When I was in Freshman English in college I had a teacher who used to pound it in our heads to “show, don’t tell” with our weekly writing assignments. It was frustrating at the time but it was a good lesson applicable to more than just a 1st year English class.
The same philosophy applies to your LinkedIn profile. All of the text you have added tells the reader what you want them to know. It’s up to them to frame your words into a mental picture. You can help them out by using keywords, adding descriptive words, or even telling a story. But in the end it’s still you telling them something in words and characters.
You have the ability though to do more than just tell, you can use several features to show your visitor what you, your product or service, or your company is about.
It all starts with your profile picture. It’s simple. If you have one make sure it’s a good one. If you don’t have one get one. It’s such a small thing only 80 x 80 in size but it is one of the key pieces to your profile. People want to see who they are dealing with. They want a face to go with the rest of the package.
They are there for a reason. If you write a blog why not include it. You’ll help your traffic and people can get a little more perspective on who you are and what your thoughts are. Remember that if you’re a banker you probably don’t want to link to your blog about Death Metal. That’s likely to have the wrong effect. But if you design websites and write a blog about the creative process it would be a good thing.
If you don’t have a blog they’re easy to start. Not so easy to maintain. Unless you’re serious about posting at least once a week, skip this step.
The Amazon application allows you to share what you’re reading. Great if you’re reading a book like eMyth, not so good if you’re reading the 10th anniversary collection of Bloom County. Be careful about what you recommend because it says something about you.
I recently saw a book recommendation that included a racial reference in the title. The person recommending the book, who I know, is a member of the race referenced so there was no evil intentions about recommending the book. Still it caught me off guard and made me wonder if they thought it completely through before posting.
Take a look at what people are reading and you’ll find some interesting books you may not have heard of.
There are several applications that allow you to share brochures, presentations, white books, etc. Once again these are another way to show people who you are. I posted a presentation today about how I help small business client’s with their employee benefits. It’s a little different from your average insurance presentation, so I’m hoping that it helps me stand out.
The point is that you have an opportunity to control how you present yourself. You can do so in a flat, black and white manner, or you can add color to your palette and make it a 3D presentation of yourself. If you aren’t sure what to do, take a look at what others are doing. Visit the profiles of your competitors to see what they’re doing.
How about you, what are you doing specifically to help your profile rise above the other 35 40 million users?