Did you know that you can use your LinkedIn account for Social Business Success?

Get Started with the Essentials

I’m certain that we all know that LinkedIn accounts should be at it’s best since that’s where employers look during their hiring and interviewing process; your LinkedIn profile is basically where businesses and employers get their first impression of you. If your profile is not interesting or qualified for them then they will overlook you, so be certain that you are putting out the very best image of yourself. Make sure that you are connected with quality persons or businesses of your interest because it is important to have quality connections rather than having a number of connections with insignificant businesses or persons. Updating your status, liking and sharing information will influence the increase to your likeability; you will inherit a character of being knowledgeable within your setting. Being visible, connecting and knowledgeable (likability) are all important for users of LinkedIn within an organization. However, leaders and aspiring leaders go beyond being visible, connecting and likable as they develop their credibility and increase their trust. They increase their trust by positioning them self as a leader which result in other people seeing them as a role model and an admired leader. Essentially, your profile needs to stand out from everybody else’s on LinkedIn as being professional and or business focused.

Let’s now focus on how you can increase the likelihood of being found on LinkedIn using the name the user thinks your name is spelled. It is advisable that somewhere on your profile you are including different names of what people might assume is your name so that you will still appear once they hit enter to search for you. Next to your actual LinkedIn name, you can add an abbreviation to your name or a professional nickname of yours; for example, My name is Ashley so I could abbreviate it to Ashley (Ash) Palmer. Also, if you have more than one last name and use a preferred last name, ensure that you are including the preferred last name that people might know or remember so that your profile is easily searched for.

Having a profile picture is very important for your LinkedIn first impression factor. According to Verdonck, it was proven that more than 90% of users on LinkedIn do not visit profiles without a profile picture (2017, January 30). However, if you do have a profile picture that is not pleasing to the eye then you need to change it to something more professional looking. Having a professional picture means that there should be no drink, holiday themes, kids or animals included in your profile picture. Moreover, if there is someone else’s body part included in the photo and it cannot be cropped properly, then it is advised to use another photo. Make sure the photo is a headshot and that you look comfortable with a welcoming smile. The background of your profile needs to be neutral and make sure you are using an up-to-date photo of yourself because we all know our features tend to change in different circumstances. Not only do you need to focus on your profile picture, but you need to also focus on the background picture as this will support your personal brand and also your business. If you work for a company it would be nice to add their brand as your background, keep in mind that a simple logo or strapline is enough. How to change your background picture:

Source: Jason Sanders The LinkedIn Coach

How to upload a profile picture to your LinkedIn account:

Source: GCFLearnFree.org

It is also important to customize your headline with personal unique characteristics about yourself as it helps you to stand out and it essentially adds “spice” to your headline. Having a unique fun professional headline is also a great way for connection on LinkedIn as you may have something in common with a user and immediately there could be a conversation. Basically, in your headline, you should mention or explain what you do, what you can do for others, what kind of free service you can offer them and have some sort of conversation starter for the ease and comfort of actually starting a conversation. On LinkedIn they only allow users to have a maximum of 120 characters in the headline field; use the vertical bars on the keyboard or a full stop after each description as it makes it easier to read.

How to edit your location on LinkedIn:

Source: LinkedIn

Nevertheless, be careful of which postal code you decide to you whether your work location or home location. I say this because what if you have your home address, businesses or professionals will not be able to find you within close proximity to your work address. this could cost you a great opportunity since they couldn’t find you. It all narrows down to why you want to be on LinkedIn because maybe you might be looking for a job and have your work address as your postal code; this will provide you with work opportunities near your current job. Additionally, when choosing what industry you are associated with can be very complicated as there is only one option allowed. You could have a title in your business that could work for different industries and choosing one over the other could also cause you to be overlooked by an employer or business. The best way to resolve this is to discuss it with your marketing team.

Your Contact Information

Source: Tim Cook

Make sure that whatever email you decide to use, ensure that it is professional since LinkedIn is all about professionalism. Also, ensure that you are including your professional Instant Messenger accounts. All the accounts you decide to include on your LinkedIn profile should all have a professional nature. The phone number you decide to add to your profile needs to be your actual phone number- no need to worry as only your connections can see your number.

