Why bother joining LinkedIn?
Many people join LinkedIn because they think they should. It seems that all their colleagues are doing it, so they think they should too, or they may be under pressure from a boss to do it. Other people mightn’t even have thought about joining yet. And then there’s the people who join LinkedIn to help them forge their way forward into the future they see for themselves. If you haven’t quite seen the point yet, here are some great reasons to join LinkedIn:
- To make connections. No matter whether those connections are potential new clients, possible future employers, or old friends, LinkedIn is a great way to stay in touch.
- To get introduced to “movers and shakers”. LinkedIn is the perfect way to get introduced to high-profile people in your industry or sector who you otherwise mightn’t have access to.
- To gather information. If you work in sales or marketing, or you run your own business, LinkedIn is a great resource to help you pull together information about contacts or prospects.
- To improve your search engine visibility. LinkedIn is the ideal place to raise your personal ranking on Google. This is great news if you’re a freelancer, a consultant or simply looking to get yourself or your website noticed.
- To create impact. A cleverly constructed LinkedIn Profile will help you make an impact even before you meet or have contact with someone.
- To reinforce existing relationships. By helping others connect with your contacts, LinkedIn enables you to become a key player in your network.
Once you’ve decided to join LinkedIn, you need to pull together the information you’ll include in your LinkedIn Profile. If you’re already on LinkedIn and don’t feel as if you’re getting much “mileage” from it, it may be time to give your Profile a bit of a polish. Either way, on this page of my website, you’ll find some helpful LinkedIn Profile writing tips.
How important is your LinkedIn profile?
There’s tons of stuff online about LinkedIn Profiles and how important they are. Unlike some of the other social networks, anyone who accesses your listing on LinkedIn will arrive via your Profile. This is probably the most significant reason that your LinkedIn Profile is so important.
You only have seconds to make an impact on your visitors, so you need to make that impact, PDQ ! Most of my clients (and friends) are pretty shy when it comes to creating hard-hitting, sales-y copy about themselves. They may know in their heart that they’re seriously good at what they do, but it doesn’t come naturally to them to voice why. As a result, the thought of sitting down to write a really compelling LinkedIn Profile is like some form of Chinese torture to them.
These clients’ responses fall into two categories. First, they give up, and say they’ll do it another day. (yeah right!). Second, they dig out their last (and usually pretty dismal) CV and cut and paste chunks from that. Neither of these are the right solutions to writing a winning LinkedIn Profile.
People who really succeed in achieving their LinkedIn objectives know that their Profile is really important. When it comes to LinkedIn, content is King. This is when they normally gimme me a shout! But if you want to give it a go yourself, I’ve developed a bit of a LinkedIn Profile ‘how to’, which might help you.
Your LinkedIn Profile ‘basics’
- Get a great Headline. Your headline is the first thing people see when they accept your invitation to connect. This is a great way to grab attention. If you’re an employee, name your employer here, if you’re self-employed or freelance, state that in your headline.
- Make sure your Summary leads with your unique selling points (USPs), together with a clear and concise description of what you do and what sort of business or work you’re looking for. Thereafter, it’s logical to move on to more detail about why people should do business with you or consider employing you. It’s essential that your summary leaves people in no doubt that you’re the best person to “scratch their itch”. Make sure your Summary is regularly updated (at least every month) because this keeps the search engine spiders busy as well as buying you a bit of real estate on the LinkedIn page.
- When it comes to your Experience you need to build in (honest), logical connections between what you’ve done in the past with your aspirations for the future. What I mean by this is that you should focus on past achievements that support what you’re hoping for in your future. Again, it’s worth refreshing your Experience every now and again to keep it up to date, interesting and search-worthy.
- Ask for Recommendations. Recommendations add huge power to your LinkedIn Profile elbow, so seek out quality, well worded recommendations to back up your claims.
- Thereafter, add your Photo, your web and, or blog Links and re-visit your Profile with the eyes of a potential client or employer to make sure you haven’t missed anything.
Once you have your LinkedIn Profile polished within an inch of it’s life, it’s time to go off and make connections.
A few final things to bear in mind
Don’t be shy
The likelihood of achieving what you’re hoping to on LinkedIn is directly related to the effectiveness of your Profile. The stronger your profile, the better chance you have of achieving your desired outcome. Writing your LinkedIn Profile isn’t a moment in your life when you should be hiding your light under a bushel. Your Profile needs to be a confident, self-assured (but not cocky ) image of the professional You.
Choose your keywords carefully
Because LinkedIn is your key to winning the search engine race, you need to be really thorough when selecting your keywords. It is essential that you make sure your Profile is not only well written, but that it’s absolutely stuffed with keywords for the search terms for which you’re presenting yourself or your business as a solution.
Audit your profile regularly
If you’ve been (effectively) active on LinkedIn for a while and it doesn’t seem to be doing anything to help you achieve your desired outcome, it’s time to audit your profile. If you’ve just uploaded your Profile, make a date in your diary to audit it and freshen it up at least once a month. Your profile is a continuous work in progress which should be moving and developing as you do.
Ask for help
Writing about yourself in a positive and creative way isn’t everyone’s bag. If you’re stuck for words or are finding yourself going round in circles, ask for help. Ask members of your network to guide you or of course, gimme me a shout, like all things content and communication, I can either coach you through the process or do it all for you. It really is that simple .