As you construct your profile keep this one thing in mind; you are creating an advertisement - with you as the product. Decide who the primary target audience is (e.g. potential clients or prospective employees) and present you profile accordingly.
- Introduce yourself. Start with a professional photograph of yourself
Use a warm and engaging headshot. First impressions matter.
Smile and keep it natural. Learn from how the brand team at LinkedIn have created their boss's profile.
- Improve your profile headline (and optimise your Google ranking)
Put yourself in the shoes of your ideal customer. Then ask yourself - what would my ideal customer search for if he or she was looking for my services? As Mr Weiner is CEO of LinkedIn, he doesn't need to sell his services in his profile headline, but you must. Here's a good example:
Try to get the name of your nearest town/city into your profile title. This will substantially increase your Google ranking in any local search.
- Your summary must substantiate your profile headline
Whatever your put as your profile title, you will need to back it up with proof in your summary section. Also try to include as many relevant keywords and phrases in your summary - but without packing them in (as this may count against you and reduce your resulting Google ranking).
Don't cut and paste your CV. Describe your skills and abilities in your summary as if you are in conversation with a new Client. Try to use an authentic voice.
- Personalise your LinkedIn URL
Use the option of including your name in your public profile URL.
So instead of linkedin.com/67w84rj32wef09 you can change it to linkedin.com/in/johnsmith. This will make it easier for you to be found both within LinkedIn and Google searches.
- Point out your skills in the Experience section.
Use this section as your personal search engine optimizer; as a way to refine the way that people find and remember you. Add relevant keywords, particular abilities and interests, plus the personal values you bring to your professional performance.
- Put your hard work on display
After the experience section you can showcase your "Broker of the Year" award and any other awards from local affiliations or community groups. These don't have to be just industry specific awards though. Any honours, awards, certificates, volunteer experience, and special courses will all show prospects that you're involved and can be trusted.
- Ask and answer questions.
Thoughtful questions and useful answers build your credibility. The best ones give people a reason to look at your profile. Make a point of answering questions in your field, to establish your expertise, raise your visibility, and most important, to build social capital with people in your network.
- Improve your Google PageRank with endorsements and recommendations
So far you've used your profile to talk about yourself so now it's time to back it up with recommendations and endorsements. Start browsing LinkedIn for people you've previously done business with and ask for a recommendation. It's standard practice to reciprocate a recommendation so keep that in mind when asking. Also, find people who you've previously worked with and endorse them for their skills. This will usually be reciprocated as well.
Get recommendations from colleagues and employers who can speak credibly about your abilities or performance (think quality, not quantity). Ask them to focus on a specific skill or personality trait that drives their opinion of you. Make meaningful comments when you recommend others.
- And don't forget your Clients
It's also very valuable to connect with (and ideally to endorse) new clients. This helps to maintain their long term loyalty to your business as well as boost your credibility with prospective new clients.
- Continue to build your connections.
Connections are one of the most important aspects of your brand: the company you keep reflects the quality of your brand. Identify connections that will add to your credibility and pursue those.
The number of connections you have on LinkedIn is a golden number for sales professionals. More connections means more exposure to prospects. When you meet someone, search for them on LinkedIn and connect with them right after the meeting. Keep in mind that LinkedIn is a business networking platform so you don't need to be best friends with someone to connect with them.
- Add educational posts and video to your profile.
This positively positions your company, demonstrates your industry knowledge and boosts your credibility.
Share your content and get active. LinkedIn provides another place to share your content and helps to get it in front of prospects. As you create new content, share it on LinkedIn (as well as within your other social networks).
- Join groups and take part in the discussion.
Doing this suggests that you are keen to stay at the forefront of the business and follow best practices.
Please also use this guide from LinkedIn