Tuesday August 30, 2016
It’s important to remember that your LinkedIn profile is one of the most important pieces of your online business presence and branding - so you need to make sure that your profile's branding is aligned with your website, social media and other digital platforms.
You have a great opportunity to create a branded image on your personal profile and on your Company page with LinkedIn's background image. The Personal Profile background image is 1400 x 425 pixels and your Company Page Background image is 660 x 220. Unfortunately, you can't use the same image for both - although they can (and should) resemble each other. The Profile's image is more of an inverse U shape and the Company page is a rectangle. Like this:
Upload a header or background image on your personal profile. This is one of the easiest ways to emphasize your personal brand on LinkedIn. For example, if you work for a company or represent a product, incorporate (with permission) the branding including colors, fonts, logos, workplace photos, etc. into your header image. If you can add your contact information in the graphic, even better.
Most companies understand the value of visuals, but get lazy when it comes to LinkedIn. Companies miss a real opportunity to create visually arresting images that grab their viewers’ attention, and hopefully you'll get a visitor to scroll down to the updates.
Consider creating standardized copy in a template (Word doc) that your employees can use (if you have employees.) But even if you don't, it's a good idea to create your profile first in a word doc. In a way, LinkedIn is like a website - and just like you wouldn’t want spelling or grammatical errors on your website, you want to make sure that your LinkedIn profile is free of errors as well. By creating your profile first in a Word document you can catch spelling and grammatical errors. Creating your copy in a Word doc will also allow you to count and do some basic formatting. And if anything happens and you lose your profile, at least you’ve got a copy of it.
Your LinkedIn profile is very similar to Google in that if you have the right keywords in the right places, your profile will show up better in a search. You probably already know what your keywords are, but keep it simple.
If you can't think of any keywords, check your competitors profiles. Type your keyword (or keyword phrase) into LinkedIn’s Search and see who shows up. Go into their profile and check out their skills section. Bam! Keywords!
Now create a list of keywords and prioritize it. You’ll be putting these keywords in your:
- Professional Headline (120 Characters)
- Title fields (100 Characters)
- Experience and Education description fields (1000 Characters)
- Summary Section (2000 Characters)
- Interests: (1000 Characters)
Your Professional Headline (that’s that area right underneath your name) describes who you are and what you do. Use all 120 characters. Most people will just have their Title at Company. They don’t take the time to describe who they are, what they do and whom they serve. This is a great place for a tagline and a few keywords.
Most people only put their current titles in the title field- but you can expand this section. Remember your keywords too. Put your official title in both current and past Experience (jobs) but then consider expanding upon your role. You have 100 characters.
A lot of people just skip the description field of their Experience section, but I would strongly urge you not to! You have 2000 characters in the description area to plant those keywords. Describe what you do and what the company does. Focus on what makes you different from everyone else.
Don't forget the Summary in the Background section of your profile. A lot of people just skip this section - but don’t - because you have 2000 characters to expand on who you are and what you do. I always recommend that you keep the Summary section customer-facing (as in “What’s In It For Them?”) It’s OK to list your features - but what difference do you make to your customer or your prospect? Be clear on what it is that you do - but more importantly - how does that benefit your prospect . Create your Summary in a Word document,; use formatting, bullets, and don’t be afraid of white space! Chunk those bits of information up into bite-size pieces your prospects can digest.
The Interests section, found at the very bottom of your profile (under Additional Information) is the only place I recommend you blatantly dump your keywords.. (You have a 1000 characters.) Yes, put your personal interests first, (Hiking, biking, walking, judo) but then take that list you’ve created of keywords and just paste it in. Make sure you separate each keyword or keyword phrase with a comma so that the words are searchable.
Also make sure to add any relevant PPTs, Slideshare presentations, PDFs, Word docs or .jpgs that really help to define your Brand, your credibility and/or your expertise! Anyone can say they are the world’s best at something, but when you are interviewed on CNN, and post that interview, then you truly prove that you are worthy of your prospect’s attention! If you just get the right keywords in these four sections, you have a much, much better chance of your profile showing up when someone does a search on them. And since LinkedIn actually drives more traffic than Google+, you need to make sure that you are findable to your prospects because they are looking for you, or they are looking for someone like you. So let’s make sure it’s not your competition that shows up. Once they find your profile, you want to make sure they stay there! So add those visuals to engage them more fully.
Now that you know you cannot really automate your marketing efforts on LinkedIn and you know how to properly engage with people to set up sales conversation, if you want to attract higher quality leads, the best thing you can do is get your LinkedIn profile set up properly.
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