If you walked into a business meeting, do you think that perceptions would be different if you came wearing a hoodie vs. corporate attire? Nothing wrong with either, just making the point that presenting a professional image has long been an essential part of doing business. And in today’s digital world, basic social media training on how to look professional online could actually mean business growth. So it’s 100% worth doing to get your LinkedIn profile looking slick.
Sure, your Facebook profile can be all about your kids and Corgis (just make sure your privacy settings are locked down), but when it comes to LinkedIn, your profile has to be as professional as you are. Read our blog post explaining exactly why LinkedIn is so important for business.
My grandad used to say that you could tell a lot about someone from their handshake. Not just the handshake, but their eye contact, smile, clothes, hair, and verbal greeting. Well, in today’s digital world, your LinkedIn profile is a little bit like your handshake.
So, want to know how to sell yourself better online? Below is a list of a few quick things you can do right now to make sure you’re making the right impression on LinkedIn…
It’s all about the Intro
Before you meet a business contact in person, you know they’ll have looked you up online. Maybe they didn’t have time and will search for you afterwards. Either way, they will look you up, so make sure what they find makes a good impression.
The sections of your LinkedIn profile Intro are how you make your first impression online. And we all know first impressions count.
Your LinkedIn Intro is made up of the following:
- Headshot (400 x 400 px picture –> see below for more detail on what’s appropriate
- Name (if you don’t know this, you probably need a bit more help than we’re able to provide!)
- Headline (this is displayed prominently on your profile and is important for LinkedIn SEO)– Here you have 120 characters to describe to the world what you do and what areas/skills are your speciality.
– Choose descriptive and compelling keywords that explain what you do and help you get found by the right customers. A well crafted Headline can also boost your LinkedIn SEO.
- Current Position (your place of work –> make sure you tag your company page)
- Education (tag your school or university pages so alumni can find you)
- Industry (make sure you include the one that’s most related to what you do)
- Summary (you need to sell yourself effectively. Subscribe to the blog as this is a topic covered in our series of LinkedIn for Beginners blog posts!)
- Media (upload external documents, photos, sites, videos, and presentations; add links that showcase your work)
Remember: If the image you’re presenting online isn’t reflective of your skills, experience and professionalism, you could be missing out – on jobs, on opportunities, on business.
It’s all about personal branding and taking steps to improve brand visibility. There are loads of reasons why you’re at an advantage if you focus on your personal brand; for example, it can help you when you’re looking for a new job, growing your social channels, networking, blogging, or working on becoming more authoritative in your niche.
“A robust, likable personal brand can make you stand out in a crowded marketplace.”
Try and imagine that you’re a brand; what makes you unique? What is it about you that makes you YOU?
Spending 10 minutes reading and executing the tips below will enable you to:
- convey who you are visually (in your headshot);
- make yourself relevant to the right audience (by listing your skills).
Getting your profile right is the first step to impactful LinkedIn networking that will get you sales leads, get you hired, and get you known.
Simple changes to improve your profile
Here are TWO THINGS you can do right now to make sure you’re sending the right signals.
Upload a LinkedIn profile picture that aligns with your role as a professional, but that makes you approachable.
A 400 x 400px (minimum) photo of your face, this should be a headshot on a clean background; not a photo of you and your dog, your children or your friend…
That said, don’t be afraid to let some of your personality show; after all, people buy people. However, this is about what positive personality traits you can bring to your profession, not the party.
Members who include a profile photo receive 21x more profile views and up to 36x more messages.
Here’s one we made earlier…
Third party endorsement
Maintaining a relevant list of skills on your profile will help potential customers and other LinkedIn users to understand your strengths.
Members with 5 or more skills listed are messaged up to 33x more by recruiters & other LinkedIn members, and receive up to 17x more profile views.
Make sure you list your skills in order because LinkedIn will target endorsers for the skills you prioritise, and the more endorsements you have for those skills the higher you’ll rank in search results.
These two things on their own will make a big difference to what people think of you when they visit your LinkedIn profile. But to make sure you’re covering all bases, download our FREE LinkedIn checklist → turn your profile from pointless into performing in 7 simple steps! Just click the banner below ☺️
Want to know more about using LinkedIn to boost your business? We offer small business training workshops in Adelaide and other major Australian cities, including LinkedIn Training.
Want more social media insights, and tips on selling yourself and your business? Join us for the Be The Drop podcast – every week, we release a new interview about impactful communication and modern business storytelling.
SUBSCRIBE to us in iTunes here (Android users can access through the free app ‘Podcast Addict’).
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CONTACT US at firstname.lastname@example.org.