Five Ways to Make Your LinkedIn Profile Snap, Crackle, and Pop!

Dull and boring just isn’t going to cut it in today’s oversaturated Internet world. Same old same old isn’t going to get you that new job or attract the right clients to your business. You absolutely must stand out from the crowd. And you have to do this in a way that appeals to your market! In this article, I’d like to turn you on to a few things you can do to your profile to stand out from the crowd and make people take notice of you! Ready?

Headline

Let’s start with your headline. DO NOT just put your job title or your main skill. “IT Professional.” “Freelance Writer.” Both of these are generic and don’t do any selling! Think about how you could restructure those to appeal to your market, whether that’s potential employers or clients.

Photo

This one’s a little tricky. You want to have a good, maybe even professional photo, and you want it to stand out a little. For the photo, I’d go towards making sure you look friendly and likable. As long as, that is, you’re in a job where being friendly and likable is a good thing. If you’re an international security expert, then you might want to tone down on the smile.

Profile Summary

Here’s where most folks just fall flat on their face! You get two thousand characters for your profile summary. Use them! And, don’t be generic. Write in first person. That’s much more approachable then writing in third person. Make sure you include a little (not too much) personal history. How did you get where you are? Here’s where you can really distinguish yourself from the rest of the field!

Recommendations

Yes, you want them! You don’t have to have a ton. Three or four great ones will do. But these especially serve to position you as an expert in your field. Most serious visitors to your profile (the ones thinking about possibly hiring you for something) will check out your recommendations and really read them!

Skills

Your list of skills and your endorsements help define more about who you are and what you do. Just like with recommendations, you can bet that anyone serious takes a long look at them.

Three Qualities of the Best LinkedIn Profiles

One of the services I offer is writing (or rewriting) people’s LinkedIn profiles. I’ve read hundreds, if not thousands, of profiles. Most of the ones I run across need some serious tweaking, if not actual replacement. I’m quite versed in what makes a great profile, and in this article, I want to share with you a few things for you to strive for!

Attractive!

You want your profile to be attractive! What do I mean by that? Well, you want a good head shot. Doesn’t have to be professional, but it does have to show you in a business setting, at least in business clothes. Also, you want your profile summary and your headline to both attract search engine searches and be very readable for your visitors. Keywords are the phrases we put in search engines to search for websites. You want to figure out what keywords someone on LinkedIn might be using to find you and make sure you use those in your headline and salted and peppered in your profile.

Honest!

It’s so tempting in today’s world of websites and social media to pretend we’re something we’re not. And, for a while you can get by with it. I don’t mean really pretending to be the CEO of IBM when you’re not. That’s fairly easy to spot. I mean pretending to be in a higher part of the hierarchy of your company, when you’re actually a fairly junior member. Less easy to spot, sure, but in time, someone’s going to out you! There are a half a billion people on LinkedIn. Some are less successful than you are, some are more successful. I’d recommend you just be honest about who you are and where you are. You’ll end up getting further that way.

Current!

Make sure your profile summary is current. Update it often! Also, if you’re in a technical field where language and platforms change frequently, change the words and labels you use in your summary. You want to look fresh and current. No one wants to work with a dinosaur!

Why You Must Keep Your LinkedIn Profile Current

Someone once asked me if it was okay to update their profile. In their case, they were talking about their profile summary. I thought it was an odd question. After all, wouldn’t you want to update your CV or your resume? Upon further investigation, I realized they were asking a valid question. Basically, they were wondering if their older connections would react negatively to an updated profile. Here’s a short summary of what I told them.

“It all depends! But what choice do you have? If your profile needs updating, then that really means that you’ve either moved on, or you’ve changed focus in your professional life. You’ve done something like get a new job, or you’re planning on changing careers. Something like that. If you want LinkedIn to work for you in this new endeavor, then you really need to update your headline, your profile summary, and quite possibly other parts of your profile.”

Indeed, over the past few years as my business focus has changed, I’ve updated my own profile summary significantly about five times. We no longer live in the world of people working at the same job for thirty years and getting the gold watch at the end of that. Thank God! We live in a much more fluid world when it comes to career, employment, and skills. Look at it from a skills point of view. Used to be you had to have a college degree specializing you in some discipline or other before you could get a job doing whatever that was. Nowadays, you can take an online course and within three months or so, completely change careers! You won’t even be starting on the ground floor either!

With the flux that defines our business and professional lives, why wouldn’t you change your profile as you change? So what, if someone gets bent out of shape? One: it will never happen, and Two: who cares?

