We are all busy, I get it. When setting up our profiles on LinkedIn, it's easy to just do the bare minimum and forget about it. The problem is that the people you are trying to interact with will soon forget about you! It is critical that you make your profile as complete as possible and to update it on a regular basis if you want LinkedIn to be more than just a grown-ups Facebook.
Having a good profile on LinkedIn or a GREAT one can make all the difference in generating interest in what you have to offer. One of the first things I do when I see an interesting post in LinkedIn is I check the "profile page" of the person who posted it. And I'm not alone: The more your profile is being viewed the more likely one of your prospects will be doing some homework on you and your company. And this can be a very good thing provided your information is eye catching and up to date.
Some easy tips to improve your profile so you can get more useful interactions:
1. Make sure your summary is eye catching: This is the first thing people are going to read and you want to make sure it gets them wanting to know more. I would recommend checking out profile summaries from others you respect and see how they write about themselves.
2. List any volunteer-ism that you engage in: Decision makers are usually highly involved in giving something back to the community. For example, if you check out LinkedIn’s CEO, Jeff Weiner, you will see that he supports the “Boys & Girls Clubs of the Peninsula” and “Malaria No More”. If you had the chance to talk with Jeff, do you think knowing about the causes he cares about will help you to break the ice?
3. Any honors or awards? List them! You’ve worked hard to get recognition in the industry and potential customers would like to know where you excel. Your customers will research you on LinkedIn and listing your accomplishments and awards will go a long way towards earning their trust and confidence — long before you ever speak to them in person!
4. Publications: Have you written a blog post or an article? Reference it! 2014 has become the year of “content marketing”. People are interested in your opinions and expertise and referencing some published materials will help bolster your online and professional image. The pen truly is mightier than the sword when trying to grow your influence on LinkedIn.
5. Get endorsed for your skills: This one is really important as people will be looking to them to understand how others in the industry view your strengths. Connections on LinkedIn can "endorse" you for skills and you want to get as many of these as you can as they are tallied up by total count. An easy way to increase the number of endorsements you have is to endorse other LinkedIn members for skills.
6. Recommendations: These should really be called “references” because it is a section of your profile where people get to say great things about you. Don't be afraid to ask for a few recommendations as they are a great way to see that other people trust and value your contributions. A good way to get more recommendations is to post recommendations for some of your connections. They will be highly motivated to write a good recommendation about you in return.
A great profile can lead to some rewarding activity on LinkedIn. Have fun with updating your LinkedIn profile and drop me a line if you would like any additional help. And feel free to check out my profile as well. Just give me an hour or two to make sure it’s up to date!