If you're a solopreneur, small business owner, freelancer, switching careers, or looking for a new job, I highly recommend that you take advantage of the opportunities available on LinkedIn.
LinkedIn is the largest professional social media and networking opportunity in the world.
850 million members
85 million companies
66 active accounts each month.
6 people hiring on LinkedIn every minute
Think of it as an investment. If you start putting in the time now, you will see growth little by little. It won't happen overnight, and it won't happen by itself. You have to do the work. However, if you optimize your profile and engage regularly, you will start to notice a return.
Like any investment, you don't want to put all your eggs in one basket. You shouldn't stop creating content on social media or forgo writing your blog posts or stop sending marketing emails. LinkedIn should be one of many sources for you to market yourself.
The first thing you need to do is optimize your LinkedIn profile. If you're engaging on other creators' posts or creating exciting content, and someone visits your profile and sees very little to grab their attention and keep it, then they'll move on.
First impressions matter, so give a great first impression starting with these three tips to optimize your profile:
Tell a Compelling Story
The first thing to focus on is your summary. Do you have one? Is it a little hard even for you to finish reading? Now is the time to write or re-write it!
Start with a great hook. The first three lines of your summary are all visitors will see when they check out your profile. So use the first three lines to keep them reading.
After you've hooked them:
Tell your story
Give it personality
Talk about where you came from and how that has made you excellent at your work
Share your strengths and your skills and how you got them
In addition to telling your story, you should consider the keywords in your industry and profession:
1. What words are people searing for?
2. Who are recruiters trying to find?
3. What keywords are in job postings for a similar role?
And then find a way to include those skills or other keywords in your summary.
Close it out with a call to action or CTA. A CTA is a classic marketing technique you can include in your summary. Don't let your readers escape without giving them direction. Tell them to message you, call you, connect with you, follow you, or visit your profile. There are lots of options depending on your business or individual needs. Your job is to give them guidance on the next steps.
Want to see some great profile summaries? Take a look at these.
Create an Eye-Catching Banner
If you don't have a banner, then please add one! Ok, ok, this isn't a copywriting tip, but it is important!
The banner and your profile picture are the first things someone will notice about your profile. A banner that stands out can entice a lead, recruiter, or prospective employer to stay your profile and learn more about you.
After all, people remember only 20% of what they read but 80% of what they see.
The most accessible suggestion, in my opinion, is to create one on Canva. There is a free version that anyone can use, and if you want to try the professional version and access more tools, you can do so for 30 days.
Consider your brand when designing your banner. Keep it consistent with your website, add your logo, and make it a reflection of what your customers or clients expect to see.
If you're looking for a job or transitioning careers, take advantage of the opportunity to leave an impact on future employers. Keep it professional and show your personality. Set yourself apart from the competition!
One thing I've seen that you don't need is another profile pic on your banner. If it's a headshot, then it's not adding value to your banner. Your profile pic appears on the left side of the banner already. Use that space for something else.
The last step is to check how your logo looks on desktops, mobile devices, and smartphones. Your profile picture shouldn't cover important information. Check if the information at the bottom or sides is cut off. You might need to adjust a few times until you get it right.
The Skills Section is Your Friend
The skills section is important because it's a factor in the LinkedIn search algorithm. That means you are more likely to appear in a search result if you have an added skill someone wants to find.
What skills should you add to your profile? Here's how to figure that out:
1. Consider and then add industry and profession-specific skills
2. Search for current job postings in your profession
3. Pull out those skills and add them to your profile IF you have them.
The goal is to understand what people want and your skills and to communicate that you have those skills.
Another thing that factors into the algorithm is endorsements of those skills. The more endorsements you have, the higher you will likely end up on a results page.
I'll be honest. I haven't focused on this part yet for my profile. However, it is something you should keep in mind.
How do you get endorsements? Here are some ideas:
1. Invite your friends to endorse you.
2. Post regularly, and your connections may endorse you without asking.
3. Participate in an endorsement post you'll see with active content creators.
4. Endorse someone, and they may endorse you in return.
Once you've added your skills, you can denote where you acquired those skills, i.e., with your employment history, volunteer work, certifications, etc.
Those skills will remain in the skill section and will appear under that job or other experience if you do this. I've seen some recruiters suggest this. I tried it on my profile for a while and found it too cluttered, given the number of skills I had added. However, it's worth it to experiment with your profile.
And there you have it: my three suggestions for optimizing your LinkedIn profile. Let me know if you have any other suggestions in the comments below!
Already on LinkedIn?
Find me here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/leslie-schlotman-copywriter/.
I'm always happy to connect!
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