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Maximizing Your LinkedIn Profile
Continuing our LinkedIn profile series — namely best practices in a strategically focused LI presence — here are tips 4 through 7 out of 15. Last time I expanded on 1) completeness, 2) a concise summary and 3) tired buzzwords to avoid. Without further ado, let’s get back to our list.
4. High Resolution Photo or Professional Gravatar
Nothing says “I don’t get social media” than having no photo. Or worse, personal candid shot where you’ve obviously cropped others out. LinkedIn is the most buttoned-up, professional social media network. Having a photo enables a real connection. It’s your first impression. Spend the money and time on a professional quality headshot. If you’re uncomfortable using a photo to represent yourself on your LinkedIn profile, then consider a Gravatar. In my opinion it’s not as professional and holds your connections at a distance, however it is an acceptable alternative.
5. Add Website, SoMe Links & Customize LinkedIn’s URL
Your LinkedIn profile has room for three website links. Besides your main website, consider adding a direct link to your blog (especially if you are a contributor). There’s also a place to add your Twitter handle, address and phone number. Remember, you want to make it easy for your potential customers to reach you.
Want to be in the top percentile of LinkedIn users? Then customize your LinkedIn profile URL. By default LinkedIn assigns you a string starting with “linkedin.com/in/…. ” usually with your name and other characters/numbers. Follow LinkedIn’s procedure to customize your public profile url. Some power users add this url to their email signature, on business cards and other marketing materials.
6. Professional Portfolio Add Samples
There’s a new feature where you can add samples of your work. First, choose Edit your LinkedIn profile. Then, under the summary section you have the option of uploading files (e.g., videos, images, documents). Check out this list for all supported formats. Take advantage of the this feature to tell stories, share presentations, or showcase samples of your work. Of course, choose wisely and get the appropriate permissions (e.g., when sharing client work).
7. SEO & Keyword Friendly
According to LinkedIn press, members did over 5.7 billion searches in 2012. Similar to other search engines (Google, Bing), LinkedIn has their own algorithm and displays results in their unique way — with your 1st degree connections first. That’s the power of social search. If your profile isn’t complete, you probably aren’t showing up.
Keywords in Headline, Company Name, Job Title and Skills tend to rank higher. Think about what search phrases are most important for people looking for what you do. Then pepper them in appropriately. Review search trends to see your effectiveness. Specifically, it will show you how many times your LinkedIn profile appeared in a LI search and how often people viewed it. The goal is to increase both numbers especially with regard to new business
One more note about LinkedIn search and SEO. Those who have a complete and optimized LinkedIn profile tend to show up in Google searches more often. Go ahead and “Google” yourself. You want to aspire to dominating the first SERP page in Google for your name. You’ll find your LinkedIn profile helps with visibility.
We’ve got 8 more LinkedIn profile tips to go…
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