Your LinkedIn profile has enormous potential value. However, you must maximise it to ensure it is working effectively on your behalf.
Just because there is a space for your photograph, a summary and your experience does not mean you should simply treat it as an online CV.
“As an online platform, LinkedIn requires of its users more than plain documentation,” advises Nigel Cliffe of Value Exchange. “Too many people go through the motions and fail to capitalise on their LinkedIn profile.”
Your First Impression
If you had an important meeting with a prospect or a new client, or you were attending a job interview, you would want to make the right first impression. As Nigel points out, when it comes to your online presence, you should look at it the same way.
“Your LinkedIn profile immediately says something about you, whether it’s what you intended it to say or not. So, there are the basics to get right”
“It is important to look approachable and appropriate, so what sort of photograph are you using?” asks Nigel.
“Portraits taken on holiday while holding a large cocktail will offer a very narrow view of who you are,” suggests Nigel. “Similarly, a stern, unsmiling portrait is more likely to be off-putting than to make people think you mean business.”
Next is your headline.
“Too many people treat this as a routine description of their job,” explains Nigel. “Instead, come up with something compelling that will represent the real business you.”
“It’s a form of personal branding. You’ve got 120 characters to capture the essence of you so don’t waste them.”
What It Means to You
Before you write your summary and experience sections, are you clear in your own mind what your overall aim is?
“Who are you looking to reach, and what action do you want them to take once they’ve read about you on LinkedIn?” Nigel asks. “You want them to feel a certain way, and learn something about you.”
This then translates into how you build your online profile to position yourself:
- Do not list all the details exhaustively
- Be truthful, but be direct
- Select key accomplishments
- Convey your passion and values
- Include some relevant statistics and figures.
You have a total of 2,000 words to do this.
“Your profile is your opportunity to differentiate yourself. Don’t miss it,” Nigel advises.
What You Mean to Others
An important element in building a strong LinkedIn profile is in having external validation.
“You can include testimonials from others in the form of recommendations, or, in a more condensed form, endorsements for your featured skills,” concludes Nigel. “You’ll probably need to take the initiative to gain recommendations, but once you do, they carry real value.”
Building a strong LinkedIn profile is an essential cornerstone to making social media work for you, and for your business. So if you are ready to start generating more opportunities using LinkedIn, please call Value Exchange on 0333 323 8275 or visit valueexchange.co.uk.
Alternatively, Value Exchange have created a guide to ensure that you are sales ready on LinkedIn, How To Win Your First 10 New Customers on LinkedIn, which is available as a free download, here.