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How to Stand out with an Optimized LinkedIn Profile

Filed under Social Media

Imagine an online consortium of professional individuals and organizations, with over 330 million members, and close to 190 million unique visitors in more than 200 countries. Impressive? That’s LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional network. It is not just any social media networking site – it is one that connects businesses and professionals to potential clients.

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A LinkedIn account is thus your window to the professional world, and a complete and systematic profile is just what you need to put your word out. Most use it as their prime professional networking site, and you must never underestimate the power of a well-presented profile to bring you the business.

Generating B2B leads can be a costly business in itself. If you find yourself pursuing the wrong lead, it can render your efforts a fair amount of ineffectiveness. Social media is now being identified as a cost-effective means of attaining business. Not only this, digital media marketing and outreach have shown to generate high quality business leads and most companies are now allocating greater resources to such strategies in order to wring out continuing benefits.

It’s time to flex your muscles and give birth to your business online.

Guide: Optimizing Your LinkedIn Profile

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Your Profile must be Complete, Crisp, and Marketable

Marketing through LinkedIn is tricky, as you may be aiming at both big and small buyers. If you are a business, trade shows, print and broadcast media may appeal to you as successful forms of generating B2B leads. Before launching such events, the presence of a strong LinkedIn profile comes from optimizing LinkedIn profile and it can set the stage and consolidate a brand image in the minds of potential clients. This will mean easier access to your business, and better marketing for your services and work approach.

Currently, about half of all profiles on LinkedIn are incomplete, translating into “weak profile strength”. A toggle bar appearing at the top right of your profile shows you how well you’re doing. For generating business leads, you must aim for an “Expert” status and once you grasp the nettle, an “All Star” status will help you stand out from millions of other individuals/businesses.

Professional Headline

In digital media, it’s all about search engine optimization (SEO): That means only one thing: keywords!

Therefore, your professional headline and the summary that follows are probably the most significant portions of your LinkedIn presence. Specificity is key to an optimized LinkedIn profile but let’s not stop at that.

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For instance, many buyers/potential clients may be using a variety of keywords to search for a specific service, and in order for your profile to show up more, you need to widen the breadth of your headline. A flimsy headline such as “IT specialist” will probably wash you out. Instead, say IT Service Manager, Software Consultant, Communications Specialist, Web Developer, etc. Be creative with your list of expertise and flaunt it to prospective clients.

Summary

The best summary for LinkedIn profile is pithy but comprehensive. Do not full the page with fluff. Flowery language seldom gets you much praises, nor do hollow claims translate into business leads. Cut to the chase and state who you are and what you do. Buyers/purchasers/businesses are looking for specific keywords that interest them and if your services/achievements/past experiences are bulleted vertically, this will allow them to decide whether or not to read on. A clear-eyed summary statement rarely be missed.

Profile Photo

It has been found that the likelihood that your profile is viewed increases 11 times if you put up a profile photo. For individuals that means displaying their own photo (preferably a professional one), and for a business, it’s their logo. The brand image/name is what you are selling and you require others to be able to recognize you by your emblem.

Get Interactive

Text without media? Doesn’t work anymore. Right below the summary, LinkedIn gives you the option to add documents, photos, links, videos, and presentations. Surprise others, not just with your work, but with the way you project it. Let them see for themselves what you are worthy of. If you are a photographer, put up a portfolio. A business analyst? Put up presentations from a job talk. And if you are a fledgling business with a reasonable website, be SURE to link it to your profile just like BrandJaws have done. It just tips in a great deal of professionalism and directs potential clients straight to your work.

Use your Profile to Grow Your Network and Develop a Repute

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Endorsements and Recommendations

Endorsements of skills are essential confirmations of everything else you’ve said on your profile. What this means is that if you are an accountant firm with a reasonable LinkedIn profile, skills like account management, financial accounting, cost accounting, tax account, key account development, qualified chartered accountants, will lend your work credibility and encourage others to contact you. You can even manage your endorsements to change which skills show up first. To date, over 200 million endorsements have been issued.

Also, get your connections to “recommend” you on LinkedIn, and to write a few words explaining how they’ve benefitted from your expert service. If it’s from a well-placed professional, your profile will move up several notches.

Once you have a complete profile (with all afore-mentioned features), it will be easier to maintain links with other active professionals on the LinkedIn network and to return favors by endorsing their skills. All of this will eventually lead to an “All Star” profile (and remember that’s what we’re aiming at).

Network size

Having a large number of first-degree connections (those you connect with directly on LinkedIn) help with LinkedIn profile and increases your chances of reaching out to a large pool of professionals. Endorsements and recommendations can only come from first-degree connections so you need to expand your network in order to gain credibility.

One way is to connect with CEOs of target firms, and to keep up with their activities. According to one report, CEOs on LinkedIn have close to 1000 connections. Why not stay in the loop and be one of them? Also, having more in-common connections will make you appear on more “People you may know” searches on the network.

After you’ve done business with a client, you can also use your profile to reconnect with past associates and maintain healthy relations for future opportunities.

Groups to Join

Join as many relevant groups as you can and be active on the forum. Most businesses/professionals are found sharing and commenting on different forums. Having a shared group will increase your chances of coming across new opportunities.

Once your profile is ready, you must keep it active and share posts related to your services so that they show up on news feeds of professionals (who are now increasing in the habit of viewing their profiles once in a while). This gives the impression that you are alive in the digital world and mean business. With a large pool of LinkedIn users and potential leads surfing the internet, 40% of which are actively checking LinkedIn daily, the story you tell your LinkedIn audience will help you create your brand. If they like it, they’ll want to get in touch with you. If not, you’ll be one of the many clicks they won’t remember after the next scroll.

Guest Author: Misha Felicity

Hey everyone this is Misha Felicity and I am from Quebec City, Quebec. I am pretty crazy about computer games and I normally call myself a technology geek. I don’t know how to cook and I also do some book reading in spare time. I love science, physics and astronomy. I have done Masters in Business Administration from University of Toronto. I like TV series and movies and fashionably early in all.

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