Leverage Your LinkedIn

Even though LinkedIn is one of the first social networks, starting way back in 2003, it seems in many cases to be the forgotten one.

LinkedIn doesn’t have star power like Twitter nor do its users post about what they ate for dinner but it might just be one of the most powerful ways to market yourself and your business.

LinkedIn holds the title of the being the largest professional social network online boasting 80 million users. The users on LinkedIn are not just any user, their profile affluent, ambitious, and influential professionals. These professionals average household income over six figures and over 50% represent some level of senior management.

Just being on LinkedIn is not enough. You need a powerful, professional and LinkedIn presence that stands out from the crowd.

Here are five ways to beef up your LinkedIn profile.

1. Have a complete personal profile

Not having a complete LinkedIn profile is like handing in a half complete resume.

First and foremost have a picture. Make a great first impression by uploading a professional image. Notice I used the word professional, remember LinkedIn is a business networking site.

Take the time to get creative with your headline. LinkedIn gives you 120 characters at the top of your profile. This is a forum to describe what you do and who you are instead of putting a boring job title that often means nothing to most people.

Give your job history and include at least the last two past positions. Make sure to use descriptive keywords and describe your role for each position.

Don’t dread the Summary section; embrace it. Here is your chance to really describe who you are and how you help people. Writing this section in the third person is often helpful. It will help you avoid the dreaded I at the beginning of every sentence.

Utilize the Specialties section to get found. Use customer-focused keywords, as these are the terms that will help you show up in search results within LinkedIn. Think of what words or phrases people would use in an internet search.

The Interests and Groups and Associations sections of your profile will help you connect with other users who share the same interests.

Once your profile is complete the indicator on the Edit Profile tab will say 100% complete.

2. Get a custom LinkedIn URL

Just like other social networks LinkedIn allows you to claim a personalized URL. For example is my LinkedIn URL is http://www.linkedin.com/in/jillcourville. Customizing your URL will optimize your LinkedIn profile to show up in search engine results. You can find this option is the Edit Profile tab, click Edit in the Public Profile section.

3. Add connections

First connect with the people you are already connected to. Upload your contacts from Outlook, or web mail like Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo, and other popular email address books. To do this go the Contacts tab and choose Add Connections tab then click Import Contacts.

Connect with current and past colleagues on LinkedIn. Again go to the Add Connections tab and choose Colleagues. Here, you will see all the companies that you have listed on your profile, you can find people who work for or have worked for those companies.

Use the “advanced search” option to search for people. If you find someone with whom you’d like to connect, see if you share any mutual connections. Ask that connection if he or she can make an introduction to the new person.

4. Add applications

Showcase your work and stand out from the crowd using LinkedIn Applications. To search applications go under the More tab and choose applications.

Some of my favorite applications include WordPress. If you have a WordPress blog this application will allow you to showcase your blog on your profile. Another great application is Google presentations. Upload any type of presentation, video, power point, document making it available to your LinkedIn connections. Take advantage of the Polls application. Using Polls you can ask questions and gauge your connections. Think about using this for getting ideas and asking opinions for your industry. This is a great way to engage with your connections.

5. Create a company page

A little known feature is the ability to create a Company Page on LinkedIn. A Company Pages allows users to research companies, follow companies to stay updated, see what kind of people work there, search for jobs and even review your products and services.
To add a Company Page, go to the Companies tab and choose Add a Company.

If you would like LinkedIn help for you or your company please contact us.


About Jill Courville

Social Media Consultant, Strategist & Manager, Speaker, Course Developer, Trainer , Avid Skier and Mom

Posted on April 7, 2011, in LinkedIn, SEO and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

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