LinkedIn is a social media site companies and individuals use to connect with former, current, and future colleagues, customers, colleagues, and employers. Are you taking advantage of all LinkedIn has to offer? Try these 10 LinkedIn tips on for size.
LinkedIn Tips for Ambitious Companies and Teams
1. Include a Current Photo
Including a photo makes your profile a lot more personable. Also, on LinkedIn a professional headshot is almost always better than your favorite vacation photo (the one with you in a hat and sunglasses, the one with you chugging a beer at a bar, or the one where you’re holding up the giant fish you just caught from your local stream).
2. Write a Descriptive Professional Headline
Use something catchier than your title in the headline that appears beneath your name. Your headline is a valuable opportunity for emphasizing and elaborating on your skills, areas of expertise, and ideal customers. Market yourself. And pay particular attention to the keywords you use so you rank higher in searches for your areas of expertise.
3. Link to Your Websites with Keyword Anchor Text
LinkedIn lets you link your profile to up to three websites or pages (e.g., your company website, personal website, or blog). Don’t use LinkedIn’s default descriptions of “my website” or “my company”; instead, connect those links to your chosen keyword phrases to enhance your search engine optimization (SEO).
4. Customize Your URL
Your default LinkedIn URL includes ugly code and numbers, making it hard to share over the phone, print on a business card, or include in your signature block. Make the URL as concise and self-explanatory as possible. To edit your URL, go to the public profile section and create your URL of choice.
5. Create a Strong, SEO-Friendly Summary
The summary section has a 2,000-character limit, and you should pack as much into it as possible. The ability for people to find you depends on LinkedIn’s search engine linking your name to certain search keywords—the more you put in the summary, the better your SEO. For example, a project manager might want the term “project management” to appear many times in the summary. Make sure the summary clarifies who you are, who you can help, and how you can help. The summary may also replicate information that appears in the Experience section. Remember, readers won’t spend lots of time reading your page, and chances are they won’t read your page from beginning to end. Your goal is to (1) communicate information to your target audience any way you can and (2) optimize SEO searches.
6. Tag Your Skills and Expertise
Tag your skills and expertise to optimize SEO searches. You can tag up to 50 skills—include as many relevant skills as possible. Once you’ve refined your Skills and Expertise list, it’s time to get some endorsements. How do you do this? Sift through your own connections and start endorsing the people you know. (Ethically speaking, you should probably make endorsements only when you know that the person really possesses the skill in question.) After you make endorsements, your connections will receive notification of the endorsements, and many will reciprocate.
7. Add Portfolio Pieces, Presentations, and Videos to Your Profile
Showcase your work by adding portfolio pieces, presentations, images, and videos to your profile. You can either add links to your work or upload files.
8. Manage Your Privacy Settings
Make sure your privacy settings enable everyone (vs. just your network, just your connections, or just you) to see your profile, activity feed, photo, etc. Also make sure that when people learn that you’ve viewed their profile, they can see your name and headline (vs. anonymous characteristics about you, like industry and title). That way, they can contact you, if desired.
9. Make New Connections, Then Welcome Them
The more quality people you are connected to, the more opportunities that could come your way. But be careful when requesting new connections. Do your homework on who they are, their past positions, and their interests. Find common ground. And be sure to craft a personal note requesting to add them to your network. Stay social. Spend 10 minutes a day on LinkedIn, and the payoff will be better business connections – and new business.
Few people acknowledge new connections with a personal reply. Develop relationships by sending new connections a message to say hello or to thank them for reaching out.
10. The Most Important of All of the LinkedIn Tips: Network!
Maximize the value of your LinkedIn network by importing all of your online and offline business contacts into it. Also be diligent about making frequent updates. After all, updates to your page will be posted to your connections’ news feeds, keeping your name front and center.
Your LinkedIn address book is also a handy way to get email addresses and updated information. In addition, you can export this address book. At the bottom of the My Connections page, click Export Connections, which will put all the contact info into a format suitable for your address book (e.g., Microsoft Outlook, Outlook Express, Yahoo! Mail, or Max OS X Address Book).
Furthermore, LinkedIn has thousands of groups. Search for groups in your field of work and in your geographic location for the most targeted results. Learn more here.
Finally, consider upgrading to a Premium LinkedIn account (try it for free for one month), which gives you information about jobs, hiring trends, and the people who have viewed your profile. You’ll have InMail privileges, which will allow you to reach out to corporate hiring guns and recruiters. And once you know who has been clicking on your page, you can reach out—and continue to build your network.
Want More LinkedIn Tips?
Want to learn more about LinkedIn tips and LinkedIn content optimization? Reach out!
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