Three Negative Things Your LinkedIn Profile Reveals About You

LinkedIn is about business, right? Right! Just about business, and quite frankly, no one wants to do business with people who are suspect, don’t believe in themselves, or to use a phrase common a few decades ago, throw off a negative vibe! Yet, I see so many profiles that do just this! They hurt your cause instead of help it. Often, I think this is unconscious. I don’t think people with profiles like this are trying to shoot themselves in the proverbial foot, but they are? You might be wondering, what exactly am I seeing? Well, let’s talk about three things I see often that really put me off and make me not want that person in my world.

No Picture or Poor Picture

At least once a day someone sends me a connect request and they don’t have a picture! What’s up with that? How could anybody expect LinkedIn to work for them if they don’t have any kind of picture at all? It is, after all, a business networking site. What is wonder is this. Why are they hiding? What’s wrong with their face? Should I trust them?

Then there’s the people who have photos, but they’re very poor in quality. You don’t have to have a professional head shot like an actor would, but you do need a clear photo that shows you at least wearing business attire.

Lack of Passion About Your Work

When I read your profile summary do I feel like I’ve read this all before? Are you faking it, or are you really stoked about what you’re doing? I don’t want to do business with people who aren’t passionate about what they bring to the table. And, frankly, I would never hire someone who seems that way, either. So, get passionate and pour that passion into your profile!

“Seeking Employment”

This last one might be my own pet peeve, but saying “Seeking Employment” in your headline is a real turn off for me. Seeking employment is not a job, it’s not a career, it’s not an occupation. It tells me nothing. Get rid of it!

More Cool LinkedIn Hacks You Must Be Doing!

LinkedIn just gets better and better and better! I’ll be honest. When Microsoft bought LinkedIn, I felt a little, how shall we say it…trepidation about what they might do to the platform. Honestly, I’ve not liked all of Microsoft’s changes. Especially the part about moving so many of the free features into the paid only part. I do like free, but I also understand business. So, I get it that I should be paying for these capabilities. There are, however, quite a few things you can now do with LinkedIn that I completely adore. And, I’ll like to go over a few of those with you today. Hopefully, you’ll get as excited as I am and start utilizing more of LinkedIn’s cool features!

One of my favorite, new “hacks” for marketing on LinkedIn involves SlideShare. In case you don’t know, SlideShare is a platform where you can post your PowerPoint, Keynote and other slide presentations. It was bought by LinkedIn a while back, so it makes sense that the two easily complement each other! I make a lot of slide presentations in my business, both for webinars and for speaking engagements. I can get a lot more mileage out of those slides by making them available on SlideShare. Also, when I post a new slide presentation on SlideShare I always share it on LinkedIn. I’ve done this for my clients’ too. The results are amazing! A lot more views and a lot more interaction. Talking about branding, right?

My other favorite “hack” involves YouTube. This goes hand in hand with the PowerPoints I create. I create those normally for making into videos. This gives me a lot more content to spread around. One great place to share my videos is on YouTube. I can share the video straight to my feed, or I can post it to select groups that I belong to. This is a powerful way to get the right eyeballs on myself and my profile!

Your Three-Step LinkedIn Hack

If you need a way to sell virtually anything, LinkedIn is the place to be! Doesn’t matter if you’re selling coaching, books, gold, or airplanes, with LinkedIn’s half a billion users, you’re going to find more leads and more prospects than you can get to in a life time. Well, I should qualify that last statement. If you know how, you can do this. If you don’t know how, then quite frankly, LinkedIn will remain a mystery to you and honestly, just a big waste of time. So, with that all in mind, let me show you my three-step hack that I use to find more business right on LinkedIn than I can deal with. Ready to get started?

The first thing you need to do is you need to connect with a lot of people. At first, don’t worry if they’re in your target market. Your first goal is to build up your connections to at least a thousand or so. Now, don’t connect to everyone all in one day. That will look unnatural and put your account at risk. What I did when I got going was connect to fifty new people every day until I got my connections up to about two thousand, then my account built on its own.

Next, you’ll want to start reaching out to these connections. A great way to do this is to message people when they accept your connect request. You’ll want to say something generic. You do NOT want to spam people with a big long paragraph about how cool you are or your product is. Just reach out pleasantly! If someone ignores you, just keep trying every now and then until you get their attention. Remember, not everyone checks their LinkedIn account daily. So, if you’re being ignored, it’s more likely that the person just hasn’t seen your message yet.

Finally, after you’ve messaged with someone back and forth for a while, you’ll want to invite them to talk with you in more detail about your offering. This shouldn’t be a full-blown sales presentation, but more of a 15 minute get to know you session.

Do these three steps consistently, and you’ll soon have more business than you know what to do with!

Small Businesses Don’t Need Social Media Managers

If you run a small business, you’ve no doubt wondered if you need to hire someone to keep up with all the social media. After all, there’s Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter, SnapChat, and many, many more. It’s a daunting task to think about socially selling your business’s products on all those channels and more. So, what do you do?

