3 WAYS to Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile & Personal Brand
Let's get real. Social media has completely transformed how consumers choose a business or service provider. That being said, the importance in-person of networking has not gone away. However, social media platforms have revolutionized networking by providing online venues for building relationships and demonstrating thought leadership.
One platform in particular that has become very influential is LinkedIn. Bought by Microsoft last year, word on the street is that the features are going to get better and the platform is estimated to grow in 2017. So how do you keep up? Let's first start with your personal LinkedIn profile.
Step #1: Make it easy to be found on LinkedInOnce you see this in writing, it feels like an obvious first step but in reality many people don’t take the time to optimize their LinkedIn profiles. Make sure you fill out your profile in its entirety, complete with a good profile picture, summary and full skill set. It also helps to include examples of your company’s work.
1. Add a summary: Confidence, clarity, consistency – who you are, what you do, what sets you apart from competition.
2. Choose a square profile picture, recommended at 400 x 400 pixels, and stay under 10 MB in file size. If either width or height exceeds 20,000 pixels, your photo will not upload.
3. Create a LinkedIn background: Communicate more about who you are and what you do. Use this space for recent projects, promotion streaming, upcoming event promotion, current news, how your company has impacted others, team photos, etc.
4. Customize your LinkedIn URL: As a major website, LinkedIn has a high Google PageRank. Using a URL like this, linkedin.com/in/yourfullname, means you’ll likely see your name rank pretty high, too.
5. Keep your current position updated:
· Evaluate about one a year
· Add links to your website
· Quarterly commit to uploading photos of a project or large sale, a presentation showing last year’s successes, links to company awards, etc.
Step #2: Build your network
Once you are done optimizing your profile, it’s time to build your network.
1. Start connecting with your friends, colleagues, old colleagues, anyone you know or have worked with or currently work with.
2. Connect with your second-degree connections—colleagues or acquaintances of your immediate network—and make sure to send meaningful connection requests.
Remember: Always include a message introducing yourself, or reminding the connection of a time you have met in the past. When sending messages, a major thing to note is whether the messages provide value and make sure they don’t waste anyone’s time. People are inundated with emails and messages over all social networks, so make sure your messages are brief and to the point. In the case that you have a connection that has someone you’d like to be connected with, ask for an introduction to make connecting easier.
Step #3: Business development
Where do your potential clients and employees hang out? LinkedIn groups including professional groups, groups applicable to your industry, alumni groups and more provide a place for professionals in the same industry or with similar interests to share content, make business contacts and establish themselves as industry experts. Join groups that interest you, it’s a great way to get talking to like-minded people and possibly connect with a future customer.