Are You a Professional Speaker Using LinkedIn?

By: Viveka Tuesday September 4, 2012 comments Tags: #LinkedInChat, #WSACHat, #Speakerchat

12 Ways to Spice Up Your Speaker’s Profile on LinkedIn

I recently wrote a basic post on spicing up your profile for business people of all kinds, but since I am heavily involved in the Women Speakers Association  (and a speaker myself) I thought I'd revamp it.  Also - LinkedIn has made changes even since I wrote my last article, and those will be reflected below as well.

If you haven’t been on LinkedIn for a while – then its time to check it out.  Amongst other things, LinkedIn has really changed its User Interface and that has changed the way your profile looks. No more excuses.  Sign on to LinkedIn and make these changes today!

1.  Treat your LinkedIn profile like a website:

Before you even get started, make sure your existing profile is free of spelling errors.  Most browsers now have a spell check, so do a quick scan through your profile and look for those telling underlined words!  Make your corrections right away!

As we work on optimizing your profile (both making it better, and getting those keywords in there) it is important to work on and in a draft copy.  Since LinkedIn doesn’t have a draft or way of making an unpublished profile (like Facebook) I recommend creating a profile first in a word document.  That way you can make sure it is formatted, clean and free of spelling and grammatical errors before you ever cut or paste the text into LinkedIn for all to see!

There is nothing worse than trying to represent yourself as a profesional and have the word profesional spelled incorrectly! (Did you catch that?  Did it make you cringe?)  If you have someone who can read through it, have them do so.  Even with all the practices I put into place, I still get the occasional email from my network informing me of an error.  (For which I am very grateful!)

I have a LinkedIn profile questionnaire that I give my clients from which they can create their “draft”. (You can download it at in the app).  Use either my questionnaire or a Word  doc  to “catch” spelling and grammar issues and to 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. (Use “insert symbol” to get characters like: ★✚⌘✔♪♯♯<>∧∨∞ ) Alas – still no bolding or italics other than what LinkedIn itself formats in your Profession (personal) profile.  (Your Company Profile now has formatting options in the Product and Service description section.0

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. 

2.  Know your keywords:

Like any website, LinkedIn’s internal search engines weigh your keywords heavily in its search.  Make sure you place your most important search or keywords and keyword phrases strategically throughout your profile.  Some places you might want to consider are your

  • Professional Headline (120 characters)

  • Title Fields (100 characters)

  • Specialties (500 characters – if available)

  • Interests (1000 characters)

  • Recommendations

  • Education (Activities and Societies) 

Because you can no longer see the title field in the “Thumbprint” (top) section of your profile, it is more important than ever to get your keywords in your title fields.  And then remember to check your keywords monthly to make sure you are still showing up in a LinkedIn search.

 3.  Keep your name clean:

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

Not only that, but it goes against LinkedIn’s EUA to have anything other than your name in the name field.  I listened to a LinkedIn Guru who told me to put my keywords “LinkedIn Expert” in my last name field and that is what got my profile blacklisted (un-findable under my keywords) resulting in my losing thousands of dollars worth of work. Learn from my mistakes! Don’t have your name be: Jane Doh, Professional Speaker

4.  Keep your photo professional:

I don't care if you sell pools for a living. This is NOT OK on LinkedIn.

Speaking of Professional – you don’t want to look like a “working girl” if you know what I mean!   I love the Bri Clark of WSA puts on "Cleavage, pearls and heels" when she speaks.  That is fine.  A full display of all your assets while the wind blows a curl of hair suggestively in your mouth is not!

I recommend a close-up and a smile. A full body shot of you and your family is unclear and unprofessional.  You might want to put your latest book up there, but don’t do it. LinkedIn wants a visual representation of YOU - not your work.  I have seen some artists use artistic renderings of themselves – which is clever if your image is still clear. LinkedIn doesn’t like logos.  In the end user agreement it states that if you are going to post a picture it MUST be your likeness.

Sexy photos are, quite simply NOT appropriate for LinkedIn.  Plus they look super spammy.  LinkedIn is not selling THAT kind of business!

5. Don’t ignore the “post an update” function:

LinkedIn recently changed its update visibility with the new user interface.  While another LinkedIn member can no longer see your updates on your profile page, your updates still do show up on your network’s home page. And they can see your activity in "Your Activity"

Not only that, but LinkedIn has added a new “Notifications” tab to help you keep up with group postings, answersand update interaction, so in fact the update function is much more robust than it used to be (taking some tips from Facebook and Twitter) With your network being able to “like, share and comment” on your updates, you can build better relationships within LinkedIn.

You can also see your network’s activity (lower right hand side of their profile page) so that, like Twitter, you can get a better idea of what really interests them and what they invest their time in.  And of course, you can respond to their posts.

It’s easy to post to LinkedIn (homepage, groups and to individual members) using LinkedIn’s Sharing Bookmarklet (that you can find under the “tools” link at the bottom of any page on LinkedIn.)  Just click on a page you want to share (say this post) and click on the “Share on LinkedIn) link that you will pull into your browser bar.  From there it’s simply a matter of writing an update, tweet, group discussion or message.


