If you are looking to grow your business and your network, spending some time on your LinkedIn profile could be well worth the effort. LinkedIn has about 530 million users from more than 200 countries who are using the professional networking site to interact with others, search for jobs, learn about their industry and grow their businesses.
Here are some tips to improve your LinkedIn profile and get an all-star LinkedIn rating.
Add a Photo or Two
There are two places to add a photo: your profile picture, or headshot, located in the circle on top of the page, and the background image. While both are important and show potential clients who you are and what you are about, the profile picture is the most important. LinkedIn profiles should always include a professional-looking headshot.
Write “So What?” Headlines
Instead of putting your position or skillset in your headline, craft a sentence or two that answers the “so what” question, suggests LinkedIn. The headline should quickly tell your network what makes you valuable.
Getting to Know the Real You
Your summary is the place where potential clients will get to know the real you. The summary can be written in any way you like, and should include information about who you are, what motivates you, and your unique experiences. Paragraphs should be short, and there should be lots of white space. Include your list of specialities and a link to your organization if applicable.
Show and Tell
Don’t just tell people what you’ve done, show them by adding media to your profile, including experiences and publications, in the summary section. You can upload video, add URLs and include links to blog posts, white papers and e-books.
Craft an Article
Write an article about your industry and post it to LinkedIn. This shows potential clients you are an expert in your field. Don’t forget to respond to comments and questions.
If you volunteer, make sure you add that to your LinkedIn profile. Potential clients are always interested to see what causes you give time and energy to.
Grow Your Network
Follow people who are interesting or may be able to help you. Reach out to past clients, making sure to send a personalized note indicating how you know each other and why you would like to connect. Join groups, but only those that you will participate in through comments and shares.
Post, Comment and Post Again
The more active you are on LinkedIn, the better. Like people’s posts, but better yet, comment to show you have read the article and have an opinion on it. The same goes for sharing posts. It’s good to share information, but it’s even better to inform your network why the article is worth reading.
Skills, Endorsements, and Referrals
While you may have lots of skills, only mention the ones people in your network will endorse you for. Otherwise, it appears that you believe you have a skill, but your network disagrees. When people endorse you, make sure to say thanks – both through LinkedIn itself and by endorsing back, if appropriate. Ask your network to provide recommendations and recommend back.
By polishing up your LinkedIn profile and being active, you can grow your business and your network. Good luck!
Lisa Day | Contributing Writter