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LinkedIn

LinkedIn is Your New Business Card: 5 Tips for Creating an Effective Profile

Professional Mise En Place

At this point, most businesses have realized that a social media presence is absolutely necessary in the new world of digital marketing. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest—these have all become popular avenues for communicating with potential customers, as well as your loyal following. Even so, LinkedIn, one of the most powerful networking tools in social media, is often over looked as a business marketing tool. Sure people realize their can further their personal brand, look for a job, maybe make a few connections, but as a whole the LinkedIn world is often underutilized, and for many businesses this could be a costly oversight.

So I know, you might be thinking “I want to promote my business, not myself, so LinkedIn isn’t right for me.” However, in the age of digital media, your personal brand is almost as important as your business brand, and in some cases they can become synonymous with each other. Meaning your LinkedIn profile may have more power than you originally thought. LinkedIn is more than just social media, it is a resume, a business card, a personal branding tool, that is easy to use and right at your fingertips.

Steps to LinkedIn Success

Even if you already have a LinkedIn Account, you might not be using it to its full capability. If you’re starting from scratch or making a new profile, these steps will propel your profile to the top of the pile.

1. Finish Your Profile

The drudgery of these social media set up routine can be a daunting, especially when you are asked specific questions about your job history, volunteer experience, and so on. However, a fully completed profile is essential to LinkedIn success. According to LinkedIn, those with completed profiles are 40% more likely to receive business, as those whose profiles are incomplete. To have a completed, “all-star” LinkedIn profile you will need to have the following:

  • Your current position, don’t forget the description
  • The industry you work in and your current location
  • Educational history
  • At least two of your past positions
  • At least three skills
  • At least 50 connections

2. Take a Great Headshot

The importance of a professional headshot is increasing as the opportunities for creating personal brands becomes more prevalent. Now, not everyone likes to have their picture taken, but in the digital age allowing people to put a face with your name instills trust in you and the business you are running. So buck up and get in front of the camera.

A few tips for a great headshot:

  • Use a Bright Background – When you are a small thumbnail on a screen full of other faces, brighter backgrounds stand out.
  • Integrate Industry Specific Elements – If you can, also consider using some key identifier in your image. For instance, if you are in construction, an image of you wearing a hardhat tells potential connections your industry in the blink of an eye. Use your best judgment on whether or not this tip would apply well to your industry.
  • Use the Same Headshot Across All Social Media Platforms – Using the same, identifiable image makes it easy for your potential connections to recognize you, meaning your face and name will become much easier for them to remember and trust.

3. Beef Up Your Headline

Your headline may be the only thing anyone reads on your profile other than you name. So it’s in your best interest to make it good.

  • Use Key Words – Consider key words that might lead potential connections to you. If you are in cosmetology, you might include Hairdresser, Stylist, and Make-up Artist all in your headline.
  • Be Local – According to Social Media Today, if you include your city in your headline your profile will stand out up to 23 times more than someone who doesn’t specify their location. If applicable, add your region or city to encourage those local connections and hopefully gain more exposure and business in your area.

4. Set a Great Background Photo

The background photo gives you a lot of space to incorporate your brand and industry. Don’t be afraid to use logos or taglines in this images, however even just images related to your industry can be a huge benefit. If your business is highly reliant on local business, consider using a local picture or identifier so that your potential connections know they have found someone in an area that is related to them. The background image for LinkedIn should be 1400 x 425 pixels and in JPG, PNG, or GIF format.

5. Communicate with Your Connections

  • Send Personal Messages – Often people get so tied up in trying to get more connections on LinkedIn, they lose that personal touch. When you make a new connection, always send a personal message. This encourages deeper engagement, even if you don’t know the person terribly well, or it has been years since you have worked with them, this personal touch reminds them of why they wanted to connect with you in the first place.
  • Endorse Skills – If you can, endorse the skills of the people you connect with. This usually spur them to do the same for you.
  • Congratulate Your Colleagues – LinkedIn is great about informing you when one of your connections starts a new job, has a work anniversary, etc. Click one button and you can like or send a message to your connections to acknowledge their professional milestones. Take the opportunity to congratulate them by adding your own personal touch to these messages, your connections will notice.
  • Join Groups and Engage – Joining groups is a great way to get new connections in your area or your industry. Start conversations, comment on others, and get yourself a more notable online presence.

