How to Beef-Up Your LinkedIn Profile to Market Yourself
To make sure that you’re creating a favorable impression of yourself you can use your LinkedIn to market the best traits, abilities, and features of you and your business. Because of the nature of LinkedIn, this marketing occurs 24/7. So, you should look at LinkedIn as something to check and update on a continual basis, like a blog. It doesn’t mean you have to spend hours and hours each day, but a little bit of time on a consistent basis can go a long way toward a favorable and marketable LinkedIn identity.
To make sure your profile is delivering the best marketing message for you, consider these tips:
Use the Professional headline wisely: Your Professional headline is what other LinkedIn users see below your name even when they’re not looking at your full profile. I’ve seen some users stuff a lot of text into this field, so you should have enough space to communicate the most important things about yourself. Simply put, if you have one, or even two, key phrases you want associated with your name, they should be a part of your headline.
A standard headline reads something like, Software Development Manager at XYZ Communications, but you can write entire sentences full of great keywords for your headline. An excellent example headline might read: Growth-Stage, Results-Oriented Internet and Digital Media Professional, Advisor, and Investor. Think about how many people would want to connect with him!
Make sure you use keyword phrases that match popular keywords for you or your business: The first step is to put these phrases in your headline. The second step is to make sure these phrases are reflected in your Summary, Experiences, and Interests.
Be careful not to overuse your main keyword phrases. The search engines call this practice stuffing, which is cramming as many instances of a phrase into your site in hopes of achieving a higher ranking. If the search engines detect this, you will experience lower ranking results.
If you’re available for freelance work, make sure to identify at least one of your current positions as Freelance: Remember, people aren’t mind readers (Karnac excluded), so you need to let people know that you’re a freelance writer, web site designer, dog walker, or whatever. If you look at Cynthia Beale’s profile, you can see that she’s self-employed as a training professional, and her Experience section further details that she specializes in Management, Communication, and Personality Training.
Use the additional sections in your profile to include any relevant information that reinforces your marketing message: For example, if you want to be seen as an expert in a given field, add the Publications section to your profile to show off the articles or books you’ve written, articles you’ve been quoted in, focus or advisory groups you belong to, and any speaking engagements or discussions you’ve participated in.
Make sure your profile links to your web sites, blogs, and any other part of your online identity. Don’t just accept the standard My Company text. Instead, select the Other option, and put your own words in the Website title box, such as Joel Elad’s E-Commerce Education Website.
For an example of effectively linking your profile to other areas of your online presence, take a look at Scott Allen’s profile. His three web site links replace the bland My Company, My Blog, and My Website with his own text. Not only does this give more information to someone reading his profile, but search engines have a better idea of what those links represent.