Get found on LinkedIn
Posted: Saturday June 29 2019
By: Abbie Coleman
In my last LinkedIn blog, we looked at what is LinkedIn and why you should use it. If you’ve decided it could be a useful marketing tool for your business or to help you find a dream job, then in this blog we going to look at how to make sure that your LinkedIn profile portrays you in your professional best.
Get found on LinkedIn
By Judy Parsons
How to make your LinkedIn profile work for you
Unfortunately, most LinkedIn profiles are cobbled together and often never given a second thought, whilst many people struggle with what to put on their profile. Yet with millions of people visiting and using LinkedIn every single day, it’s worthwhile spending time to get yourself noticed – so more of your ideal clients or ideal employers find you more often.
Who are you talking to?
I call this LinkedIn SEO. It’s all about knowing who your target audience is, what their challenges are and what words they will be using to find the solutions to the problems you help them solve.
Take some time to reflect and answer the following questions. I promise you, doing this exercise will really help you give you the content for your profile:
- Who are they? What are their job titles, industry sector, location etc
- What keeps them awake at night? What challenges and problems do they have that you solve? Really dig deep here. What problems did your existing clients have when they came to you? Could you ask your existing clients? Like wise if you are job hunting think in terms of how you have resolved problems in your previous roles and the results you have achieved
- What words are they using to find solutions to their problems? Identify up to 10 ‘keywords’ that your target audience would use and pepper them throughout your profile including your headline, summary, experience, skills & expertise
A note about keywords: these are really important to think about as they help you get found on LinkedIn. Think in terms of what you do i.e. Accountant or Copywriter etc (rather than MD or Founder). Also, words like ‘Management’ are too broad. Instead use it with descriptive words like ‘Crisis Management’ or ‘Time Management’ to make it more specific.
Let’s Get Started . . .
The Header section is the first thing people will see when they visit your profile. It contains a banner header, your profile photo, name, headline and the first 2 lines of your summary.
This is probably the most important part of your profile because you have literally seconds to grab someone’s attention, to pique their curiosity and make them stay on your profile to read more. Ideally we want people to take some form of action whether that’s to connect, go to your website or download your free offer etc.
- Banner image: You can upload any images / banners that you already have on your website here to ensure consistent branding across all your online websites/social media sites. However, if you don’t have a banner image then you can find free images to use at https://pixabay.com. Size wise you are looking for images that are 1584 x 396 pixels. However, if you choose an image that is rectangular rather than square it will work well.
- Your profile photo: Don’t be shy here. Having a profile image will attract 14 times more profile views than if you don’t have one, and we want profile views if we are going to be found and noticed on LinkedIn.
BUT . . . not just any image will do for your profile! You want a good professional headshot of just you, smiling, looking approachable.
It MUST NOT be . . .
- Your logo
- A selfie
- Not of YOU – i.e. other people, pets, your children etc
- Your Headline: This is your ‘elevator pitch’ NOT your job title – although millions put their job title here. You have 120 characters here (including spaces) to tell your ideal profile visitor ‘what you do’; ‘who you do it for’ and ‘how you help’.
It’s often the trickiest part of your profile to write. However, the good thing about LinkedIn is that you can change it in an instant. So, give it a go and play with it.
- Summary introduction: Only the first 2 lines of your summary are displayed (approx. 220 characters). To view more of your summary, you need to click on ‘See more.’
I like to use these 2 lines to augment and expand on the headline. I also add contact details here such as an email address. This is because anyone who is not directly connected to you can’t see your contact details and we want to make it easy for people to get in touch outside of LinkedIn.
Here’s an example summary introduction:
“Helping you make your event memorable by capturing conversations & key ideas as they unfold. Graphic Recording & Illustration – turning ideas into easily understood and digestible images ? Please connect or email email@example.com ?”
- The rest of the summary: You have up to 2000 characters in the summary section (including the 220 odd characters that you have used in your summary introduction). Use the rest of the summary section to tell your story, explain what it is you do and position your expertise.
- Experience section: If your header section has done its job and someone has stayed on your profile they will more than likely scroll down to your current role.
In here you have:
- Job Title: you have 100 characters for your job title. This field is key for LinkedIn search, so ensure you to use your keywords in the title. Don’t use ‘Owner’ or ‘Founder’ – unless you know your ideal client will search for these terms. Include the keywords and phrases you think others would be searching for when looking for someone who provides the services you offer
- Description: You have 2000 characters to outline the products and services you offer. The key is to focus on your audience. Use the ‘Know Your Audience’ exercise, in particular what keeps your audience awake at night. Highlight what these are and then talk about how you can help (aka your services).
- Use Stories! Client stories (case studies or testimonials) are a great way to demonstrate the results you’ve helped your clients achieve. How much money they’ve saved, or new business they’ve generated or problem they have solved.
Profile Writing Tips
- Make your profile easy to read and scan by breaking up the text with short paragraphs and bullet points. Write your profile in Word first.
- Always write in first person
- Include a call to action in your summary and current experience. What is the next step you want someone to take after reading your LinkedIn profile? I.e. visit your website, sign up to your mailing list in return for a free offer, email you or connect with you on LinkedIn, etc
- Beef up your profile by adding video, images, presentations and documents to your profile. Add up to 3 examples if possible under your summary & experience sections
- Use the ‘Know Your Audience’ exercise to keep you focused on who you help and how you help them. Build rapport by demonstrating you understand their challenges & where possible minimise the number of times you say “I” and use “You” instead
- Does it pass the `SO WHAT?’ Test? Imagine you are someone else reading your profile, every single sentence needs to answer the question “So what?”
- Get Feedback! Ask people you know, clients, colleagues and friends to have a look. Does it resonate with them?