It’s a big world out there, and LinkedIn can make it feel a bit more connected. But how do you make your LinkedIn profile stand out and radiate professionalism? We put together 10 simple steps you can take to push your public profile to the next level and boost your networking game.
It’s important to remember that your profile is not only public to anyone searching LinkedIn, but also to anyone that uses search engines like Google, Yahoo! and Bing, giving you an opportunity to add a new search-friendly way to promote yourself. Since you’re putting yourself and your business out there for the world to see, here are our top 10 tips to creating a stellar LinkedIn profile that is sure to impress anyone.
1. Include a Headshot
We placed this tip as #1 for a reason. It’s the simplest and MOST important part of your LinkedIn profile. It’s a no-brainer, takes no time, and sets the overall tone for your profile. To make it even easier on yourself, you could even just use the same headshot that’s on your Twenty Over Ten website. However, if you need to take a new headshot remember that LinkedIn is a professional space! And if you don’t have the budget to get a new picture taken, we’ve got you covered with these DIY Headshot Tips.
Adding a professional picture on your profile will add a face to your name and make online connections feel more personable. Be sure to choose a photo that resembles you, has the right expression, and is also a professional representation of your company. Credibility and professionalism can easily be established by just one picture.
In addition to your headshot/profile picture, you can now also add a background photo on your LinkedIn profile. Adding this is a great chance to get more creative and choose something representative of your company! Pick a photo that highlights your brand and what you do. Think about what people instantly associate with your business and start there. Check out these free sites for stock photos to choose from.
2. Optimize Your Public Profile URL
Next, we recommend optimizing and customizing your public profile to make it easy for searchers to find your company. By customizing your public URL, you can remove unnecessary and lengthily numbers at the end to make the URL more memorable and easy to share. You can customize your URL in just a few steps:
- Once logged in, click the “Me” icon at the top of your LinkedIn homepage once logged
- Click “View profile”
- On your profile page, click “Edit public profile & URL” on the right
- Under “Edit URL” to the right click the edit/pencil icon next to your public profile URL (Hint: This will be an address that looks like www.linkedin.com/in/yourname.)
- Type the last part of your new custom URL in the text box
- Click “Save.”
3. Get Creative With Your Headline
LinkedIn will automatically use your current position at your organization as the default for your headline, but you don’t have to stop there! Instead of just leaving it as is, you should think of your headline as a mini elevator speech (120 characters or less) that describes what you do and how you are different.
For example, Twenty Over Ten client Dave Grant went beyond the plain title of “financial advisor” and developed a creative line depicting his company’s mission: “Helping Chicagoland Executives Live Meaningful Financial Lives | Multi-Award Nominated Columnist.” Like David, think outside of the box to choose something that represents your brand in a creative way.
4. Include Links to Your Blog, Website and Other Sources of Communication
Consider adding links to your blog posts, whitepapers, social networks, and other online platforms to boost your click rates and generate more traffic to your website. The more places you plug those sites, the more attention they’ll receive. You can add up to three websites on your introduction card on your LinkedIn profile, so take advantage of that space by adding links to your websites you want your clients to see. To add any website to your profile, follow these simple steps from LinkedIn:
- Once logged in, click the “Me” icon at the top of your LinkedIn homepage
- Click “View profile”
- Click “See contact info” in your introduction card
- In the “Contact info” pop-up window click the pencil/edit icon
- In the “Edit contact info” pop-up window, click “Add website”
- Copy and paste your website address into the “Website URL” field
- Choose the type of website from the dropdown list (Note: If you select “Other” here you can type in your own website title
- Click save
5. Post Articles Through LinkedIn Pulse
Instead of simply linking to your blog posts, go above and beyond by publishing your articles through LinkedIn. Experiment with syndicating content from your blog to LinkedIn Pulse and using it to promote subscription to your full blog. This publishing feature is free and available to all LinkedIn users, so there’s no excuse not to start! With articles housed directly on your profile, prospects have an additional way to reach your content and your financial services company, not to mention all of the SEO benefits.
By using LinkedIn Pulse, people will be able to follow and share what you publish right through the app. Including some of your own content, such as a blog post you wrote about a trending topic in the industry or updates on a new service or project your company is working on, is an easy and interactive way to keep your followers up to date and interested. But, be careful to focus on providing value for others, not just promoting yourself or your company!
6. Optimize Your Profile for Search Engines
To be discovered by people searching LinkedIn for key terms, add keywords to various sections of your profile related to your industry and company. Keywords can easily be added to your headline, your summary, or your work experience. Then, when people search that keyword, your profile will be more likely to come up in those searches. In turn, more traffic will be driven to your website, and who doesn’t want that?
7. Add and Update Contact Information
Since LinkedIn InMail is only available to Premium users, it’s important to include other ways for anyone to contact you even if they don’t have a premium subscription. Include your email, phone number, website and other social media channels as ways of communication. The more channels of contact, the more accessible your company will be.
8. Engage in Groups
Perhaps you have a specific niche or are passionate about helping nonprofits, women in transition, medical professionals or an array of other populations. There’s likely a LinkedIn group that your niche is involved in, so research groups that might be relevant to you and your business and start engaging with them!
The key here is not only to be part of the group, but also to ENGAGE in the group! This can be achieved through posting content in the group and engaging in others’ posts with something as simple as a comment or like. These quick and simple interactions that take seconds can help establish a rapport that may lead to a solid connection with a larger pool in your niche.
9. See Who’s Viewed Your Profile
This LinkedIn feature gives advisors great insight on who might be interested in working with you. Keep track of who views and interacts with your profile. Has someone been checking out your profile that you’ve be interested in connecting with? That might be the “in” you’ve been waiting for to connect.
In order to uncover this data, you’ll first have to allow others to see who you are. To enable this, click your thumbnail image in the top right and click “Privacy & Settings.” From there, click “Profile Viewing Options” under “Privacy.” Make sure to check off your name and headline. To see who’s peeked at your profile in the past 90 days, follow the steps below:
- Once logged in, click the “Me” icon at the top of your homepage
- Click “View profile”
- Click “Who Viewed Your Profile” from your dashboard page (Hint: You can also click “Who’s viewed your profile” right below your profile photo on the left side of your homepage)
10. Be Consistent
Although this may be last on our list, it is perhaps one of our most important tips. A stagnant profile page on LinkedIn will not produce any results. With that being said, remember it takes time to establish consistency! Building connections, creating a distinct profile and creating rapport won’t happen overnight. Keep your connections alive, put time into it daily and don’t forget to stay responsive and present. We recommend creating an editorial calendar to map out your content so that you regularly update your followers. You could even consider using a social media scheduling app like Hootsuite, Coschedule, and others to ease up the daily time burden for you.
By completing and mastering these 10 steps, your LinkedIn profile will be one of your most professional platforms that will bring you new connections, clients and insights. There’s no doubt that LinkedIn is a powerful tool for advisors to leverage to connect with prospects. Make sure you are maximizing this easy communication platform to connect with clients and establish your professionalism to a world of potential connections.