It’s no secret that LinkedIn is ideal for advertising your professional skills to the business world; the platform was built with this very idea in mind. But many users fail to consider the extent to which their professional habits are revealed by LinkedIn – or how to use that fact to their advantage.
Nowadays so much of our lives is online that any company or organization wishing to do work with you is likely, at a bare minimum, to give your online presence a cursory check to see if their first impressions about you were accurate. More likely, though, they will see your online presence as a real and detailed window into the type of person you are, which is why it pays to ensure that your social media accounts – particularly LinkedIn – show you at your best.
With that in mind, let’s look at 6 ways you can optimize your LinkedIn profile, so that the service can help you see and be seen more effectively.
Update your profile description at least once every 6 months. When people connect with you, they’ll land directly on your profile’s main page, including your photo, professional description, CV, list of skills, work samples, and personal ambition.
These details should be kept current and sharp, and should reflect all the new skills you acquire during the course of your work and professional training. Just as with haircuts, even the best profile pages begin to look old after a little while, and could use a bit of trimming and highlights to stay fresh.
Build your audience to link up with the right people directly, and to build an impressive network to show that you take your professional connections seriously. Each time you make a new professional connection, either through your job or at social events, it’s worth adding them to your LinkedIn network. You can also search the system to connect with new people, even if you haven’t met them yet; there is no Facebook-style filter about adding only people you already know.
People on LinkedIn generally want to be found for business purposes, so if you’re looking to connect with someone based on a particular job or skillset they have, the platforms lets you do it.
Become a thought leader to actually demonstrate the knowledge and capability that your CV and profile say you have. If you’re looking to build connections or reputation in a particular area, or are looking to receive new business opportunities on a given topic, it is well worthwhile to write articles about it, or share articles that other have written, to show that you are engaged in the topic.
Commenting on other people’s shared articles can achieve a similar result, while also potentially starting a conversation with them about it. If you’re a copyright lawyer, then post information about news affecting intellectual property rights. If you’re a baker, post about baking tips and recipes.
Original on-brand content is best, meaning videos, articles and images from you and your company. If you don’t have time/budget, third party content is acceptable. The result of your efforts is that people will come to see you as an expert in your field, even if they have not yet had the pleasure of meeting or doing business with you.
Interact with others in a positive way, through comments, shares, and direct messages. You never know where your next lead is coming from, so treat LinkedIn as an active community. Be generous with your feedback, comments and praise.
Customize your feed to create a more useful LinkedIn experience, making interaction with other users simpler and more effective. By viewing any LinkedIn post on your feed and clicking on the control menu (the three dots in the upper right corner of that post), you’ll see a menu option that says ‘Improve Your Experience’. Clicking this allows you to tailor your newsfeed to highlight people, publishers and topics that you’d like to follow on the network.
You can also unfollow accounts you’d prefer not to see in your newsfeed, leaving you only with the type of content you’re truly interested in. This customized news structure allows you to quickly find and interact with posts you’re likely to find helpful. LinkedIn’s own algorithms also study your behavior over time to learn the type of content you tend to respond to, but manually shaping your feed can be a faster and more accurate way of shaping LinkedIn’s services for your specific needs and interests.
Take it offline by keeping an eye out for events posted on LinkedIn, and being open to real-world interactions with people you meet there. You’d be surprised at how many opportunities for guest posting, speaking events and referrals have all come from being active on LinkedIn. There’s a business logic to developing your personal brand on LinkedIn, and it comes with a bottom line ROI.
LinkedIn is a great way to build connections and show the world that you know what you’re talking about. By showing dedication to producing useful content for a specific audience, you’ll soon find yourself getting noticed online. You’ll also have a good reference point for new people and potential clients you meet, who show an interest in your field and would like to know more.
As a result, there’s a good chance that when you attend networking events, people will already know who you are and have a favorable opinion of you, which makes meeting them and closing new deals a whole lot easier.
Lexicon is a full-service digital marketing agency in Bangkok, Thailand. We specialize in corporate storytelling and produce all of our content in-house, including branding, copywriting, video production and graphic design. Lexicon’s social media marketing services start from just 25,000 THB per month.