LinkedIn has been around longer than Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. The platform is roughly 15 years old and is more relevant now than ever. It hosts more than 500 million professional profiles and brings unlimited networking potential to the table. In order to be a well-rounded marketable professional, LinkedIn is the place to be. But you may be wondering, “How do I make my profile stand out?” Here are a few of our LinkedIn best practices and recommended strategies to get noticed on LinkedIn.
Let’s start with the basics. On LinkedIn, it is important to be visible, and actively connecting with others. Once you create your account, connect with current and past clients, partners, colleagues and industry professionals to establish your network and add credibility to your profile. Connecting with new people on the platform after meeting through the course of your business will remain an important factor in keeping your LinkedIn presence relevant and useful.
Being active on LinkedIn, however, requires more than just the initial connection. Once connected on LinkedIn, you can strengthen your professional relationships by engaging with your contacts through the platform, whether by sending a message or interacting with their activity. In addition to connecting, your LinkedIn network can serve as a source of referrals. You can endorse or recommend a contact, which provides a boost to both profiles. You can connect with people who have recently viewed your profile and to start a conversation when it’s timely or search for connections and leads based on their position, or any commonality that makes sense.
Make Your LinkedIn Profile Visible
Upon establishing your network, you want to make sure that your profile is visible.
To do so, follow these steps:
- Go to “Privacy & Settings”
- Click on “Privacy”
- Select “Profile Viewing Options”
- Check off the “Your Name and Headline” option
This will help open doors to connect to other people. You also may choose to remove the “People also viewed…” section on the right side of your profile. It is important to remove this section so people stay on your profile instead of bouncing to the next. This can be done using these steps:
- You can do this by going to “Privacy & Settings”
- Click on “Privacy”
- Select “Viewers of this profile also viewed”
- Change it to “No”.
Update and Maintain
After gaining a solid understanding of the basics, the next step is to continuously update and maintain your profile. It is important to keep your profile current and updated, including your headshot, skills, profile heading, job title and basic information. LinkedIn uses the information included in the different parts of your profile to include you in relevant searches and conversations, so thought should be put into how this is written, what is included, etc. Avoid industry jargon, rather use keywords that will clearly identify your professional traits and experience.
On LinkedIn, you can get discovered by using keywords that identify your profession and skill set. In addition to updating and maintaining your profile, strategically add keywords to the content, summary, job descriptions, and headlines. To be a LinkedIn superstar, rotate the keywords on your profile on a regular basis to engage with different audiences. Add keywords to your experience section, as well as two pieces of media, endorsements, and quotes to really make it standout. Adding elements about yourself such as your alma mater, philanthropic causes, and organizations/associations you support can also help you connect with others.
Now that you know the basics and understand the importance of updating and maintaining your profile, let’s talk about relationship marketing. You must personalize all messages and interactions on LinkedIn. When you connect with a professional, you should include any information that directly relates to that person. For example, sending a message of congratulations on a work anniversary is always a great idea. However, be sure to use more than the canned language LinkedIn suggests and auto-populates. It’s also important to share, or like posts from other professionals or organizations. Not only does this strengthen relationships, but it also showcases your industry knowledge. Remember, share quality articles over a large quantity of articles. You can also be an active user by commenting on people’s posts and articles.
A Final Word
Remember that you only need to spend about 15 minutes per day, and only 1-2 hours per week to get the most out of LinkedIn. In these 1-2 hours, you should always connect with clients, referral sources, and client contacts. Let your connections know what’s in it for them and work to build relationships on the digital platform that may extend to your professional circle. By following these LinkedIn best practices, you’ll be sure to tap into the unlimited networking potential that LinkedIn has to offer.