I believe that professionals engage more and more through their LinkedIn profile, reconnecting with their peers strategically.
How to create a rocking LinkedIn profile
Every time I do a keynote on social media, the b2b members of the crowd are particularly interested in hearing me break down LinkedIn and in particular their LinkedIn profile for them.
And I understand why. As the hottest professional networking site with over 200 million members, LinkedIn has launched a new design with some cool, customizable options for everyone. It has become more conversational and more of an interactive portfolio page than a CV. It’s a nice transformation from those boring days where people would come only to peek through another member’s resume info and then leave as quietly as they have arrived…
Of course, you don’t want to be left behind with all the changes you can do on your profile. Now that they are viewing your profile you might as well surprise them with the way you rock, right?
Profile pictures and taglines on LinkedIn
The first change that will immediately affect you is the LinkedIn profile photo size (200×200 minimum or 500×500 maximum) providing you with a larger frame for your photo. I think that with the new “LinkedIn profile” picture size it’s increasingly important to have a professional style picture that shows only you.
A larger photo frame provides you the opportunity to brand yourself. Whether you dressed and looked like a stern-looking queen or even a casual, comfortable hippie is your choice so long as your profile picture reflects the authentic, real you. Whatever you decide, I think it’s wise to go for a professional headshot especially if you don’t know much about photography.
Besides your name, put some power words that will make you stand out. Replace your title with taglines, for example: “Henriette Weber: Business Unusual, Digital Strategist”. Your photo and your tagline are part of your caller id, and they will show up when you call someone on her phone. However, you are limited to only 40 characters, so you need to be super creative in describing yourself.
Vanity URLs on your LinkedIn profile
You can prominently display your name or your brand by creating a unique, personalized public URL as LinkedIn allows you to change your profile link from a nonsensical string to your name or business. Mine is like this: http://www.linkedin.com/in/henrietteweber. You can do this in a snap. Just go to the Profile tab, and then Edit Profile, find Public Profile, make the changes and, presto! You have personalized your URL
Rocking your LinkedIn summary
This is similar to your elevator pitch. And like your elevator pitch, here is an excellent moment to present your best possible self to the professional world. I beg your pardon? No resume-speak please and make sure your unique personality comes through (read: speak like a human, not a bot).
Spend more time and emphasis in doing your summary because the competition is ruthless but if you do it well, you’ll surely get hired. Get those keywords around your work going, and you will find that they are sometimes the reason you’re found on LinkedIn.
Provide and share relevant, useful info for your niche on LinkedIn
But first, build an engaged audience that can relate to your ideas and welcome your updates by focusing more on relevant content and never forgetting to add your take. You should also actively join in the fun by commenting on an activity, sharing it, and if you’re really busy simply liking it (but that doesn’t generate a lot of relationships, the two other options work much better for you).
Join LinkedIn groups and make groups
Hands down – I like the Facebook group function much better than LinkedIn’s.
I know its plain common sense, but I’ll say it anyhow. No constant pitching please; not on your profile and not in groups. Instead, focus on what’s valuable for your network and no worries, they will reward you down the road.
Using SlideShare to build an exciting portfolio on LinkedIn.
And a very secret but a hot tip that works for me every time? Cut the summary short. Share some presentations about yourself and your product on Slideshare and make sure it’s right below your summary – around ten lines down. Even though it doesn’t show up on your public profile, it will get noticed when people surf LinkedIn. And because there isn’t a lot of pictures, it will gain instant curiosity. I have written about SlideShare implementation as well here (featuring a free worksheet)
Of course, there are still a lot of LinkedIn changes, but I think I have covered the most important ones… If you have LinkedIn ads available in your language, you could experiment with that (danish isn’t really covered – yet). They just integrated their company pages as well as your LinkedIn profile in HootSuite and Buffer so that’s really awesome too.