Following a LinkedIn themed pep talk at Ecce Media HQ , we realised that we’re often asked by friends and clients how they can make more of their LinkedIn profile page . And it’s a valid question because according to Hubspot , LinkedIn generated 212 million leads last year making it 277% more effective at lead generation than Facebook or Twitter.
As our biggest LinkedIn user (and fan of all things social media) here’s my guide to maximising the potential of your LinkedIn profile , broken down into ten top handy tips:
1) Use a Professional Photograph
Any new LinkedIn contact will first be greeted by a précis of your profile, in which, the photograph is a dominant feature . Lack of a photograph sends warning signals to potential connections, as such, it’s important that your photograph is good quality. Ideally, shoot your LinkedIn photograph in good light against a plain background, capture your head and shoulders, wear smart work clothes and unlike a passport photo, you have permission to smile !
2) Correct Name & Job Title
Connections want to know that they’ve found the right person which is why your name and job title should be accurate . Use your full name and job title as it appears on your business card following this generally accepted format; First Name, Surname. Job Title at Employer Name (e.g. Jenson Button. Formula 1 Driver at McClaren). Boring as it may be, LinkedIn is not the platform to try and reinvent yourself.
3) Accurate Contact Information
Many use LinkedIn as an online business contacts database but any database is only as good as the quality of information it holds. Update your contact details by going to Profile – Edit Profile – then click on Edit Contact Info which sits next to the connections counter. Give as much information as you feel comfortable sharing – this could include your email address, office phone number, mobile number and office address. It’s worth remembering that you can adjust your privacy settings so that contact information is only shared with approved connections.
4) Secure Vanity URL
Make it easy for people to find and connect with you on LinkedIn by securing your vanity URL. This is a personalised URL which will lead any visitors straight to your profile . LinkedIn will automatically assign you a URL which appears below your photograph but we’d recommend you change it. Simply click Edit and secure a URL which is a timeless as possible In being timeless, you may want to focus on using your name as the bulk of the vanity URL as opposed to your current job title or employer (mine is /hannahjmarketing ).
5) Attract Website Traffic
Alongside your contact information, your LinkedIn profile is the perfect platform for sending interested parties through to your website. To do this, go to Edit Contact Info, click on the blue pencil next to Websites to add your links. LinkedIn will try and push you towards categorising your website by Personal Website or Company Website, but top tip , if you select Other then you can customise the link. Use this link to encourage site visitors – I think we’d all agree that a customised link which says Learn More About Our Services is far more engaging than Company Website.
6) Ask for Recommendations
People buy from people, so use your LinkedIn page for past and present colleagues to advocate your value as an employee. This adds huge weight to your profile and will reinforce your skills and experience beyond the details within your employment history. To do this, click on Profile and select Recommendations from the dropdown menu. For each job role click on Ask to be recommended, then complete the form using the details of managers and colleagues that are in a position to recommend you. You may well find they ask you to return the favour.
7) Populate your Profile
LinkedIn generously include a number of subsections to every profile page including Background, Experience, Projects, Publications, Education, and Languages to name a few. Every subsection can be completely customised to include your words so use them to show every different angle of your skills, knowledge, passion and history. Nobody can write your story for you so take the time to thoughtfully write each section . You’d be surprised how often your Interests or Volunteering section helps you establish a new connection, over and above your Experience.
8) Make Yourself Searchable
Much like SEO for your company website, LinkedIn offers a search facility and to appear in the results, you need to make your profile searchable . Use the subsections to include keywords that pertain to your expertise ensuring the keyword(s) are short and to the point. If you’re not sure which keywords to include, think about which words you’d expect a potential client to look for on LinkedIn, or ask new connections how they found your profile. You want to align yourself with the buzzwords that your job role and experience best serves, and if you upgrade to LinkedIn’s premium service , you’ll get an accurate report of which keywords users are using to find your profile.
9) Like & Share Updates
Although very different from Twitter and Facebook , LinkedIn is a social media platform and as such, it should be social . Use LinkedIn’s update facility to share relevant articles, blogs, whitepapers and thoughts, but also use it to ask questions . Every update can be commented on, shared and liked by your connections making it a great tool for sparking a conversation. It’s worth noting that every time someone clicks Like or Share , your update will then be shared with that persons LinkedIn connections. This means a great LinkedIn update has the potential to reach not only your connections, but their connections and beyond. Remember to reciprocate by sharing and liking insightful updates from within your network – being social is a two-way street.
10) Join Relevant Groups
LinkedIn offer communities of like-minded users in the form of Groups, which can be accessed via the main LinkedIn menu. The members of Groups extend beyond your existing network making them a valuable forum to curate new connections and establish yourself an authority on your subject. To start, click on Groups and go to Groups You May Like, at which point LinkedIn will pull together suggestions based on the content of your profile. You can manually search for Groups using LinkedIn’s search facility so try to identify Groups that relate to your industry , expertise or business locations. Use Groups to post updates, answer questions, comment on topics within your field, all of which will ultimately widen your influence on LinkedIn. Still not sure? Here’s a recent example of a question that I posted within the Kent Business Group which led me to visiting Digital in Kent .
By following this guide to LinkedIn, you’ll put yourself in a great position to harness its huge potential and generate valuable business leads from your profile page. If you have any further questions, please get in touch, and if you found the guide useful then tweet us @eccemedia – next time we might write a guide to Company Pages on LinkedIn!