10 Helpful LinkedIn Tips
By: Emily Risch
As marketers, we invest a lot of time and resource in building brands, but how do we apply those skills to building our own personal brands? It’s difficult to find time to invest in marketing ourselves, but neglecting personal branding means missing a big marketing opportunity. LinkedIn is the foundation for your personal branding and is more of a personal marketing platform than ever before. Here are 10 tips that you can do to make the most of that potential. Some of them are quick and easy, some of them may take a little bit of time, but all of them are worthwhile.
1. Have a professional profile photo
Your profile picture is one of the first things a recruiter will see on your LinkedIn, so it’s important to utilize it to make a good first impression. A professional headshot is generally favored, but if you don’t have one, make sure the picture you choose meets some of these requirements:
- The photo should be recent
- The photo should look like you
- Your face should take up around 60% of the frame
- You should be wearing what you would wear to work
- Smile with your eyes!
2. Utilize the headline space
The headline field is a great place to include more detail about your current job title and role. Say more about how you see your role, why you do what you do, and what drives you. A great place to look for inspiration is the profiles of sales reps who know about social selling. People who know how to sell themselves will most likely have more than just a job title in their headlines.
3. Grow your network
An easy and relevant way to grow your LinkedIn network is to synch your profile with your email address book, which enables LinkedIn to suggest people you could connect with. You never know how extensive your network truly is until you think about how many people you know, whether they be in your field or connected to someone in your field. Additionally, make a habit of collecting business cards whenever you come into contact with a business professional. Following up a meeting or conversation with a LinkedIn request is a great way of keeping your network up to date.
4. List all relevant skills
A great way to make your profile as detailed and relevant as possible is to scroll through the given list of skills and identify those that are relevant to you. By doing this, you’ll substantiate the descriptions in your headline and summary and therefore provide a platform for others to endorse you. However, the most important thing to keep in mind is that quality matters more than quantity. A long list of skills that don’t truly align with who you are and what you do can come across as ingenuine. Take time every now and then to peruse your skills list to ensure relevancy.
5. Take advantage of endorsements
Endorsements from other LinkedIn users legitimize your skills and increase your credibility. The best way to get endorsements is to give them before expecting to receive them. Go through your network and endorse connections who you feel genuinely deserve endorsing, which will often encourage them to return the favor. Don’t be afraid to reach out with a polite message asking for endorsement for an especially important skill as well. Once you start to get more endorsements, you might find that they emphasize parts of your profile that aren’t the most relevant or important. It’s great to have endorsements for multiple skills, but you want to be sure that the skills you want to highlight the most have the most endorsements. You can choose which to show and which to hide using the edit features in the Skills section of your profile.
6. Tell your story in your summary
Your LinkedIn summary is one of the most important sections on your profile, so make sure you have one! Think of it as a written elevator pitch – it’s a place to describe your various skills and why they matter in your given field. Your summary is your chance to tell your own story; don’t just use it to list your skills or job titles you’ve had. Invest some time, try a few drafts, and run your summary past people you know. This is your most personal piece of content marketing and it’s worth the effort.
7. Share relevant content in your feed
Having connections on LinkedIn is great, but it’s even better to have an active role in your network and appear in your connections’ feeds in a way that adds value for them. Sharing relevant content with your network is one of the easiest and most accessible ways of doing this. Start by keeping a close eye on your LinkedIn feed and reposting content that you find genuinely interesting and that aligns with your values and opinions.
8. Add comments
Sharing is great as a starting point, but when you add comments to your shares, you put yourself in a position to stand out and express why you think a particular piece of content matters. Well-expressed comments also enable you to share a broader range of content. Even if you disagree with the point of view of the content, a comment that can eloquently express that establishes your opinion and thought-leadership. It’s also more likely to draw additional comments, which then raises your profile across LinkedIn. Keep this mind when you’re writing your comment and make sure you’re saying something you want people to associate with you.
9. Follow relevant industry influencers
Following relevant influencers on LinkedIn helps to put a range of interesting content in your feed, which you can then share with others when you think it adds value. It also helps to give context to your LinkedIn profile, demonstrating your passion for what you do.
10. Use long-form posts to start conversations
The more you share and comment on content, the more you legitimize your expertise and credentials. Publishing long-form posts is a great way to express your thoughts and gain the attention of recruiters. Be sure to monitor the response that you get to your comments and shares and pay attention to particular subjects and viewpoints that resonate with your network. Additionally, consider comments that you and others have shared which you feel you could expand on in another post. Evolving your thought-leadership in this way keeps you connected to the issues your connections are talking about. Be ready for your long-form posts to start new conversations too. Keep an eye on the comments and be ready to respond.
Getting your LinkedIn profile to be an asset in your career doesn’t have to take up hours of your time. Once you fully take advantage of your LinkedIn profile, you’ll be amazed what a difference it can make to both you and your career.