Civic Engagement and Advocacy Blog

How to Improve Your LinkedIn in 5 Steps

Posted by Brent Willis on 2/5/13 11:45 AM

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The world of social media has dramatically expanded over the last several years, with icons representing various examples of this genre becoming a ubiquitous sight on every type of web site imaginable.5 ways to improve your linkedin

Yet, LinkedIn is one of the social media outlets that has succeeded in separating itself from the herd by maintaining a consistent focus on advancing careers by giving people an online platform to display information that used to be reserved exclusively for resumes.

Developing your skills in building an attractive LinkedIn page has become a key element in establishing an effective online presence for everyone from freelancers to commercial enterprises of every description. Let's take a look at 5 key elements to making any LinkedIn page noteworthy.

One – The Photo

You know the old saying - a picture is worth a thousand words. But many of us have apparently forgotten one key aspect of that maxim; namely, that it's true. If you take a few moments to browse through the listings on LinkedIn, you will be surprised by the number of pages which fail to include a photo of the person being profiled. And you may also notice that those are the very pages that interest you the least.

So always have a photo on your profile page.

Remember, you are trying to market yourself and create a brand that viewers will remember.

Photos allow viewers to establish an emotional connection to a profile, and convey an element of believability that is just absent when there is no visual image.

Keep the photo professional. It doesn't have to be a studio shot, but it should clearly show who you are. Photos with your pets, wearing sunglasses, at a party, or on vacation, should be avoided. Casual is fine, but always remember, you're trying to convey an image of competence here. So do so.

Two – The Professional Summary

While building the background summary on your profile, keep in-mind that when most people search through LinkedIn looking for new connections, they are generally skimming. You probably have 30 seconds to get them interested enough to go on to read your profile in depth.

This is why it is crucial to keep your summary concise, and action packed. When a viewer sees a long profile, they mentally calculate how long it will take them to read it. If it's more than 30 seconds, chances are they won't even begin. A short background summary invites the reader to jump in. Then it's up to the content to compel them to keep going. So make it easy to read, on point, and value driven for the reader.

Three – Keywords

Take the time to build a list of words you yourself would most likely use to search Google in-order to find someone offering the same thing as you. In other words, if you didn't know your service or skill existed, determine how you would go about conducting an online search for someone offering it.

Once you have a list of words and phrases you'd use in such a search, be sure to include those keywords in your summary, and throughout your profile. By doing so you are increasing the chances that someone looking for what you have to offer will organically stumble upon your LinkedIn profile.

Four – Connections & Recommendations

When reaching out to people to join your network of connections, take a moment to change the default wording provided by LinkedIn itself. Write your own appeal in your own words. This will have the benefit of making your request standout from most of the others who haven't taken the time to individualize their requests.

Also, make it a point to contact some of your key connections and ask them to create a recommendation for you. These are harder to come by than most people realize – and because of this, they also carry a lot of weight in influencing people viewing your profile. Offering to exchange recommendations with a few key connections is a good strategy here.

Five – Update Frequently

Keeping the content updated and dynamic lets viewers know that someone actually lives at this address. Try to add new things to your page about twice a month. This can be items you've recently added to your service, or even just rearranging how it's all presented. The default presentation order on LinkedIn is completely changeable, and doing just that presents a sense of freshness to a return visitor. And fresh is good in social media.

The bottom line is that LinkedIn is a powerful tool for advancing your business and career. It is like an online trade show where you can display what you have to offer. Giving it the conscientious attention it deserves is the key to making it pay off.




photo credit: Coletivo Mambembe
Brent Willis

Written by Brent Willis

People want to be heard other then just voting every 2,4, or 6 years. Groups that engage them and measure it are positioned to win the public policy battles of the future. My vision and mission is to revive the civic engagement of the American citizen in government relations; at the federal, state, and local level.

Topics: Social Media Engagement