One idea is to hire an employee dedicated to branding and selling your company’s products and services socially. That’s the expensive way to go, though. It’s very difficult to quantify how much the efforts of that person are affecting your bottom line. And, if he or she isn’t pulling their weight, their salary, health care costs, and the taxes you pay to hire the are money flushed down the nearest Porta-Potty. A better idea might be to empower your current employees to be your stealth social media army, instead of hiring a dedicated person.

You’re going to have to incentivize this. By that I mean, if you want your employees to be spending time online talking about your business, you’re going to have to a: give them time to do it, and b: monitor what they said. And, honestly, you’re going to have to bribe them to do it. Who would want to spend time during the day talking about their place of work on Facebook when they could be liking and sharing their friends’ new cute puppy pictures?

If you can figure out how to do this, however, and if your employees are game to the idea, then you can start to get a handle on social media marketing for your business that won’t break the bank. You’ll need to have some metrics that you measure. Don’t make this too difficult. Hits on your website before and after the campaign might be a good idea. I’d average your monthly traffic for several months before the campaign starts, and then average the traffic for the same number of months after. If you actually sell through your website, then you’d want to do the same with your website sales.

What and What Not to Include in Your LinkedIn Profile

Every hear the phrase, “TMI” or “too much information”. Every now and then I’ll read someone’s profile where I feel like they’ve included too much. Now, frankly, it’s usually the reverse. Normally, if there’s a content problem with a profile, it’s that the user has not included enough information. Their profile summary isn’t long enough and complete enough. They haven’t included enough skills and endorsements. Or they don’t have enough recommendations. Or, given their age, their work history looks incomplete. But that’s what I usually see. Every now and then, however, I see the opposite.

When I see too much information on someone’s profile, it’s not the length that bothers me. After all a profile summary is limited to 2,000 characters including spaces. What I mean is what they’ve included shouldn’t be there. For instance, snide or defensive remarks about a former employer absolutely have no place on your LinkedIn profile! Okay, I get it. Your last boss or company you worked for were, how shall we say this, less than stellar. Call your sister, best friend or you mom up about it. Don’t spew that venom on social media. This is a sure way to never get hired for any but the lowest of the low jobs again.

Another “cardinal sin” I see vis-a-vis content in LinkedIn profiles has to do with changing careers. If you feel you were underutilized in your former career, you don’t need to say so. Just emphasize how your talents are being used in your new career and you should be fine!

The bottom line here is don’t be negative! It’s kind of like your grandmother might have said to you (I know mine did). If you can’t say something nice, don’t say it. Employers, and also potential clients, are allergic to negativity! It puts them on the defensive. Why spoil your chances at landing a new job or getting a new client just because you said a little too much on your LinkedIn profile?

Four Ways to Make Your LinkedIn Profile Excellent!

Your LinkedIn profile is the central core of any LinkedIn marketing strategy. LinkedIn, after all, is really not much more than a massive Chamber of Commerce 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 head shot. No, you don’t need a glamour shot like an actor needs. But you do need a really nice, professional looking head shot. 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 part 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.
Three: Writing your profile summary in third person. This screams “dull, dull, dull!” It’s just weird to read someone’s profile summary in 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 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!

Why Endorsements, Skills, and Recommendations Matter on LinkedIn

A lot of LinkedIn users that I see online have great profiles, with a few exceptions. Those exceptions are often the following. They’re weak in endorsements, recommendations, and/or skills. Often all three. It’s like these three are the step children of the various fields that make up a complete LinkedIn profile. Here’s why you don’t want to ignore these all-important parts of your LinkedIn profile.
Look at it this way. When’s the last time you bought something that cost more than a few dollars (or pounds or yen, etc.)? Being an Internet savvy person, what did you do? If you’re like most folks, you Googled whatever it was and read about what other people thought, right? Well, people are doing essentially the same thing on LinkedIn. We call this social proof in the marketing business. People are highly influenced by what other people think. Being endorsed is one of the ways of providing this social proof to people who visit your profile on LinkedIn. Recommendations are another way of providing this proof.
Have you ever asked a colleague about the car they just bought, the new restaurant they tried, or their dentist or doctor? For important purchases, finding the right product or the right service provider is often done through recommendations. Recommendations carry a huge amount of influence, and you should be asking the people you’re connected with, at least the ones you know well, to recommend you.
Finally, listing your skills matters a lot! Seeing a large list of skills along with the number of people who’ve endorsed you for them is a great way to position yourself as a professional. Not only that, but the selection of skills helps viewers get to know you. Both recruiters and people who are potential clients are going to scan these skills to help them understand who you are and what you bring to the party!