profile. Adding a background or cover photo to your business page can also help your profile stand out from the more than 500 million profiles. You want to use this opportunity to personalize your profile to represent both you and your business.
A picture is worth a thousand words and your cover picture can and will talk for you. You can use this profile picture to showcase your company by adding a photo of the products or services you sell. Whatever you do, make sure that you don’t leave it as the generic background that comes with your LinkedIn membership.
Get Serious About Your Profile Photo
Too many people spend countless hours trying to create a great LinkedIn profile, only to destroy their branding by either neglecting to include a profile picture or having an image that reflects poorly on them. Research shows that most people take less than a tenth of a second before formulating an opinion and drawing a conclusion about you. This means that when they visit your LinkedIn profile, the picture you’ve chosen as your profile picture instantly tells them a story about you.
You need to include a professional picture of yourself if you want to convey a professional message to your followers. If you are going to add a picture of yourself, it should be either a shot of your head and shoulders or one that shows your head to waist in the frame. Make sure that you are dressed professionally and that it matches your message and role. Photos, where you make eye contact and smile, will attract the most attention. When you look the part, those who view your profile will believe you are the part.
Optimize Your First and Last Name
LinkedIn is a platform that is highly searchable, which includes the name section on your profile. When you are adding your name to your profile, you need to determine what prospective clients might write in the search function within the platform. For example, you are a business client, and a potential customer is searching for someone who is a business consultant in the Denver area, would your name appear in their search and what impression would it give them, what about if they did a Google search?
Ultimately, it's your profile, and short of using anything illegal or abusive, you can use any form of address that you wish. However, it is essential for you to remember that people buy from those that they know, trust, and like. So, you have to make sure you think about what you do here, just don't include your degrees or qualifications, and never include emojis or favicons. Just make sure that what you put is searchable, and that it represents who you are in the best possible light.
Optimize Your Headline
LinkedIn gives you 120 characters to convey a message about who you are and what you do, and how you can solve your target audience’s problems. Your headline is where you get to begin telling your story and should be in sync with the story that you share with your network.
LinkedIn will automatically default to the title of your current role. This is usually pretty bland and conveys very little about who you are. Remember, LinkedIn is searchable so you should be using this opportunity not only to tell your story, but include as many keywords that you can that are relevant to your industry. Don't be boring. You may be tempted to use your headline to show off your qualifications, but this says very little about what you can do to solve the real issues of your prospective clients. Use your headline to create interest and demand a reaction from your words.