With the introduction of LinkedIn Signal, the update section can now be a functional part of your SME (Subject Matter Expertise) and content strategy.  Make sure you take a little time each day to “like” and “comment” on the updates of your network as well.

Finally, make sure you use Signal to monitor your own brand, your clients and your competitors.

6.  Personalize your public profile URL:

Make sure your public profile reflects your name, your business, or your area of expertise:  Nothing says, “I’m a LinkedIn neophyte” like a public profile that reads:

To do this click on the word “Edit” next to your LinkedIn URL.  Don’t click on the link itself or it will just take you to your public profile page, and not to the screen that allows you to change your URL.


7.  Personalize your websites:

Even though your website links are not as readily evident on the new UI, its still very important to customize them.

To customize your website links, click first on “Edit Contact Info” Then click on “edit” next to your website.

When you edit your website, the drop down menu gives you the option of  “other”.  By clicking 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 “Speaker’s One Sheet” or “Click here: Upcoming Events”

8.  Juice up your “Experience” section:

“Experience” is not your resume. Make sure the jobs you choose to list support your speaking career.  You can certainly put your business name in this section, but also consider keynote titles, book titles and maybe even key clients that you regularly speak for.

As mentioned earlier – it is not more important that ever to put all your keywords in the 100 character title section.

Use the 1000 characters in the Experience description section to tell people why they should hire you or your company or buy your product or hire you to speak.  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” Experience:

Make sure you list your publications, 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, etc. so it’s important that you add these.


10.   Get Recommendations:

Even though you no longer need 3 recommendations to have a complete profile (according to LinkedIn) I suggest getting 10 – 15. With the new UI your recommendation count no longer shows up, but it’s still important to get them!  And get them from relevant people, spreading them out evenly amongst your experience or jobs.

Ninja Trick: Check your recommendations for unassigned recommendations.  And then assign them to the experience and education sections that are a little light in your profile.  Having said that - make sure they are still relevant!

When you are asking for recommendations, provide a bulleted list of your skills, strengths and services so people will write a more complete recommendation and not just: “She’s nice”.

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.

To see some great recommendations, check out Howard Lewinter’s profile at

11.  Use Applications:

Every day LinkedIn is adding (and taking away) new and third party applications.  You can embed up to 8 in your profile.

Take a look and see which ones will be most useful to you.  I recommend:

  • LinkedIn’s blogging apps (Blog Link or Wordpress)

  • (To upload any type of file – including your speaker’s One Sheet. This is also where you can find my questionnaire)

  • Slideshare (to show examples of your speaking skills with Video)

  • Creative Portfolio Display (Add your photos, One Sheet, testimonials, PPTs etc.)

  • Amazon Reading List (especially if you are an author – remember to add your own books!)

Also check out for new apps being developed.

12.  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 and “Give” more than you “Get”

LinkedIn is a great place to get information, to get connections, to get clients, to get speaking gigs and 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.

LinkedIn can almost work as a speaker’s bureau if you work it right.  This article is really focused more on getting your profile found and looked at, but there are many more techniques we will explore over the coming months on how to use LinkedIn for Business Development, to get engagements, etc.

You can find article like this, as well as more information on LinkedIn’s new changes at or in my new book “LinkedIn Marketing: An Hour a Day” at

And please follow me on Twitter at

#SpeakerChat and #LinkedInChat TONIGHT!  (Tuesday September 4th)

I will be a guest on SpeakerChat tonight ( tonight at 4 PM PST and then the #LinkedInChat starts at 5 PM PST (  The topic?  Using LinkedIn as a Speaker.  By the way - a speaker doesn't mean you have to be a professional speaker.  But if you have to show up in front of a room, because you are in sales, marketing, and executive, in a non-profit - then SpeakerChat and WSA are for you!!!!

The #LinkedInChat Transcript can be found here:

Questions for tonight:
Is there a place for Professional Speakers on LinkedIn?

Why aren't speakers getting more booking through LinkedIn?

How can I get my profile seen by more EDs, event planners, etc on LinkedIn?

How can I proactively use LinkedIn to find the connections I need?

What tools can I use as a speaker on LinkedIn?

How can I position myself as a thought leader on LinkedIn?

What groups should I be a member of on LinkedIn?


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About the Author: Viveka

Viveka is author of LinkedIn Marketing: An Hour a Day and is known internationally as the “LinkedIn Expert”.
CEO of Linked Into Business, she also hosts the biggest LinkedIn chat on Twitter.  Forbes has listed her as a top social media influencer for three years running, and she has been cited in Ragan, CNN, Forbes, Mashable, Simple Living, Bloomberg, LinkedIn's Small Business Site and "The Sophisticated Marketer's Guide to LinkedIn, The Miami Herald, Social Media Today and The Social Media Examiner!

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