Several times a month I speak at events talking to others about how to use LinkedIn more effectively. I’m constantly revising the presentations; trying to come up with one that balances showing new members what LinkedIn is while providing value to those that have been members for a while.
The latest presentation focuses on the three areas I wrote about in the 3 Basic Keys to LinkedIn: Optimizing Your Profile, Building Your Network, and Leveraging LinkedIn. From this I have put together a list of Tips for each area. I’ll cover each in separate posts over the next two weeks. Today we focus on 5 Tips to Optimize Your Profile.
Tip 1: Have a Relevant Profile Photo
No discussion on creating a better profile can exclude the impact of the photo. Having a photo simply allows people to place a face with a name. Not having a photo says that you don’t get “it”.
Having a logo, a product shot, a cartoon etc. isn’t much better than not having a photo. Doing this also says you don’t get “it”. Having a photo that is hard to see, doesn’t match your brand, or that is not properly formatted says the same thing.
What is “It”? “It” is the fact that social networking is about people interacting with people. Not with companies, products, logos, or cartoon characters. Being a professional network for business people, What might be acceptable on MySpace of Facebook doesn’t work on LinkedIn.
Tip 2: Title verses a Tag Line
Titles tell people what you are. Tag lines can tell people what you can do for them. For example, there’s a huge difference between “Social Media Consultant” and “Helping business build communities and monetize social networking and media”.
If I’m the CEO for a company maybe I stick with the title. If I’m a sales person I’d rather people know what I can do for them. Remember whenever your mini profile is displayed (answering a question, posting a discussion question, posting a news article, etc.) viewers see your photo, name, title/tag line.
Tip 3: Customize Your URL’s
In your profile you have the ability to add 3 web links. Typically you see these on a profile listed as My Website, My Blog, My Company, etc. Each of these can easily be customized so that My Company is changed to SONARconnects, or MY Blog is Social Media Sonar Blog.
To make the change simply go to you “Edit Profile” page and click on the “edit” text link next to your URL’s. Then click on the drop down box and choose “Other”. This allows you to then type in a name to list for the link.
You also are assigned a URL for your Public Profile page. It typically looks like this: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/sean-nelson/10/6a4/3b6. A customized Public Profile page URL would look like this: http://www.linkedin.com/in/seannelson.
The customized web links and the customized profile URL will have an effect on your ranking in the search engines.
Tip 4: Add Applications
Your profile is made up of a lot of static information. You can update it over time which is good for two reasons:
1. You want the information listed to be as up to date as possible; and
2. Every time you update your profile your network is notified that something has changed. This generates profile visits.
Applications allow you to present information in a variety of formats. You can add videos, PowerPoint presentations, white papers, brochures, one-pager’s, case studies, etc. Not everyone visiting your profile will view the information, but for those who want to know more about you, this is a great way to share information about who you are and what you do.
For video I prefer the Goggle Presentations application. For presentations I use Slide Share. And for files I use Boxnet. I also use the Word Press application to import my blog into my profile.
Others are using the Amazon application to share information on the books they like and TripIt to show others where they are traveling to. You don’t have to use every application but a few can take your profile from 2 dimensional to 3 dimensional.
Tip 5: Add Keywords to Your Profile
Your profile is searchable, whether it’s on LinkedIn or from search engines such as Google. The more effectively you use keywords in your profile the better you will display in search results. I’m not a fan of adding a string of keywords, but with the various places to add information you can sprinkle them naturally in your descriptions.
I wrote the LinkedIn MBA Workbook to provide a systematic way for someone to build a “Killer” profile. The workbook is over 20 pages so there are a lot of other tips to optimize your profile. If you do nothing but focus on the five I’ve listed above you will have a better profile tomorrow than you did today.
Your profile is where people that find you on LinkedIn begin forming their first impression. Make it a good one and make sure that when they leave your profile they know exactly what you do and how you can help them.
What are some profile tips that I should have included?
**If you would like to learn more about how to use LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Flickr, and Business Blogs to grow you business, SONAR Connects offers two options:
- Social Media Training that teaches you how to optimize your accounts, build communities of friends, followers, and connections, and how to monetize social networking and media.
- Social Networking/Media Management: We take on the responsibility for managing your social media accounts including creating and writing your blog.
Social Media Sonar provides the following four resources for FREE… 1. The Blog, 2. The Online Marketing/Social Media Blueprint, 3. Conversion Rate Optimization Guide, 4. Resource Center. If these help you implement your own online marketing program, great. We love helping people. If you decide you need some help, great. We love new clients. Contact Us if we can help you.