Six Steps to Improve Your LinkedIn Profile

LinkedIn is the most popular social media platform for professionals. Taking some time to correctly populate your profile will pay dividends when potential clients and referral sources track you down online. Make sure you follow these six tips to establish a killer LinkedIn profile:

1. Include a professional headshot and background image.

If I can impress any point upon you, let it be that your LinkedIn profile photo should not appear like this:

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Here is my profile picture and background image, nothing earth-shattering and I did not have to spend $10,000 to get it put together. I hired a photographer for $500 to come in and take pictures of me and our staff which we have since re-purposed in about 20 different ways. I had the background image put together on Fiverr for $5.50.

You can’t be serious about social media marketing if you cant get this basic step accomplished.

2. Use an attention-getting headline.

The headline is the section of text next to your photo where you get the freedom to describe what it is that you do. You will see my “headline” below:

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3. Include a complete experience list.

You will want to create an audit trail of the places you worked and your education background. This will allow prospective clients and referral sources to determine whether they want to connect with you based upon your work history.

The goal with the experience list is to not only create an online version of your resume that consumers and referral sources alike can filter through, but also to provide some context of where you have worked in the past, along with a tagline or a brief description of your work at each particular company.

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4. List connections, contact info, and a custom URL.

Not only are you connecting with your colleagues and other professionals on LinkedIn, but you’re also getting access to their treasure trove of connections.

I try to limit my connections to people who I think I will be benefitted by being connected to, but I keep the definition “benefit” pretty general here. If you are: (a) geographically proximate to me or my firm or (b) somehow involved in my practice area, I’m likely going to accept the connection request.

Additionally, please put your contact information on your LinkedIn profile. Why would you want to hide? What’s the point of not having your contact information on there? I’m not saying you have to give away your personal cell phone number, but for heaven’s sake at least put an email address on the platform:

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Thirdly, a big thing so many people miss out on the opportunity to do is establish a custom URL to include their name, like this:

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5. Write a compelling summary written in narrative fashion.

The summary is a section which allows you to weave a narrative highlighting your career experiences with concrete examples of projects completed and the types of cases you worked on so that the average consumer can determine whether your services could be a fit for their appropriate needs.

Here’s my summary:

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6. Use a clear call to action.

Like with all social media platforms, using a clear call to action will increase your engagement, reach and ultimately lead you to more revenue. Make sure you leave a clear call to action for people to reach out to you:

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Recap:

When you are looking to compose your profile, these are six key parts to focus on:
1. Professional headshot and background image
2. Attention getting headline
3. Complete experience list
4. Connections, contact info, custom URL
5. Compelling summary written in narrative fashion
6. Clear call to action

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