Social media has become a large part of a brand’s marketing and advertising initiatives, and one platform has proven itself to be the clear solution for business-to-business (B2B) lead generation and social networking.
With over 720 million members across 200 countries, LinkedIn remains one of the most popular social platforms available. The number one way for people to discover new jobs is through LinkedIn referrals, making it a useful tool for recruiters and hiring professionals to get top talent. Additionally, 78% of sales professionals that use LinkedIn outsell peers who don’t utilize LinkedIn.
Whether your goal is to generate high-quality leads, land the next job or figure out the next step for your business, it’s important to make sure your LinkedIn profile reflects your skill sets and optimizes your chances of success.
1. Use relevant keywords throughout your profile
Keywords will make your profile more searchable, creating more opportunities for people to connect with you directly – whether it’s a founder, recruiter or Corporate Development Associate.
Your Headline, Summary and Experience sections are the best places to put in relevant keywords, positioning your digital profile as knowledgeable and approachable. For example, if you’re a Vice President of Marketing, using keywords such as Demand Generation, Online Marketing, Search Engine Marketing (SEM), Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Leadership and Email Marketing will ensure your profile is being displayed to the right audience.
Quick Tip: You can also change your LinkedIn URL! Click “view your profile”, and then “Edit public profile & URL” on the top right. It’s best practice to edit this URL if you want to include it in resumes and email signatures because, ‘linkedin.com/in/theonlyalvinkim’ looks neater than, ‘linkedin.com/in/alvin-kim-1203nhu20’.
2. Pick a quality headshot that looks like you (and add a banner)
It seems obvious, but your photo should give a clear idea of what you would look like if you met someone tomorrow. After all, this will be your first impression when someone views your profile.
It’s more frequent than not that you’ve met someone whose LinkedIn profile picture looks nothing like how they are now – maybe it’s dyed hair, a different haircut or maybe glasses. Having a photo that reflects how you look on a daily basis in a professional setting can ensure you don’t lose credibility from whoever you’re connecting with.
When choosing your photo, ensure that it is a high-quality photo, and please avoid using small, low-resolution images. Those with quality profile pictures are 14 times more likely to be viewed by other LinkedIn members.
Here’s a quick cheat-sheet when choosing your photo:
- High-resolution image
- Wear clothing you’d wear at work
- Have a neutral background
- Fill 60% of the frame with your face
Don’t forget to update your banner too, as this is often an afterthought. The banner is another way to make your profile stand out, and reinforces who you are by visually supporting the written sections of your profile.
3. Consistently update your profile
As with most things, consistency is important. If you started a new job, or just completed a big project, update it in your profile and share it with your network. Your LinkedIn profile is an active record of your career, and it should consistently evolve alongside you. As you update your profile, you will build trust and recognition within your professional community.
4. Measure your profile amongst others in your industry and network
One useful tool that most don’t know about is the LinkedIn Social Selling Index (SSI). Although this tool is mainly targeted towards sales professionals, it can be an extremely useful tool for anyone using LinkedIn.
The SSI displays how your LinkedIn profile ranks amongst people in your industry (which hopefully you listed when filling out your profile), and people in your network. I’m a relatively competitive person myself, so this “gamifies” LinkedIn, and gives you insight into how you can improve your score and measure engagement on LinkedIn.
The good news is that if you just heard about this tool, all the steps you’ve done will increase your score.
5. Connect with others, and build relationships
LinkedIn is a powerful tool because it connects you with people across the world in different industries, practices and roles. If you work in sales, you’ll be able to connect with others in marketing, finance or engineering. When you send a LinkedIn invitation, always try to send a note. If it’s a recruiter you just spoke with on the phone or someone you just had an information meeting with, a small note will always go a long way.
A final review of your profile
Now that you’ve (hopefully) followed all the steps, take a couple of minutes to go through your Linkedin profile and ask yourself:
- Did I list the accomplishments I’m proud of?
- What do I want my peers to know?
- What skills do I have that are unique to me?
- Is my profile an accurate reflection of my professional journey?
Always take time for personal development, whether it’s online or offline, as putting in the extra couple of minutes will go a long way in helping you secure your next dream job, finalizing a sale or finding the next awesome team member.