- Posted by Nigel Edelshain
- On April 10, 2015
- Career management
Every now and then I remember. I remember to “Google myself”. I remember to see how I currently look to the world.
This is no academic exercise. Whenever someone new calls me or I meet someone at a conference I Google them or I go straight to their Linkedin page.
So how do you look on Linkedin? Does your Linkedin profile present you the way you want? Does it achieve what you want it to achieve? If you’re not sure, or you’re thinking “yikes, I need to do some work on my profile,” here are a few tips to get you started.
What do you want?
What do you want your Linkedin page to do for you? Maybe you have never even asked yourself this question. I hadn’t.
Here’s a mindset shift: Think of your Linkedin profile as your own personal website.
As marketers we’ve learned that our website should work for us. It should achieve something. Our visitors should take some kind of action that we want them to as a result of visiting our website. So it is with your Linkedin profile.
What do you want to do with your Linkedin profile? Do you want it to attract future employers (most people think of Linkedin as a job hunting platform)? Do you want to use it for networking? Do you want it to help you find partners? Do you want it to make you look good to your boss(es) and key stakeholders?
What you do with your Linkedin profile depends on your answer.
What do you look like?
People love images. The most obvious photo on your Linkedin profile is your personal photo. Linkedin data says profiles with photos get 11x more clicks than those without. Clearly people like to see who you are.
Linkedin is a business platform. It’s not Facebook. You will want your photo to look businesslike. Photos on Linkedin profiles are small so you will want to use something like a headshot or the viewer will not be able to clearly see your face.
Linkedin now has a large background photo that comes with your profile. It’s an image much like the cover photo on a Facebook page. Its shape is pretty awkward as the middle is obscured by your information.
So what to put here? It’s not easy in my experience. Last time I tried I spent an hour searching for the perfect photo only to come away frustrated. I’ve noticed some of the top social media experts are simply using a colored background in this space or developing their own custom image. I’m planning to try something with Canva and see if I can nail it. Whatever you choose. Use something that supports your goals.
Your headline is prime real estate
Don’t just put your job title in your Linkedin headline. That’s the advice from Linkedin experts like Wayne Breithbach.
The headline on your Linkedin profile is like the title of an article or a blog post. It’s one of the most important places to catch your reader’s attention.
The high impact way to use this space is to make it benefit-oriented.
It’s a time to “put on your customer’s shoes”. What is it you can do for your target audience? If you’re thinking future job then talk about what you can do for a future employer? For example “Expert in growing hospital patient volume” instead of “VP marketing, Hospital XYZ”.
I only have time for your summary
We’re all time-challenged. Unless I’m here to thoroughly research you, I’m just going to just skim through your profile. One of the areas my eyes will surely dwell on (momentarily) will be your summary.
Your summary area is a free form field so you have a lot of flexibility in using it to help you achieve your goals. Treat this area like other marketing collateral. I’d suggest thinking backwards from your goal to what you can put in this area that may help you to get the reader to do what you want.
Include elements like benefits for your target audience and proof points showing you’ve achieved these kind of benefits before.
Content marketing is good
Since you’re reading this blog you probably believe in content marketing. Your Linkedin profile is a place where you can put content marketing to work.
Linkedin provides an area where you can link to any media you have produced, such as ebooks, slideshares, videos and blog posts. Use this area to showcase materials that help move visitors to your goal and give supporting evidence of your results.
Linkedin changes all the time so make it a habit to check your Linkedin profile every so often or check back here where we will keep bringing posts on covering updates to the platform.