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.
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.
- 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.
- Drive traffic to your website.
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.
- 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!