3 Simple Steps to Boost Your LinkedIn Profile
If you read my post a few weeks back, you’ll know that I recently attended The Big Social Media Conference. If you didn’t get chance to read it, check it out later for the Top Tips and Tools in Social Media.
One of the many actionable items that I wanted to follow-up on was fixing my LinkedIn profile.
I knew it needed some love and attention, and after listening to Melonie Dodaro I had some ideas about how to tackle it.
In this post, I am going to share how I revamped my LinkedIn Profile, and how you can boost your LinkedIn Profile too.
My LinkedIn Story
I remember many years ago, when a colleague told me I needed to join LinkedIn.
We had email. It was quite new and groovy at the time, so who needed LinkedIn or Social Media?
Anyway, I created a LinkedIn profile (of sorts) but did nothing else with it because quite frankly, ‘I didn’t get it!’
Why I needed to change my LinkedIn Profile
LinkedIn became more popular in business circles and around 2009 I started to get serious about using it. Back then it was, in my mind at least, a way of having your CV online for recruiters to contact you with opportunities.
I created a new profile because the original one had become obsolete. My profile was there purely to showcase my skills and attract potential recruiters.
I also used it as a means of connecting with colleagues and clients that I worked with.
On the whole it served me well; I built up a network of 500+ connections and received quite a few approaches from recruiters along the way.
However, since leaving my last employer at the end of August 2014 I’d not done anything significant to my LinkedIn profile. It lay there gathering dust in memory of my former employment.
Although I had started my own business and was blogging here regularly I never shared my blog posts as status updates.
There were a couple of reasons:
First, I had built up my network from my previous career in the Information Technology Services sector. Who of those connections would actually want to read about my blog? I figured not many would be interested. That’s a bad assumption really!
Second, if I’m honest, I didn’t feel confident enough to share on LinkedIn. Whilst I was quite happy to post updates to Twitter, Facebook and Google Plus, I was somehow intimidated about sharing on LinkedIn.
I think this goes back to my misconception that LinkedIn was primarily a CV stage/job board, and therefore posting updates about ‘Google’s Gas Problem’ was perhaps best served elsewhere.
In short, I misjudged LinkedIn and the reach it can give you.
How I changed my LinkedIn Profile
What’s the first thing you should do before updating your profile?
Backup the old one!
It makes sense, right? If things happen to go wrong it’s always good to have the old profile to revert to.
So, first of all I made a couple of PDF copies and a word doc just to make sure I had my existing info that I could copy back in if required.
Here is the old profile just for reference:
You can see what I mean about it just being an online CV.
If you recall, Melonie outlined a 3-step formula to success.
So, taking that on board, I decided to change several parts of my profile, starting at the top.
Step 1 – Get Found
Make sure you pick the right keywords to use in your profile, and remember that any change to your profile is an instant change in Google search, so this is very powerful. Here is the first pass at updating the Header section of my profile:
Previously, I just used to have my current job title pulled in from the Experience section. Now, I’ve decided to add my own description. These need to be your keywords to attract your ideal clients.
The Education has changed because I moved a previous ‘education’ entry to a ‘course’ entry in my profile. You can view LinkedIn to see my whole profile.
Step 2 – Attract Your Ideal Client
Write a client-focused Summary section: (1) use the first person, (2) identify your ideal client, (3) share how you can help them and (4) include a call to action. Here is the revamped Summary section:
For the time being I’ve kept this very narrow and focussed, but I can add more to it at a later stage. You can see the highlighted components in the screenshot above.
Pro Tip: Write your profile in a Word document to get the formatting correct, and then copy and paste it into LinkedIn.
Step 3 – Stand Out
Make sure you complete your entire profile, not just the summary section, and remember to add some recommendations as these are excellent for social proof. In the remaining sections of my LinkedIn Profile I only made minor adjustments. I already had plenty of recommendations, so I decided to add a Publication section:
Making changes to your profile is just one aspect of improving your LinkedIn presence.
As I mentioned above, previously I had not published any of my blog articles as a status update in LinkedIn.
I decided to see what would happen when I did…
Look at the impact after Week 1 (13-19 July) when, amongst other activities, I published a blog post:
And drilling deeper:
Result: by becoming more engaged on LinkedIn my profile became more visible, and in turn I received more traffic to my blog and more LinkedIn shares.
Now, in Week 2 (20-26 July), I backed off a little and you can see the decrease:
And drilling deeper:
Result: You need to be consistent with your LinkedIn Activities in order to maintain and build your presence.
I did share another blog post in week 2, but it did not have the same impact as week 1.
I think this was down to the topic and the way I shared it:
– In week 1, I shared my Big Social Media Conference article and linked to some key names; i.e. the speakers.
– In week 2, I simply shared my article on Thrive Clever Widgets with no links to individuals.
My assumption is that if your article is relevant and targeted, then you will receive more engagement.Don't collect #connections. Build #relationships - @MelonieDodaroClick To Tweet
Two weeks of data is not significant enough to be classed as a well-defined experiment. But it does show the impact of the changes I have made to date.
So, what are the take aways so far:
- Ensure your LinkedIn Profile is configured properly
- Post relevant status updates that will engage others
- Comment on other people’s updates
- Grow your network by sending personalised messages
Let me know your thoughts in the comments below:
- Are you using LinkedIn to its full potential?
- Is your profile up-to-date and relevant?
- What do you find most useful about LinkedIn?