With over 740 million members in 2020, LinkedIn has the potential to amp up your Digital PR efforts by building your company or personal brand, establishing you as a thought leader and helping you nurture a great professional network. Well, you can also connect with your future boss or check out where your batchmates are now working, and even if that’s all you’re doing, you need an all-star LinkedIn profile.
We’ve seen our fair share of profiles that aren’t making the most of 2020’s most trusted network and we thought it was time to do our bit to set that right. We’ve listed all the things you need to do to get your LinkedIn profile to All-Star status! Let’s start with the basics.
This might come as a shock, but a surprising number of people on LinkedIn don’t have a profile picture or choose an unsuitable one.
If you don’t have a profile photo, LinkedIn search isn’t able to work hard for you as your profile is incomplete. Add that profile photo and take a step closer to All-Star status. Here are some handy tips to keep in mind when selecting a photo for your LinkedIn profile.
Talking about unsuitable profile photos on LinkedIn, remember the trend when everyone (celebrities included) was sharing their LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and Tinder profiles photos in one post? So if your LinkedIn profile photo is the same as your Facebook, Instagram, or even Tinder photo, then you’ve got it wrong. Unless you’re Karan Johar of course.
But jokes aside, a first impression is pretty powerful. And your profile picture should be making the right impression. Choose one where you’re looking straight into the camera and are at least slightly smiling. Basically, that picture should let the extended network know what you look like if they were to bump into you during the work week.
Your face should take up 60% of the frame when selecting/taking a profile photo. Once you’ve got that right, use the background photo to share the rest of your story. Choose something that showcases your interests and passions. Show what matters to you or use it to highlight what you’ve worked on recently. Both ways make your profile memorable with a good background photo.
Finding someone on LinkedIn should be simple and easy. Make it easy for others to find you by simply stating your first and last name. Many use the search bar within LinkedIn to look up people and businesses. If you’ve noticed people having trouble saying your name, use the LinkedIn Audio Recording Feature in the app to add a name pronunciation. Some people prefer a shorter version of their name, maybe you’d go with that, but adding a first and last name, even if it’s shorter, makes it easier for people to send through that first note.
Your name is displayed when you publish LinkedIn Pulse articles and having your full name there makes it easy for people to look you up and start a conversation.
It’s important to note, that if your name and what people generally call you are two different things, then it is important that you go with what people know you as.
There’s nothing wrong with stating your current designation as the headline to your profile. But think about it, every company’s different organizational structure is different and a manager in Company A could mean vice-president of Company B or vice-versa. When you’re trying to establish your personal brand and garner some well-earned digital PR, use that headline to find like-minded people and people new to the industry who are looking for mentors and direction. How do you bring value to what you do? What makes you an SME in your line of work? Make the head work for your brand.
The headline should act as a segue into your summary. Bring your career journey to life, make it conversational, draw the reader in, give them a glimpse of the highs and maybe even some lows. Avoid just making it sound like a drab narration of your past roles.
I know it’s obvious, but as I said before, we’ve seen our fair share of LinkedIn profiles without these basics. Not listing your location and industry not only leaves your profile incomplete but also leaves prospective followers, employers, recruiters wondering where you are based and what your specific field of work is. It’s difficult to trust someone’s credibility when these essential details are missing.
As a marketing manager or guru, listing your industry and location encourages peers and students of the industry to recognize you and reach out appropriately. It helps set the tone of the conversations you will have on LinkedIn. Don’t forget, adding your location helps you show up in geo-searches as well.
Walk closer to All-Star status by listing your past experiences, or at least the last two positions you held. Make sure you keep it relevant — add the correct job title, role description and name of company. This online hygiene makes sure you are found easily by other LinkedIn users.
You need to handle this section with care. LinkedIn lets you add up to 50 skills and your friends and peers can rate you on this, but don’t go crazy. For All-Star status, you need to list a minimum of 5 skills. Avoid mentioning your random skills because seriously LinkedIn is not the space to be speaking out of context.
Keep it basic and list the degrees, diplomas or certificates you have gathered. Based on where you are in your professional journey, you might want to add the dates when you completed these degrees. No one is going to judge you if you choose to leave these out.
Adding in all your educational progress shows people a) how qualified you are (after all, LinkedIn is a professional networking space). b) that you are continually growing and learning.
You’re just a step away from All-Star fame — Connections. That’s right. 50 connections is all you need before LinkedIn recognizes your efforts to be an All-Star. Reach out to your colleagues, your peers, and your friends from college and school. Write a short email when you send them a connection request so that it doesn’t seem out of the blue.
A good idea would be to take a quick glance at their LinkedIn profile and maybe congratulate or enquire about some event that might’ve occurred in their career before you ask to be added to their network. LinkedIn recommends you add people who you know.
After step 9, you’ve already reached All-Star status, but to truly take your LinkedIn profile and personal brand to the next level, it’s important that you regularly use your LinkedIn account. You can do this in many ways.
Interact with posts that appear in your feed. Comment, like, or share based on your interests.
Another great way to be active on LinkedIn is to personally post on a regular basis. Write a post and share a link to an article or video, or you could publish LinkedIn Pulse articles. 92% of B2B marketers admitted that LinkedIn is an important part of their marketing mix, and Pulse gives you the opportunity to share your insights with a large audience with similar skills.
Reach out to people from your industry and make meaningful conversations. Share your knowledge, appreciate your co-workers and teammates, applaud the work done by your peers and competitors. Basically, be an overall good person and watch your network grow and learn from others on LinkedIn.
Now that you know how to reach all-star, learn how to optimize your profile. Click here.