LinkedIn has risen to become the premier social channel for business owners. If you’re not already using LinkedIn, it’s time to start.
You’re missing out on valuable business connections. If you are using it, but you want to make your LinkedIn profile stand out in a crowded corner of cyberspace, we have actionable tips to help make that happen.
What is LinkedIn?
For those who truly are new to LinkedIn, it’s a social app focused solely on career and business across all industries. You won’t find users posting silly kitty photos or wedding cake smash videos here.
What you will find are the professional profiles of individuals and company profiles. This is why a LinkedIn search is relied upon by human resources recruiters and companies looking to find outstanding individuals in the business community.
This professionalism allows you to put your expert best foot forward at all times and leave your cake smashing to your personal social channels.
Ready to get started?
If you have already set up a LinkedIn account, jump ahead to the next section. This is an overview of essential information for those who need help to get started from scratch.
Below, you will see how your LinkedIn login screen will look. Follow the screen and enter your name, email id, and password. They will confirm your identity via email. Click the confirmation link. You will be all set to go.
Actionable Tips to Make You Stand Out in the LinkedIn Crowd
1 - Populate your LinkedIn profile
Now that you have set up your LinkedIn login, let’s get started. LinkedIn invites you to complete your profile. This is an overview of your career, education, and interests.
Be sure to complete this information as thoroughly as possible. Be honest and accurate. Think of it as an online resume.
These pieces of data help LinkedIn match you with other professionals and college alumni who are likely to be interested in learning about you.
2 - Use a professional photo
LinkedIn is not the place for you to post selfies, even your best ones.
LinkedIn pages are professional, and your image should be, also. If you don’t have a professional headshot, now is the time to stop procrastinating and get one done. At the very least, get into your best professional dress clothes and ask someone to take your photo with a good quality camera.
3 - Create a customized, catchy professional headline
When you initially set up your LinkedIn profile, it will default to a professional headline that displays your current employer and city. Meh. Boring.
Add some pep by inserting a customized, catchy headline that will grab attention. Here’s an example of an overhaul.
Default Headline: Social Media
Revised: Creating explosive social media results
Doesn’t that second example sound more engaging? You’re limited to just 120 characters, so make each of them count.
4 - Craft a masterful summary
Take time to craft an authoritative 2,000 character summary. Use this to showcase your skills, achievements, and highlight your career achievements.
2000 characters equal about 300 words of copy. It’s your time to shine. Infuse your summary with personality. Toot your horn about your achievements. Share your most significant career accomplishments.
Remember, you are marketing a valuable commodity—yourself! Here are some pointers.
- Begin by writing a sentence that captivates the reader and instantly engages them. It should make them want to read more.
- Share quantifiable data (but not in a boring way). Did you lead an effort that resulted in a year of record sales? This is the place to tell the reader.
- Don’t be shy about using “I.” First-person narratives are acceptable in your LinkedIn summary. They sound authentic and confident; after all, you’re talking about your personal accomplishments.
- Engage the audience. Are you trying to switch jobs or garner additional business for your current employer? Write to engage those who are actively seeking one of those scenarios in mind.
- Include a call-to-action. Sure, you might not want your boss to see you on the job hunt, but a simple invite to reach out without mentioning a job change is acceptable. It’s a softer call to action if you’re job hunting on the down low. However, if you are marketing for your company, your standard CTA could also work.
5 - Keep us in the loop
Consider your LinkedIn profile a living document that evolves with you.
- Switched jobs? Share it.
- Looking for work? Tell us.
- Finished advanced certification? Add it.
- Promoted? Halleluiah!
You never know which company is conducting a LinkedIn search, so keep your page optimized at all times.
6 - Don’t forget LinkedIn pages for your business
While you’re brushing up your personal LinkedIn profile, you should also invest the time to set up LinkedIn pages to market your business.
Here, you can add your company logo, tagline, and all the other information that’s relevant in marketing your business.
Remember all the steps you just took for your personal LinkedIn profile? You will repeat the process of setting up your company LinkedIn page.
The difference here is that while your personal profile is all about you, LinkedIn pages will be all about your company. You can post daily updates about your company, backlink to your website, share blog posts, and share product photos or videos.
While this is similar to business pages on other social channels, LinkedIn pages lend an air of professionalism to your company.
What are you waiting for?
Now that you know how to go about marketing yourself and your company on LinkedIn, what are you waiting for?
Follow these 6 tips, and you will have created a LinkedIn profile that’s no longer a diamond in the rough but a polished, sparkling jewel.