Your LinkedIn profile is the central core of any LinkedIn marketing strategy. LinkedIn, after all, is really not much more than a massive Networking meeting online. And, you can look at your profile as a combination of your five-minute elevator speech and your business card all rolled into one. Get your profile right, and you’re in business. Get it wrong, and you might as well take your ball and go home. In this article, I’d like to talk about four things you can do to make sure you have an exciting and dynamic LinkedIn profile.
One: Get a professional headshot. If you’re a professional businessperson I prefer to see my clients in a dark outfit with a light colored shirt. Ladies!, Look professional!! I have too many women contacting me on a regular basis who complain that men hit on them on LinkedIn. Look great but make sure that look is professional. No, you don’t need a glamour shot like an actor needs. But you do need a really nice, professional looking headshot. If you’re serious about marketing yourself, either for a job or for business, on LinkedIn, your profile picture is worth investing a little money in.
Two: Sub-par recommendations are almost as bad as bad recommendations. You get to choose whether to have a recommendation included in your profile. What I often see, though, is people who accept low-quality recommendations, probably thinking a ho-hum recommendation is better than nothing at all. No, it’s not! Yes, you need recommendations, but you don’t need limp, dishwater recommendations. You want your recommendations to be specific and exciting. How to get those? Well, if you know the person who wrote your recommendation, just ask them if they’d consider punching it up some with more specificity. If I know the person well and I know what I did for them I will often write the recommendation for them within the request. And tell them to feel free to rewrite it in anyway they want to. That way it takes the burden off them to come up with something, And yet it gives them the freedom to tell it in their own words.
Three: Writing your profile summary in the third person. This screams “dull, dull, dull!” It’s just weird to read someone’s profile summary in the third person. It’s as if someone else wrote it, but we all know that the profile summary is written by the person whose face is on the account! Also, remember this. LinkedIn is a networking platform. What would you think if you want to a BNI meeting and someone started telling you about themselves but was talking in the third person? He did this. She did that. Etc. Weird!
Four: You should know better than to do the following, but just in case—don’t leak out proprietary information about your former company! Just don’t do it. If you want to make something public, an example of your work, a case study, etc., run that by your former employer and get their okay first. You’ll save yourself at least a nasty phone call or maybe even more grief!
Five: Create a cool cover banner, nothing says I don’t give a crap about my LinkedIn profile than having a generic blue background banner, just look at mine and you’ll see. Have someone created for your professionally, spend a few bucks to do it. It’ll make you look much more professional!