It’s just not worth the time.
Last year, I wrote an article on five reasons why LinkedIn is essential for the professional. And I still believe it! More and more employers are searching for future employees on it. More and more small business owners are finding potential customers through it. More and more graduates are finding their first full-time jobs via LinkedIn. It is absolutely beneficial for each person who chooses to use it well. But what I’ve come to find is that the key word here is well… and often times, we don’t know what well really means.
As I looked at my own account, I realized that I missed even the basics of what makes a LinkedIn profile get noticed. I’d say a lot of us are at that place – Using social media platforms and yet not getting views. Wondering why we aren’t getting views. And yet, not knowing the first step to change it. So, I want to share with you some ways to make LinkedIn worth it. After all, one extra key word or one more picture could be the difference maker for your business.
Making LinkedIn Work for You
1. Headlines matter. Did you know that your headline is one of the key ways that you show up in search results on LinkedIn? It’s the one piece of information, without ever clicking on your profile, that anyone sees about you as they scroll through their feed. By default, LinkedIn uses your current position as the headline on your profile. This isn’t bad. But it can be better.
What is the one thing you want people to see before they see anything else? My advice – instead of just stating a role or a position, state what you are skilled in. Yes, you may be a small business owner, but there are many small business owners out there. Are you a branding consultant? Are you a personal insurance expert? Cater your headline to your specific skill-set. If you are currently seeking employment, don’t be afraid to state that either. Make those 120 characters work for you. Here are some examples:
- “Builder at HomeBuilding, LLC | Residential Builder and Re-modeler | Home Designer”
- “Currently Seeking Employment in the Human Resource Area | Communications Expert | LSU Graduate”
2. Utilize your summary. I cannot tell you how important this is! Your summary is the meat of your profile; it really can set you apart from thousands of others with the same qualifications. While LinkedIn is designed to be a pool of professional information, there is room for personality in your summary. My advice:
- Make it engaging. Everyone loves a good story. They keep reading a good story. Share the journey of starting your business, weaving in your accomplishments and giftings. People want to hear what you have achieved, not a list of tasks that you do. They want to hear what you are passionate about and the path it took you to get there.
- Make it visually appealing. I believe that one of the least utilized tools on LinkedIn is the ability to add pictures and videos to your summary. Using pictures can grab attention way faster than a group of words can. If you are in home building, add pictures of finished projects. If you are in ad marketing, add pictures of your work. If you have a company logo, add that logo.
3. Join groups. Just like in life, people get to know you better in smaller settings. When you gather in groups, you get to know other people. What they know, what they are gifted in, advice that they have. Same for LinkedIn groups. I believe that LinkedIn groups are another one of those untapped territories that many of us don’t fully access. Join groups that are geared to your specific interest, career, potential career, etc. And the kicker is: be active in the group. Don’t be afraid to post articles that you find, or offer comments on others’ posts. Be engaged in the groups you are a part of.
4. Avoid overused buzzwords. Here you have it, the top 3 most overused words on LinkedIn: motivated, creative and passionate. These words are good words. But when they are seen over and over on each person’s profile, they can become dull and lifeless. What words do you want to be known by that make you stand out from everyone else? How can you integrate those words into descriptions of your achievements? If being passionate is a strong point of yours, try rewording it: My heartfelt, eager efforts to increase engagement on SM platforms have resulted in a rise in sales for the past 3 years. Instead of simply saying: I am passionate. But the key here is to still use a repetitive source of words to describe yourself and your skills. Because bottom line, the more consistency you have in those words, the more your profile will show up in search engines.
5. Give the opportunity to endorse. Did you know? Members who include skills on their profile get as many as 13x more views on their page than those who do not. This one’s simple: add the skills that you believe you have and make sure that the ability to endorse is on. After that… you wait. Wait for others to endorse your skills.
6. Share content. I know that LinkedIn is not like Facebook or Twitter. Whereas those platforms center around sharing, LinkedIn’s main goal is to help people network professionally. But often times, we miss the value of sharing content on LinkedIn because of the way that it is set up. In order to really use LinkedIn well, we must actually engage and participate in it. We must share what’s going on in our businesses. We must be real people.
It’s Never Too Late
Maybe you have had a LinkedIn for a while, but haven’t done much with it. Maybe you created an account but never even added a picture or any connections. Maybe you don’t have a LinkedIn at all. It’s never too late to start utilizing this platform. Whether you are fresh out of college or consistently growing your business, LinkedIn eagerly awaits you. But just like any marketing, when you market yourself on LinkedIn, you want to make sure it’s worth it. You want to get noticed. These 6 tips will help get you there.
Questions: Has LinkedIn been influential in your professional life?