Your Summary

The summary of your profile is very important and a number of people tend to ignore it or put much effort here. To increase readability to your summary, there are different ways to do so. Corporate branding is the simplest way to encourage readability to your summary. The main purpose is to inform your connections or users about what your business does. According to Verdonck, even if you’re a top brand, I advise you to start with a piece of corporate branding. Also, consider some of your sub-brands that might offer a broader view of your organization.This level of detail lets your visitors know they have landed on the right profile.When you’re working for a larger corporation or multi-national, you might need two paragraphs, one about the organization in general and one specifically for your department (2017, January 30). Then once users have read about your organization they would then want to know about your professional position. This is known as professional branding. This is where you then give details about what you do but ensure that you are not being too detailed. Also, in the summary, you should need to inform your readers what you do not do and what you are not interested in. To make your summary a bit more interesting you should add a bit of personality to it and you will notice that more users will try to converse with you. Having quality media incorporated in your summary is a good way to make your profile more interesting. How to add a video in your summary on LinkedIn:

Source: Jennifer Trask 

Your Experience

In the experience field, LinkedIn is not asking you for a resume, but to display how effective your past results were. Inform readers within one or two paragraphs about your business or organization and your department. Include your professional branding as well by telling them what you do within your department or business; in the experience section, this is more detailed than the summary section. Your experience should answer why people should contact you, when to contact you and who to contact if you are not the right person. Tangible results are necessary for the experience section since readers will know how proud you are of your achievements.

When including your past experience you need to mention what exactly you did there, roles and responsibilities, achievements and why you loved that job. It should highlight what you learned from that job, your biggest achievements there, actual numbers and results- get clearance from your jobs to talk about more detailed information. Adding a call to action such as directing users to different websites is very important in this section. Users will be more interested in having meaningful conversations with you because of this call to action.

How to add presentations to your LinkedIn profile:

Source: IngenuityMarketing

Adding a presentation to your LinkedIn profile is just one way to get your profile standing out from the others since most people don’t tend to read everything and are attracted to rich content more than text. Other contents can be used such as an infographic, a visual map and pictures to enhance your profile. You can also use Embed.ly  to see the list of content providers you can use on your LinkedIn profile. However, not all providers might work.

Create Your Own Brand

If you have previous awards, then it is important to mention it in the experience section. These are actual proofs of your accomplishments and this makes users more thrilled to learn more about you. Remember, only list the ones that are relevant to your field of mastery. Adding certifications is important because this proves that you meet industry standards and this also might cause you to be outstanding in comparison to other candidates. Include the certification authority and your license number if necessary or your certification URL if you have one.

How to publish an article on LinkedIn:

Source: Melanie Denny

Publishing important information on your LinkedIn is also a good way to stand out from the rest. Users can also follow you to be alerted whenever you post an article. You can also see how many views, comments and likes your content is attracting. Spend a bit more time than usual n the title of your article to catch as many users as possible; use specifics, numbers, examples and verifiable statistics. Try to remain within 300-500 word range when posting an article to gain the highest readership. Please note, Thursdays and Sundays are the best days to post while Mondays and Fridays are the worst days to post. Being consistent with your publishing is also important whether daily or weekly. It is also advisable to post on your different social networks about whenever you have published on LinkedIn.

Networking plays an important role in LinkedIn in the sense that people can ask a question on LinkedIn and you have the opportunity to respond with an answer. Your answer could be of much benefit to their concerns and then they will have the ability to share your response as they see it as sincere which generates networking. Offer helpful suggestions to your target audience because it attracts more interested people to your profile. Also, sharing your advice in a rich media form such as a PowerPoint presentation or picture is a great way to encourage traffic on your profile. Moreover, make sure that you include your different contact information so that people will know when and where to contact you.

Skills and Recommendations

It is always important and necessary for you to add your skills on your LinkedIn profile. You don’t need to record all the skills you have obtained such as different languages you speak or the different sports you play. This also establishes the first impression of you so need to be careful as to what kind of skills you are going to post. Saying that you are good at active listening is a good skill that users may be attracted to. LinkedIn auto-completes the skills you want to add but you can also put any other skill you would like to add:

Source: LinkedIn

Not only are skills important, but you need to have recommendations on your profile as well. Try to avoid being vague with your recommendation, instead give tangible results such as 90 percent approved by customers and specify your relationship, and provide examples to the individuals’ skills that impress you. You do not need more than 10 recommendations because realistically few people go through all of them, they probably just go through the first five to confirm that they are on the right profile. It is not endorsed that you ask for recommendations, but if someone wants to, then that is always okay. However, if you want to ask for them then you should ask them if they want an input from you. Inform them that you will send a formal invitation for a recommendation through LinkedIn.

