18 LINKEDIN TIPS
1. Treat your LinkedIn profile like a website:
Make sure it is formatted, clean, and free of spelling and grammatical errors. I strongly suggest creating your LinkedIn profile first in a word document – not only so you can “catch” errors, but also so you can get a better idea of what your profile will look like on the LinkedIn website. In some sections of LinkedIn you can also pull in bullets and special characters. Alas – still no bolding or italics other than what LinkedIn itself formats. Another bonus, if you’ve already created your profile in a Word document, sections of it can easily be copied into other social media platforms to keep your branding unified.
Like any website, LinkedIn’s internal search engines weigh your keywords heavily in its searches. Make sure you place your most important search or keywords strategically throughout your profile. Some places you might want to consider are your
- Professional Headline
- Title Fields
- Education (Activities and Societies)
Put only your first name in the first name field and your last name in the last name field. If someone is searching for you by name, LinkedIn will have a hard time finding you if your last name looks like this: Smith, PhD. John A. ([email protected]) LION 941-555-1555
4. Keep your photo professional:
I recommend a close up and a smile. A full body shot of you and your family, you and your car, you and that fish you caught last week is unclear and unprofessional. I have seen some artists use artistic renderings of themselves – which is clever if your image is still clear. LinkedIn doesn’t like logos.
5. Personalize your public profile URL:
- Make sure your public profile reflects your name, your business, or your area of expertise: http://linkedin.com/in/linkedinexpert
- Nothing says, “I’m a LinkedIn neophyte” like a public profile that reads: http://linkedin.com/pub/firstname-lastname9890734-akjshfiho
6. Personalize your websites:
When you edit your website, the drop down menu gives you the option of “other”. When you click on that, a new field opens up that allows you to type in your business name, website name, call to action, or description of your website. So instead of “Company Website” or “Personal Website” this section can read “Social Media for Women” or “Click here: IP Legal Advice”
7. Juice up your “Experience” section:
“Experience” is not your resume. Make sure the jobs you choose to list support each other. Make sure you put all your keywords in the title section. Think outside the box. Consider adding your media channels such as YouTube or Slideshare.
8. Utilize the “Experience” description area:
Use the 1000 characters in the description section to tell people why they should hire you or your company or buy your product. Tell a “save the day” story. Put in a testimonial. “Experience” is a great place to list “wins”, different companies you have helped, seminars or workshops you have presented, a mini-shot of your personal website. Use this section as the foundation for your Company Profile
9. List your “additional education”:
Make sure you list your certifications and licenses as well as traditional education. LinkedIn has now added new sections where you can list areas of expertise, publications, patents licenses and certifications.
LinkedIn tells you your profile is complete with three recommendations. I suggest between 10 - 15. And when you are asking for recommendations, provide a bulleted list of your skills, strengths and services so people will write a more complete recombination and not: “She’s nice”. If you are comfortable doing so, you might write a recommendation that the recommender can use or base their recommendation from. You might want to add some of the better recommendations to your website. Ask for recommendations from thought leaders in your field, old employees, and well-known clients.
Join groups in your own market or industry, your ideal client’s industry, groups that you are interested in, groups that your target prospects are members of, alumni groups, open groups and some big groups (Consider Socal Media Marketing with almost 800,000 members). Once you join a group you can send a message to strategic members /prospects or invite strategic members to connect with you.
For more posts on groups check out:
12. Create a group:
Consider creating an Unlisted or Private Group. Make sure you, or someone in your company, is tasked to moderate it to keep it interesting and relevant. Make your group a destination and active forum.
13. Limit the invitations you send out:
You only get 3000 invitations in a lifetime – use them wisely. Even though LinkedIn gives you the tools to upload your entire list, make sure you only invite people who are already on LinkedIn and don’t invite more than 2500 people – leave a few invitations for the future. At this time you cannot buy more invitations (although you might be able to beg some more from LinkedIn's customer service)
LinkedIn used to have an IDK “I don’t know” button that could get you in a lot of trouble. Now a person’s response to an invitation is “Accept” or “Ignore”. Nevertheless, when inviting someone to connect with you, I highly recommend telling him or her how you know them or why you want to connect. I would also add the disclaimer: “If you feel you have received this message in error, or simply don’t want to connect, please ignore this invitation.
15. Always be courteous:
LinkedIn is a business-networking site. Be courteous. Try to Answer Inmails, messages, and requests for introductions within 72 hours. Remember your “Please” and Thank you”. Help someone out.
LinkedIn is a great place to get information, to get connections, to get clients, to get employees. But follow the golden rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Don’t spam. Don’t infiltrate email boxes with constant sales messages. Instead share valuable information via your groups, updates and answers and let clients come to you.
17. Create a Company Page
If you have not yet created a Company page, now is the time to do it. (https://www.linkedin.com/company/add/show) If you already have a Company Page, but have not been there recently, its time to revisit it, and add the new banner photo, featured groups, targeted updates and targeted service pages.
Make sure that you are in edit profile mode:
• Scroll down to your Summary section, your Experience section, or your Education section.
• Click on the add media link that looks like the little square box between the pen and the positioning arrow.
• Add your link. (Your video, image, document or presentation must have a URL address)
• Once you’ve added the link, you can edit the title field and description.
Then all you have to do is hit save. And you’ve got your video your image your presentation smack dab in the middle of your LinkedIn profile.
Listen to my interviews and read my blog!
If you are more of an audio person – here are a few radio interviews:
- Viveka von Rosen by BobBurg
- Webmarketing Inner Blog and Joseph Bushnell Interview on Monetizing LinkedIn