3 Simple Tips to Maximize Your LinkedIn Profile

Whenever I meet someone new at a networking event or come across a new name in my Follower stream on Twitter, it is highly likely the next thing I’m going to do is check out their LinkedIn profile. (Don’t blush; I know you do it too.) And yet, it never ceases to amaze me how few people have actually optimized their LinkedIn profiles for viewing and search results.

;

Infographic courtesy of Symphony Social Media.

Why does any of this matter? More 80% of LinkedIn members influence business decisions at their company. There are 44 million professionals on LinkedIn in the U.S. alone, with an additional 56 million outside of the U.S. (2011)

With these kinds of numbers (and growing) it is essential to ensure your LinkedIn presence is sending the right kind of message. Here are 3 quick and easy tips you can implement today to maximize your LinkedIn presence, build resourceful connections, and establish yourself as an industry expert.

    1. Place your face. When searching for someone’s LinkedIn profile and the results yield a profile where the image icon has been left blank, people may become frustrated or even unsure if this profile does belong to that fabulous person they just met. Most individuals prefer to see the face of the person they wish to connect with. The lack of a picture can be especially frustrating if one happens to have a common name. Avoid these pitfalls by using a decent head shot that sends a positive message and leaves a great first impression.
    2. Drive traffic to your website.

      Fig. 1

      Here again, many LinkedIn users have overlooked a major feature. Few people include their business website address or that of their employer in their profiles. This is such a simple step to improve SEO rankings and boost traffic to your site. Perhaps you want connections to visit your company website, or blog, or your online portfolio/photo gallery. Any of these can be tailored to fit in this section and boost site visits. To enter your website address, go to the “Additional Information” section and select “edit”. You will see the Fig. 1 screen. To properly enter the URL of your choosing, select “Other”. In the next box type in the name you would like this link to be shown as (it may be a simple company name or you might want to customize this to suit your purposes), and in the next box type in the URL. Click “Save Changes” and you’re done. (See Fig.2) You’ve just singlehandedly improved this website’s SEO. A simple but impactful tip that any LinkedIn user can implement today and derive immediate results.

      Fig. 2

      ;

    3. Join a Group. Or 5 of them. Establishing oneself as an industry expert and go-to person requires two things: 1) some actual knowledge and expertise about what you are actually speaking about and 2) others to credit you as this go-to person with the answers about a certain industry or market. One easy way to create credibility in this area is to start sharing your ideas and expertise with those who might find your insight helpful and timely. Within LinkedIn there are groups and subgroups to cover just about any industry one can imagine. Join a handful where you can share your content via discussions and promote conversations and discourse where you can speak confidently and intelligently.

;

These simple tips can help take your LinkedIn presence from ho-hum to “How do you do? I’m thrilled to connect with you.” Try them today and start realizing results!

6 thoughts on “3 Simple Tips to Maximize Your LinkedIn Profile

  1. Wendy says:

    I once added a speaker I heard at a conference. She had her social media info on her last slide of the presentation but when I tried to add her on LinkedIn she private messaged saying “do I know you?”

    What is the proper etiquette for connecting on LinkedIn?

    • Good question, Wendy. Some people are very guarded when it comes to their LinkedIn network and only add friends, associates, and those with whom they’ve done business. Others will add almost anyone to their network. I personally am the more guarded type and it sounds like she is too.
      If a person you’d like to network with uses any other social media platforms such as Twitter, I would add them there first. If you wish to connect with them on LinkedIn, I would suggest you start by writing them a message to inform them of where you met or heard them speak, express your interest in what was discussed and perhaps add in some interesting tidbits you found in their Twitter feed. This is a way to show genuine interest in a person and the topics of interest to them. It shows that you’re not just some wierdo lurking around their webpage. You are a like-minded individual who has taken the time to understand their perspective.
      This approach helped me numerous times back when I was a student seeking out informational interviews.

      I’m sure there are plenty of others who know of other tactics for you to emply. Hopefully they will add to this thread.
      Good luck!

      • Susie Parker says:

        Thanks for the comment, Cassandra! Great tips.

      • Wendy says:

        Thanks for the tips Cassandra. I did just that- followed her on twitter, but she did extend the invite to connect with her on all social platforms at the end of her presentation. That’s why I was puzzled. I connect more carefully on LinkedIn now.

        • Susie Parker says:

          And truly, Wendy, that is *her* mistake–not yours. Don’t offer information offering to connect with others if you don’t wish to be contacted there. Looks more like someone else may have created the presentation for her and it was put there without her knowledge or consent.

    • Susie Parker says:

      Hi Wendy, Thanks for your comment and question. I think it’s always a good idea to send a personalized note with how you met the person (if in fact you did) or a reason why you feel connecting might be mutually beneficial. On the other hand, I do think it’s poor form to put your LinkedIn information out there if you are a speaker and then not expect people to use it to contact and connect with you. So that aspect I find odd. I have found that making the request to connect more personal and relevant helps boost the acceptance rate. Hope this helps!