LinkedIn has become the standard social media platform for business leaders to communicate, collaborate, and engage new customers. Developing your own personal profile is essential to reaching key business contacts, potential clients and finding new opportunities. LinkedIn allows you to share information about your interests, accomplishments, and experience through recommendations, skills, experience, groups and posts. Here are six simple tips to help you create an All-Star Profile:
Photograph – Be professional and use a recent photograph on your LinkedIn profile. You want people to recognize you. Don’t use photographs of you at a party or other social event. Remember this reflects your personal brand. It is worth the extra expense to have a professional photographer take a few pictures of you for your LinkedIn profile.
Headline & Title – State what you do and make it sound great! Give some thought to your headline or title and think about how potential prospects might search for you. Don’t just use “Producer” or “Account Manager” – add some flare to your title. You could use the following headline, for example: “Producer – Passionate about helping clients protect their family and their business.”
Summary – Don’t be too wordy! Develop a short, well-thought-out summary that captivates your potential audience while using keywords they might use to search for someone with your experience. (On that note: remember not to overuse keywords.)
Recommendations – People trust recommendations and they want to know what others think of you. If you are just starting to ask for recommendations, don’t start out by asking 20 people at once. Recommendations should be developed over time. In the beginning, it is OK to gather two or three to get started, and over the course of the next year gather several more from business associates and clients. When someone writes a recommendation, you have the ability to review the recommendation before it is posted. (Always read the recommendation to make sure it fits with your objectives.) Make sure you have recommendations from most of your positions. Everyone should aim to have at least three recommendations within their profile.
Skills & Endorsements – LinkedIn allows you to build a set of skills and allows your contacts to endorse you for them. You should keep this as focused as possible to show your expertise in the areas you want to portray to your potential clients. One good way to begin receiving endorsements is to endorse others within your network. Once you start to endorse your peers and business associates, they will endorse you as well. If you are just starting to build your skill list, think of your five top skills and list them first. (You can always add others later.)
Time – As you develop your LinkedIn profile you should spend at least 30 minutes a day on reviewing new potential connections, updating your skills, congratulating your peers on accomplishments, and learning more about LinkedIn. Remember to write recommendations for others, as they will likely return the favor. Give information out, as well as receive, and remember to make a post at least once a month regarding a topic that centers around your specific expertise.
LinkedIn is a powerful tool, in this age of digital marketing. These tips will help you to begin conquering this new and exciting technology. Good luck!