Seven tips to improve your LinkedIn profile
Crazy times, eh? But, despite many people’s initial apprehension, self-isolation hasn’t been all business doom and gloom – people have adapted; many have happily thrived.
Interestingly, whilst everyone’s been working from home, some people have asked whether it’s a good time to cut back on marketing? No! Definitely not. As life begins to revert back to ‘normal’ – or whatever will be considered our new normal, businesses that have stepped back from marketing themselves effectively will be at a huge disadvantage.
Without spending time commuting to offices – or, if you work from home anyway – travelling to networking events and meetings, you’ve freed up valuable hours throughout your week that can usefully be spent on marketing.
So this is a perfect time to prepare for getting back on track and focusing properly on your business growth post-virus – and what better place to start than by getting your LinkedIn profile spick and span?
Here are a few quick tips to think about in between Netflix box sets and sunbathing with your laptop perched precariously on your knees…
- Choose a fantastic profile picture
I can’t stress strongly enough how important your photo is. People do business with people – especially on LinkedIn, so don’t have a logo, group photo or cartoon. Be your lovely, smiling self – engaging and ready to connect.
- Add a background image
The large banner space behind your photo is a wonderful opportunity to show off what you do. Make sure it grabs people’s attention, is branded and self-explanatory.
- Let your headline work for you
Your headline (or tagline) doesn’t have to be your job title – you can give a clear description of what you’re offering to potential clients. Loads of people will see this if you’re active on LinkedIn, and it’s a brilliant opportunity to sell yourself and your services.
- Summary or story?
Your LinkedIn summary doesn’t need to be a boring rendition of your CV. Write as you speak – enchant people with your personal story or explain why your work matters. What can you do for them? How will you bring value to their business? Why should they connect with you?
- Be convincing
LinkedIn’s rankings of over-used buzzwords include: ‘experienced’, ‘specialised’, ‘focused’, ‘strategic’, ‘passionate’ and ‘expert’. Nothing wrong with describing yourself like this, but make sure you’re able to actually demonstrate to people that you have these qualities.
- Show off your skills
List skills that are relevant to you – ones that you actually have. This means that other people can endorse you, which strengthens your credibility. I sometimes meet people who don’t rate endorsements – and it’s true, I’ve been endorsed from time to time by people who’ve never actually experienced whatever it is they’ve endorsed me for. But there’s no doubt that a good bank of endorsements helps to increase your credibility. And it’s nice to endorse other people – we could all do with a quick boost at the moment.
- Ask for recommendations
A personal testimonial from someone who can genuinely substantiate your work is fantastic! Don’t feel shy or embarrassed to ask – if they’ve been happy with your services, there’s really no good reason why they should object to spending a few minutes telling the world.
Don’t forget that there’s a ream of additional accomplishments you can add to your profile, from awards and patents, to languages and volunteer experience. These additions may not necessarily connect directly with your current role, but they enrich your profile and demonstrate to prospective clients that you’re an awesome person – and definitely someone they should connect with.
Make a start now – be bold, honest and fun! Celebrations are mainly online these days, so waste no time in joining the LinkedIn party today!
Renée Wallen MA Ed BSc (Hons)
Renée runs a social media consultancy in London. She coaches small businesses in a range of marketing strategies and effective communication skills, or handles their social media if they’re too busy to do it themselves.
She was voted Corporate Vision CEO of the Year (London) 2017, and awarded UK Independent Business Honours Executive of the Year Awards 2017 for Training and Coaching.
Renée is a published author and poet and has won an Inspirational Woman award.
Happy to connect with you…