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Five Ways to Make Your LinkedIn Profile Snap, Crackle, and Pop!

Dull and boring just isn’t going to cut it in today’s oversaturated Internet world. Same old, same old isn’t going to get you that new job or attract the right clients to your business. You absolutely must stand out from the crowd. And you have to do this in a way that appeals to your market! In this article, I’d like to turn you on to a few things you can do to your profile to stand out from the crowd and make people take notice of you! Ready?

Headline

Let’s start with your headline. DO NOT just put your job title or your main skill. “IT Professional.” “Freelance Writer.” Both of these are generic and don’t do any selling! Think about how you could restructure those to appeal to your market, whether that’s potential employers or clients. What problem do you solve or what result do you give? That’s what employers and clients are going to really hire you for.

Photo

This one’s a little tricky. You want to have a good, maybe even a professional photo, and you want it to stand out a little. For the photo, I’d go towards making sure you look friendly and likable. That is, as long as you’re in a job where being friendly and likable is a good thing. If you’re an international security expert, then you might want to tone down on the smile. 😉 Just make sure it represents you as a professional and is appropriate to your field.

Profile Summary

Here’s where most folks just fall flat on their face! You get 2,000 characters to work with for your profile summary. Two thousand. Use them! And, don’t be generic. Write in the first person. That’s much more approachable than writing in the third person. Make sure you include a little (but not too much) personal history. Idea: How did you get where you are? Here’s where you can really distinguish yourself from the rest of the field!

Recommendations

Yes, you want them! You don’t have to have a ton. Three or four great ones will do. But these especially serve to position you as an expert in your field. Most serious visitors to your profile (the ones thinking about possibly hiring you for something) will check out your recommendations and really read them! So don’t be afraid to ask past clients and colleagues if they’d leave you one. It may take a couple gentle reminders (I’m still waiting for a few who said they’d be happy to leave one, but never have the time :), but having them can really be a boost to your profile.

And lastly,

Skills

Your list of skills and your endorsements help define more about who you are and what you do. Just like with recommendations, you can bet that anyone serious takes a long look at them.

It may take you a little time to refine, add, or update these things, but if you really want your profile working for you, then don’t skip these important points.

 

Why You Must Keep Your LinkedIn Profile Current

Someone once asked a business colleague of mine who’s been working on LinkedIn for a very long time if it was okay to update their profile. In their case, they were talking about their profile summary. My colleague thought it was an odd question to be asked. After all, wouldn’t you want to update your CV or your resume? Upon further investigation though, they realized the person was asking a valid question. Basically, they were wondering if their older connections would react negatively to an updated profile. Here’s what my colleague told them that I think will help anyone asking the same question.

“It all depends! But what choice do you have? If your profile needs updating, then that really means that you’ve either moved on, or you’ve changed focus in your professional life. You’ve done something like get a new job, or you’re planning on changing careers. Something like that. If you want LinkedIn to work for you in this new endeavor, then you really need to update your headline, your profile summary, and quite possibly other parts of your profile.”

Indeed, over the past few years, as my business focus has changed, I’ve updated my own profiles significantly about 3 times. We no longer live in the world of people working at the same job for thirty years and getting the gold watch at the end. We live in a much more fluid world when it comes to career, employment, and skills.

Looking at it from a skills point of view, it used to be that you had to have a college degree specializing you in some discipline or other before you could get a job doing whatever that was. Nowadays, you can take an online course and within three months or so, completely change careers! You won’t necessarily need to start on the ground floor either!

With the flux that defines our business and professional lives, why wouldn’t you change your profile as you change? One: Will people really get bent out of shape over that? and Two: Would the opinion of someone who did really matter?

Get in there and show people you’re growing and learning. And enjoy all the new connections you’ll make as a result.

 

More Cool LinkedIn Hacks You Must Be Doing!

LinkedIn just gets better and better and better! I’ll be honest. When Microsoft bought LinkedIn, I felt a little, how shall we say it…trepidation about what they might do to the platform. Honestly, I’ve not liked all of Microsoft’s changes. Especially the part about moving so many of the free features into the paid-only part. That said, I like free, but I also understand business. So, I get it that I should be paying for these capabilities. There are, however, quite a few things you can now do with LinkedIn that I completely adore. Let’s go over a few of what those are today. Hopefully, you’ll get as excited as I am and start utilizing more of LinkedIn’s cool features!

One of my favorite “hacks” for marketing on LinkedIn involves SlideShare. In case you don’t know, SlideShare is a platform where you can post your PowerPoint, Keynote and other slide presentations. It was bought by LinkedIn a while back, so it makes sense that the two easily complement each other! Many businesses make a lot of slide presentations for things like webinars or speaking engagements. And now they can get a lot more mileage out of those slides by making them available on SlideShare. Also, when you post a new slide presentation on SlideShare you can always share it on LinkedIn. Something I’ve done for clients and the results are amazing! A lot more views and a lot more interaction. Talk about branding, right?

My other favorite “hack” involves YouTube. This goes hand-in-hand with the PowerPoints you create. PowerPoints are many times created for making into videos. This gives you a lot more content to spread around. (#ContentRepurposing)

One great place to share your videos is on YouTube. You can then share the video straight to your LinkedIn feed, or you can post it to select groups that you belong to. This is a powerful way to get the right eyeballs on you and your profile!

Have another hack for re-purposing content or for getting a positive response from your LinkedIn audience through one of LinkedIn’s features? I’d love to hear what you’re doing! Just leave me a comment below.  🙂

 

Your Three-Step LinkedIn Hack

If you need a way to sell virtually anything, LinkedIn is the place to be! Doesn’t matter if you’re selling coaching, books, gold, or airplanes, with LinkedIn’s half a billion users, you’re going to find more leads and more prospects than you can get to in a lifetime. Well, I should qualify that last statement. If you know how to use and build relationships on LinkedIn you can do this. If you don’t know how, then quite frankly, LinkedIn will remain a mystery to you and honestly, probably will be just a waste of time. So, with that all in mind, let me show you my 3-step hack that I use to find more business right on LinkedIn than I can deal with. Ready to get started?

 

LinkedIn is built on connections and relationships. The first thing you need to do is you need to connect with a lot of people. At first, don’t worry if they’re in your target market. Your first goal is to build up your connections to at least 1,000 or so. No, don’t connect to everyone all in one day. That will look (and just is) unnatural and, among other things, will put your account at risk. Try to connect to around 50 new people every day until you get your connections up to about 2,000, then your account will build on its own.

 

Next, you’ll want to start reaching out to these connections. A great way to do this is to message people when they accept your connection request. You’ll want to say something personal and welcoming. You do NOT want to spam people with a big long paragraph about how cool you are or how awesome your product is. Just reach out pleasantly! If someone ignores you, just keep trying every now and then to see if they’re ready to engage with you. Remember, not everyone checks their LinkedIn account daily. So if you’re being ignored, it’s more likely that the person just hasn’t seen your message yet.

 

Finally, after you’ve messaged with someone back and forth for a while, that’s when you can invite them to talk with you in more detail about your offering. This shouldn’t be a full-blown sales presentation, but more of a 15-minute get to know you session. Unlike many gurus will tell you, LinkedIn isn’t a get-rich-quick platform. It’s the online version of a B2B networking meeting. So network! Connect. Say hi. Talk. Get to know them. And if once you’ve done that they’re interested in how you can help them or their business, then open up that discussion.

 

These steps are intuitive, but I’m always surprised by how many business people are actually doing them. Do these three steps consistently, and you’ll soon have more business than you know what to do with!