You may be busy, but updating and completing your LinkedIn profile is one of the best things you can do for yourself in business.
There is a lot to know about LinkedIn – how to complete your profile, how to build connections, how to search, how to join and get the best out of groups, how to share and post and how to set up and use a company profile. But since LinkedIn is so searchable and shows up so well on search engine results, updating your profile should be the priority as you can be sure that if someone wants to know something about you (potential employee/employer/customer/supplier), in all probability your LinkedIn profile will be the first place they look.
You profile is visible to 1st and 2nd degree connections, fellow group members and premier LinkedIn members when logged into LinkedIn. Your public profile is visible to anyone who searches you. You can restrict information that is available in your public profile but since this is one of the places where you can talk all about yourself if anyone is interested, why wouldn’t you take the opportunity to provide a full professional picture.
I won’t go into LinkedIn privacy settings, but you should. However, one particular setting I will warn you about is to turn off your activity broadcasts before updating your profile otherwise everyone in your network gets to see every move you make while you tweak and change your profile
So, making sure you have turned off the notifications, you can start to optimise your profile:
Here are a few pointers:
- Your professional headline – This is not just a place to put your job title, but is a searchable field and is important in getting yourself found. Use every character you are allowed to place keywords describing what you do. Think of the terms that people will search – so perhaps a financial adviser might specifically mention words like “mortgage, MPF and equity investment services”, rather than just list a job description “Wealth Manager”. Remember, benefits beat features so think of your potential clients and what they want.
- Company Name – Make sure that your company name links to your company’s LinkedIn business page to increase visibility. The company name listing here is taken from the experience section and is your latest experience/company listed.
- Public profile link – This is a searchable link (by search engines) and links to your public profile. The default is a string of random digits so be sure to update it to include your name, also known as your “vanity URL”. Claim it and be found. Check out your public profile, and see how non-connections will see you. You can also edit this to hide detail from the public.
- Contact details – Click this button to fill in your contact details. You also have an opportunity to add in three web links that show up on your public profile. A top tip is to change the default descriptive text – e.g. “web” to use keyworded text that describes the link, for example, on my profile I have a link to a page on my website about “email marketing services”, and I have described it as such. This not only encourages clicks, but also adds SEO value to the landing page (the page where you end up).
- Complete your summary – this is searchable so make sure you use words that people may be searching on. A good tip is to also include any aliases, or variations on your name that you might be known by and searched for.
- Rich content – this is relatively new and allows you to share content from YouTube, upload images, link blog articles or slideshows hosted on Slideshare. This is an opportunity to help people quickly get a visual idea of what you do. Also, the cross linking between online platforms helps your online visibility. Get a full list of supported files and links.
- Complete your profile. You get all star status if you complete and use your profile (even once a week is probably enough – just connect, like or share; nothing too strenuous). Benefits of completing your profile include:
- giving visitors a complete picture of your skills and experience
- a higher quality score with search engines and LinkedIn’s search function. Search engines succeed when they present their customers, the searcher, with quality information. Given that 50% of LinkedIn profiles are not complete, you’ll understand that a completed profile is a clear winner.
- broadening your circle of potential connections as you are allowed to connect with people you have worked with, alumni and fellow group members. Be sure to list any establishment where you have a connection, and actively join groups.
So, don’t shortchange yourself, make full use of the features available on this free-to-use prime web real estate.