Are you the weakest LinkedIn? Do others view your page and profile and think “Goodbye”? In this business savvy day and age LinkedIn is a valuable asset and with a little tweaking and fine tuning will be only too happy to oblige as being your digital C.V.
To recap last week’s blog, LinkedIn is the digital equivalent (and of course modern way) of networking and making connections. And much like its face to face counterpart, appearance and first impressions are everything.
So putting this into practice, to get the most from LinkedIn you need to have a page that stands out and that tells others what they need to, and should, know about you.
First things first, have a photo.
People like to do business with people and not grey shadowy outlines. Put a picture of you on your profile but make sure it gives the right impression – Ibiza holiday photos are not welcome here! The image you choose should represent you in a business and professional sense, in other words, you should be happy to show it to the other half’s parents. You know yourself that you are more likely to connect and respond to people who have displayed an appropriate photo so there are no excuses for not having one.
Secondly you need to tell people who you are and what you do.
This is your five minutes of fame so make the most of it, I like to think of it like being on a game show – “What’s your name and where do you come from? Tell us what do you do for a living?”…
…Don’t be shy, tell people about yourself briefly and what you do. Like a homepage, potential connections need to know it’s the right person they are talking to so tell them in roughly 10 seconds who you are, what you do and how you can help their business or benefit them. This helps to reaffirm who you are and tells viewers of your profile how they can relate to you. Here you should also add your education, qualifications, job history and experience to show where you have come from and how it bolsters your current position.
Moving forward you should tell people what you are good at and what successes you have had.
Your LinkedIn page is there to advertise what you can do well and how you can help those wishing to connect with you. List your key skills and key success stories, don’t just say I’m creative… Say you are “creative and wrote ten advert scripts which were used on national tv and helped the company you wrote them for to achieve record sales” for example.
It is not a job description as such that you are writing, and remember that there may be lots of other people with similar skills to yours so try to add something that makes you stand out. What have you done that only you can say? Tell viewers, it makes interesting reading.
It is also a good idea to try and put positive success stories and achievements for each of your main roles to show continued success.
Back up your claims with personal references from people you have worked with or for.
Like selling a product (in this case, your services), a personal recommendation on your page from someone of good authority can legitimise your claims and bring across a real tangible endorsement of your work.
Keep it updated! If your page is out of date then why should anyone contact you based on it? Keep it updated and fresh by sharing statuses and being an active member of the LinkedIn community. Having an out of date page with incorrect information would be like going to a networking event with an old business card…cringe!
Have good associations.
Connect with the right people and show you are a well connected person. Join a group that you can contribute to, that interests you and that is relevant to your skill set, this shows legitimacy and that people value you to allow you to join their group.
Use good keywords.
LinkedIn has been known to search keywords in your profile so use carefully placed keywords that people will be searching for and which are related to you. So in my case I would use copywriter, creative writing and web reviews and save the titles of storyteller and critiquer for something less formal.
That’s really it in a nutshell, but just remember that LinkedIn is a professional network so keep it formal with a hint of the personal. Don’t be over friendly and socially outward, that’s what Facebook and Twitter are for.
Next week’s blog will be about services and how to really get across what you are good at – look out for some real life examples!