It wasn’t that long ago, that networking for your business meant you had a drawer full of business cards and a Rolodex full of contacts, but in the digital age networking looks a little different. LinkedIn can replace that drawer full of business cards and if you harness its power it can make far more impact than your business card ever could.

Quick Tips for a Complete LinkedIn Profile

linkedin

LinkedIn is the place to share your professional story. For a lot of people, it can be the place where you make your first impression. There’s certain information your profile must have in order to make a professional online presence. But that’s exactly what LinkedIn is and what it is here for. LinkedIn is meant to connect you to other business professionals in your industry. It has a lot to offer, but unless you’re taking full advantage of your profile, you may not be receiving the full benefits. Users who complete their profile are 40x more likely to receive opportunities through LinkedIn. It’s important to have a complete profile. And it’s never been easier. In seven easy steps you can be on your way to getting more profile views and more connections.

Your industry and location
Help other professionals in your area find you by putting your location on your profile with your field of work. Adding an industry can get your profile 15x more views, and attracting business professionals is exactly what you want to do.

Your current position
Current is the key word. Give a description of your current job position and make it catchy. This is the place to sell yourself and show other users what you can do. By sharing high-quality information, you’ll receive connections from other professionals in the same in line of work.

Two past positions
Having your two most recent jobs can generate 12x more traffic, so add to your skill set by posting two past positions. Showing off skills you acquired in past jobs can further your chances of making a connection. This will also allow you to make connections with people from your past.

Your education
You worked hard for you education – show it off! Profiles that list their education get 10x more profile views, so don’t think it will go unnoticed.

Your skills
Have a minimum of three skills to showcase your talent. This is where you set yourself apart from the competition. You’ve attracted business professionals by stating your industry and your current position, but now you need to seal the deal. How are you different from other candidates? Why do they need you? What can you do for him or her that nobody else can?

Your profile picture
Adding a profile picture makes your profile 14x more likely to be viewed by other users. As important as it is to have a profile picture, it’s equally important to use a professional picture. You want to relay the message that you a hard working individual, not that you like to snowboard on the weekends.

Have 50 connections
The last step is to have at least 50 connections. It sounds like a lot, but it’s not hard to achieve. Connect with coworkers, friends and classmates as a starting point. Once you start finding professionals on LinkedIn your connections will grow within your field.

LinkedIn Becomes More Social With Photos and Videos

Floating JellyFish

With the new wave of changes that are coming to most social media sites, LinkedIn has officially announced that they too will join this latest trend. LinkedIn will now allow members to showcase their talents in a completely new and improved way. Starting now, you can add visual content, ranging from photos, videos, and presentations to your LinkedIn Profiles. This will be a great advantage for a company, job seeker, or business owner. Sharing visuals from your company on your LinkedIn Profile can be just as powerful as if uploaded to your Company Page.

“For the first time, you will now have the ability to showcase your unique professional story using rich, visual content on your LinkedIn profile. This means you can illustrate your greatest achievements in the form of stunning images, compelling videos, innovative presentations and more,” stated LinkedIn on its company blog. “From the analyst who makes annual predictions on tech trends to the 3D animator who is looking to fund a new short film, the opportunities are limitless…”

Additionally, it’s a great way to set your profile apart from others. Until now, every LinkedIn Profile looked almost the exact same besides the head shots and company logos. Now community managers can customize their profiles with photos of past events and presentations you’ve shared at conferences. This will definitely come in handy for job seekers. Photos Collage

To begin adding visual content to your profile, select “edit” on your profile and then follow the prompts in the “Summary,” “Experience,” and “Education” sections. Other people can “like” or comment what you’ve posted, so if you are going to post pictures or videos it is best to make sure that those looking are interested in what you are putting on your page.