When I work with clients there are dozens of things we cover when it comes to LinkedIn. However, there are 5 opportunities that I wanted to highlight that seem to be common gaps from CEOs to college students.
1. Turn Off Your Notifications
At all of the LinkedIn training sessions I provide, this is still a top issue that people do not know about when they start tinkering with their profile. When you turn off your notifications it allows you to edit your profile without announcing those changes to your network.
That said, when you want everyone to know about a new Board position, or a new job, then you do want to turn the notifications back on before you make the edits.
To do this: go to your small photo in the upper right, select manage privacy settings from the drop down menu. Then in the middle of the screen is a link that says “manage your notifications”. Click on that – if it is checked, then you will notify everyone with edits, if it is unchecked your edits will not be shared.
2. Do Get a Profile Photo
It is important to have a great profile photo. Typically people do not connect or even click on profiles that do not have a profile. People are 14x more likely to look at your profile if you have a photo.
And when you try to connect with someone they are 40% more likely to connect with you when you have a profile photo.
You do want your profile photo to be approachable and professional. Please stay away from selfies or vacation photos. Do have your photo be a close up of your face. Often people ask what they should wear – suit or no suit? It really depends on your brand – if you are going in investment banking you may want a suit. If you are in tech or digital – maybe you want an interesting background color and clothes that are more casual and edgy/modern.
The most important thing is for you to be comfortable and wear colors that flatter you. Take a few outfits/tops with you when you get your head shot done so you have more than one look to choose from for your profile, bio, etc.
3. Choose Your Key Words Wisely
Increasing your find-ability is critical, leveraging key words is an important factor to being discovered. Key words show up in your header, job titles, summary, and descriptions. We recommend identifying several key words that highlight your skills, industry, and function. This includes ensuring that you have your company name listed correctly.
Linked allows you to use Boolean logic and combine search words to find people. So you can search on “CTO” and/or “Chief Technology Officer” and/or “Vice President of IT” for example.
Get together with a few friends, one that is connected to you, and one that is not if possible. Then search on key words and see how you come up. What words matter? For the people that show up top – how is their profile set up? You should even save your photos with key words, including your the captions with key words too.
4. Repetition Makes Reputation – Use Visuals to Highlight Your Evidence
LinkedIn allows you to leverage photos, documents, Slideshare, and links to provide evidence to showcase your reputation. One recommendation here is to think about your evidence – what can you use?
Do you have documents that you could digitize and share on LinkedIn? At the next event, make sure and get a photo of you at the event, especially if you are a speaker, sponsor, or winning an award. Be sure to include white papers or publications you have written. Be creative here – a picture is worth a thousand words. This even includes using the background photo at the top of your profile too.
If you are comfortable, a big trend this year is to use video on your LinkedIn bio. It depends on what you do and what you want to say – but definitely consider uploading a video or linking to your top Vimeo or YouTube videos.
5. What is your call to action?
Make sure your LinkedIn profile is not a dead end. Think about what you want people to do when they visit your page. Do you want them to reach out to you? Or maybe visit your website? Perhaps you are launching a new product and you want to let people know that it is available.
Create call to actions that help people understand what opportunities they have to continue to engage with you, your content, and for business owners – your company. Link to your blog or upload white papers.
Give a call to action – recommend people read your blog, sign up for your newsletter, etc. Keep the conversation going and provide value.
Be your best self,