Source: 358 Studios

Remember to add the type of relationship you had with the individual’s position at the time. You will have to wait for he/she to respond with a recommendation and if there’s no response just send them a little reminder in case they have forgotten. Before you publish it on your profile make sure to read it over and that everything that was said you are satisfied with it. However, if you are not happy with what was said then you could give them a call and they might adjust it for you. Recommendations increase the trust users will have with you, but only if they are genuine with tangible results.

Your Education

Source: Prep Agent

You need to inform users what school you attended and so that you will appear in the search results and past students or present can find you. If you didn’t finish your degree or diploma then it is best to leave out the year field, but ensure that you put what year you started it. In the description field, you should explain a motivation if you have one and why you chose the field of study or school. You can also put what you have learned and how you have improved so that young graduates can relate to it or learn something as well.

If you are involved in any kind of continuous education then it is advised that you include it on your LinkedIn profile. These are mostly certifications and you can focus on the courses in detail, however, not all courses are necessary for your profile. To do so, you need to consider what your target audience would be interested in. If you are an aspiring Tattoo Artist then you can include your Art & Design course that you have done. Be consistent with updating your profile if you have recently completed a course. How to add certifications:

Source: Ellen McDowell- Your Social Butterfly

Be mindful that LinkedIn is very cautious of what you put on your profile, so be certain that you are putting legitimate information about yourself. Moreover, by adding your continuous education experiences it will reflect to users that you are serious about learning more.

Make the Most of Your Personality

It can be something unique or interests users to want to engage in a conversation with you or connect with you. A touch of your personality can be in your professional headline, your summary and your experience. Make sure that it will attract and give priority to your target audience. You should give priority to your target audience as you know we cannot please everyone so at least try to please your target audience.

Including that you have participated in voluntary work is important as it shows that you are a rounded professional who is good at multitasking.

Source: Wealthy Appetite

LinkedIn can build a common ground between you and other users based on the volunteer program you were involved in if a user went through the same volunteering experience.

Extra Strategies to Stand Out

On my previous blog, I did talk about the importance of AdWords on different social platforms and they are as important there as they are on LinkedIn. You have to speak the language of your target audience to understand what keywords they should use to find you considering all the different spelling and phrases. Get involved with groups but make sure your profile is 100% ready and everything is updated. Groups allow you to be easily identified on people’s radar. People will be more interested in your profile if you are actively present and providing useful advises or suggestions within a group. Being in groups can generate hundreds of users to your page especially if you are providing substantial information within the group. The main purpose of joining a group is to help others and not to sell yourself first right off the bat, it is good to share your knowledge.

LinkedIn has provided the LinkedIn Influencers program to everyone, so it is recommended that you follow who inspires you. Once you have followed them then their recent publishes will appear on your homepage. Then with liking, sharing or commenting on their posts you will be seen on their radar. Also, not only by them but other users who share the same viewpoint as you will be interested in you. Ensure that you are adding your personal touch to your status updates so that you can inform users why this is important to you or what you have taken from it. Your networks will interact with you more and start talking about you to your network which will allow people to read your updates and visit your profile more often.

Go on the feature “Privacy & Settings” on LinkedIn. Your email is very important so make sure that you are adding all of your professional emails and add one of your personal emails. When you go on the Edit profile feature, ensure that all the boxes are checked as you want to display the best version of yourself.

Source: Entrepreneur

My Future

Wow, I have certainly learned a lot from this week’s blog assignment but these are all useful tips I needed moving forward in my field of study. I created a profile a while back now and I must say, my profile needs much work to be recognized when people try to search for me.  This is so very important especially for a business student to get jobs, network and get invited to different experiences to help in current and future careers. What a difference a profile photo can make! I am now focusing on getting a professional headshot done for my LinkedIn profile as I now understand why my profile picture now is not up to standards. I am not really witty with coming up with funny phrases to describe myself like “Chocoholic”, but I will have to brainstorm and think of a professional phrase or word that adds my personality to my profile. I underestimated the power of LinkedIn, however, it is not too late to improve since I am not quite done with my studies. Also, I am looking forward to making changes to my LinkedIn profile so that I will not be overlooked by future employers or my target audience.

 

Reference

Verdonck, B. (2017, January 30). LinkedIn Profiles for Social Business Success.              Retrieved from https://www.lynda.com/LinkedIn-tutorials/LinkedIn-Profiles-Social-            Business-Success/512777-2.html

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