In my last post, I became your social media secret agent to help pull you out of hiding on LinkedIn and taking control of your online professional reputation. I’m sure many of you Googled yourselves to find out how you are showing up in online searches – and probably even more of you realized the need to get your profile in shape, but don’t know what next steps to take.
Is there actually a way to have my profile show up on the first page of search results on LinkedIn? Do people really search LinkedIn to find vendors or get referrals? Can I actually get business by changing my profile?
Yes, yes and yes! There are seven basic steps you can take to complete your LinkedIn profile and make it more search-friendly, and attractive to those that come to check you out on LinkedIn. You want to be seen as credible, strong professional, show off your assets, display how you can help others. And even if you aren’t trying to sell anything, it’s important that you have a strong presence for those seeking information about you.
LinkedIn tells us there are certain key areas of your profile it considers when running searches, and these are a great place to start. You may notice a “Profile Strength” graphic on right hand side of your profile page with one of these 5 rankings – All Star, Expert, Advanced, Intermediate, Beginner. The good news for you is that you are only 7 steps away from ranking as an “All Star” on LinkedIn!
According to LinkedIn, these are the 7 areas of your profile you must fully complete to be an All-Star:
- Current Position with description
- 2 Past Positions
- Your Education
- Your Skills (minimum of 3)
- A Photo (200 by 200)
- At least 50 Connections
Completing these areas truly can make a difference in being findable, as you take charge of managing your online professional reputation. Another important component in these sections is the use of keywords, but that’s a topic I’ll save for another day.
In addition to completing your basic profile information, another key to your success is to make sure your profile is client attractive – meaning it pulls people in and makes them want to learn more. What in the world does that mean? Let me give you an example of how a one-sentence change made all the difference in securing a new client.
Laura Martin, owner of Red Rover Promotions, is a very creative and fun professional that helps companies positively impact their business goals with promotional products. In her LinkedIn headline (under her name), it simply listed her job title, so it read “Owner, Red Rover Promotions”. There was nothing there to make her stand out in a list of search results and didn’t adequately express how she helps her clients or convey her playful personality or do anything to pull in her ideal client.
After our social media strategy session, Laura changed her headline to “Ridding the world of stupid promotional products. Red Rover, Red Rover, call us on over!” It now tells you exactly how she makes your life better, she shows her sense of humor and it’s very catchy. Don’t you just want to click on it and find out how she can help you? And she worked in the name of her company as well. But the story doesn’t end there…
Within a day, Laura received a message from a woman who had been searching for a promo products company and was interested in hiring Laura – and guess why? Because she liked Laura’s LinkedIn headline! She told Laura that her headline stood out among all the other promotional products people (using LinkedIn search), she liked her sense of humor and thought she’d be fun to work with. How’s that for an immediate result?!
In addition, as the woman perused Laura’s profile, she read a recommendation Laura posted for my social media services – and the woman contacted me about scheduling a social media session!
While I can’t promise similar results for everyone, that’s the power of thoughtfully updating your profile to manage your online presence, so that people find you easier and can do business with you.
This is great for polishing your online presence, but it’s not simply enough to look pretty and just wait for someone to stroll by! You have to get off the sidelines and get into the game, if you want to take real advantage of the opportunities waiting for you on LinkedIn. Even just posting an update on your profile occasionally isn’t going to give you results – you need outreach.
Getting active with various daily activities stops most people from taking full advantage of LinkedIn. It’s confusing for many to figure out how to actually use LinkedIn in a way that is supportive of others and activates your network. Stay tuned for my next post where we offer creative outreach suggestions for getting active daily in front of your powerful online business network!
For now, I’d love to hear how updating your profile is going and what questions you have about getting to that “all star” level – let me know in the comments below and I’ll be happy to help!