When LinkedIn was launched back in 2003, no one (except perhaps the architects themselves) could have imagined that it would entirely change the way we network, conduct business and search for jobs. It goes without saying that LinkedIn is one of the most important digital spaces for businesses, business owners and professionals in general. And it is a great example of how building a brand around oneself can reap significant rewards.
However, to be ‘findable’ and connect with the right people, building a LinkedIn profile must be strategic. Here are 5 easy tips to start increasing your LinkedIn exposure.
Get your profile complete
If you don’t know how you’re doing with your profile, LinkedIn features a handy Profile Strength Meter on the right side of your profile. It’s a nifty little feature for prompting you to always search for ways to improve what you are doing in this space. More valuable content will immediately increase the strength. If you are still a ‘Beginner’ or ‘Intermediate’, completing your profile will optimize it and you will appear higher in the search results for other people. However, it is worth noting that the visual diagram can never be filled, indicating that ‘All-Star’ rating is the highest one.
Create first impression with a good headline
Anyone who understands the basic rules of content will tell you that a headline can be make or break. Like it or loathe it, first impressions count. When browsing the platform, people will only typically see your name, current employment and the headline of 120 characters. More than 95% of members tend to include just their job title and the company in their headline, but this is a great opportunity to make yourself stand out from the crowd.
Avoid bragging, joking or simply being boring. Instead, try to appear professional with a little bit of personality injected for good measure. Say who you are and why you are unique and credible in doing whatever you do. Finally, to achieve a higher ranking in searches, use as many relevant keywords as possible.
Your summary is not your CV
If someone is interested in finding out more about you, LinkedIn may well be one of the starting points of their research. For this reason, the summary is a space to reveal who you are and what is so exceptional about you. Make sure that your professional summary is not a dull third-person CV – instead it is more like an informal covering letter. At first, it might feel uncomfortable to brag about yourself in the first-person, but it helps to build a connection with the reader.
Stand out with a vibrant profile
LinkedIn allows you to use documents, pictures and videos to complement your summary. Not only will the readers get to know you better, you also have an opportunity to provide evidence of your professional achievements and create a rich, vibrant and interactive profile. It is a good opportunity to stand out, whether it is your presentations, reports or even videos of you speaking. And remember that different forms of content appeal to different people – so unless you only want to connect with wordsmiths, a visual element will help to engage.
How to remain noticeable
LinkedIn is not a regular CV. Even when your profile is fully completed and has the most recent updates, you must remain visible and valuable. That is why your status updates must be posted during business hours as well as targeted to the people you are trying to reach. Alongside that, let people know what events or seminars you are attending, direct them to the most relevant and pertinent articles on the web, or even share your own.
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