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BusinessLink: Tuning up Your LinkedIn Profile to Increase Marketing Reach
Posted on July 24th 2012
LinkedIn is an interactive social network. It’s not a place to post a company brochure or a resume, let them sit and hope that someone will notice and contact you for business.
At the core of any good LinkedIn marketing strategy is your LinkedIn profile. Keep it current, and change it on occasion.
Here are a few simple steps you can follow to tune up your LinkedIn profile that enhance your presence on LinkedIn attract more customers.
1. Profile Headline
Just like it sounds the headline is a way to attract readers to your profile. Would you read a newspaper – or online column – headline “Information about Our New Product”? Probably not. The same is true for your profile headline – it needs to be interesting to attract readers.
Your profile headline should NOT be your job title. Make sure it’s SEO-rich and attractive to the reader. Instead of President, Social Media Agency change it to Global Social Media Strategy Consultant, Coach, Speaker | Author, Maximizing LinkedIn for Sales & Social Media Marketing.
That headline (hat tip to Neal Schaffer) is full of SEO terms that potential customers can use to search for a social media strategist.
I always tell my clients to think like their customer potentials – what terms would they use to search for you? Use those terms in your LinkedIn profile headline – and throughout your profile!
2. Customize the Websites Listed in the Summary
On a LinkedIn profile, you can include up to three websites (and links back to them). Make sure you customize the links. Instead of “Company Website” try “DNA Group OEM Solutions.” There’s a call to action – a descriptor that makes me want to know more.
The LinkedIn Default for website headlines gives five choices – including Company Website. If you choose “Other” on the drop down menu, however, you can add a customized title.
For my profile, for instance, I include LinkedIn Tips – a way to drive traffic to a website that includes my advice on LinkedIn and highlight my expertise.
One note: if you are in a company or organization that has social media guidelines – come up with a phrase for your employees to use for the title of your company website – and suggest they add that specific phrase to their profiles. This helps with the marketing and branding efforts.
3. Add Sections to Reflect Your Achievements
LinkedIn now offers the ability to add new sections on your profile. The feature is listed right below the summary box and allows you to add sections such as Courses, Volunteer Experience and Causes, and Certifications.
Explore this section and see what makes sense for you to add to your profile. Do not, however, add sections just to “beef up” your profile. Doing so can make your profile to long and harder to navigate, thus losing your reader.
By doing this you enhance your visibility with your network – and potential customers.
4. Order Your Profile Sections to Maximize its Impact
Many people don’t realize that the sections below the summary box of a LinkedIn profile are moveable. You can put them in any order you would like to maximize your marketing efforts.
Job seeker? Move your recommendations fairly close to the top. Author? Move the Publications sections right below your summary.
Take some time to review the sections and decide what order makes sense for you. Keep in mind the “below the fold” issue – and try and put the most important information first so the reader doesn’t have to scroll down to find it.
5. Changing Your Profile Enhances Your Network Visibility
One key benefit to changing your profile is that your network will see the information on their LinkedIn homepage and be made aware of your changes.
By changing your profile – with legitimate changes – you enhance your visibility with your LinkedIn network. It’s a simple way to get your name out in front of your network.
Be mindful of the number of changes you make – and don’t overdo it. Change your profile information about once a month – once you’ve completed the tune up I’ve suggested above.
For me, LinkedIn is an interactive website. It’s not stagnant and boring – unless you make it that way! The changes I described should take about 20 minutes to complete. Take the time to enhance your presence on LinkedIn – bearing in mind the key words that customers and potential customers will use to search for you and your firm.
It’s a simple and effective way to enhancing your marketing efforts on LinkedIn.
If you have questions on LinkedIn, send them to me and I’ll endeavor to answer them in future columns. Want to connect on LinkedIn? Send me an invite and I’ll gladly accept your invitation!