This post is a continuation of my January Social Media Basics series. If I were to pick the “best kept secret” in social media – I would have to say Linked In. Although more people are learning about Linked In — there are still many who aren't using it to it's full potential. The key to getting the most out of Linked In is to spend some time completing your profile.
Your profile page on LinkedIn is like a door opening the way for others to find you and your business. You can use this connection to drive traffic back to your main business site.
It's a way to show people who you are (personal branding), what your products do (business branding) and how you can help them as clients or customers. You get to showcase your expertise in your niche and share your knowledge about the field you're in.
When connections have questions, they're going to go to the one they see will have the answers. The profile page is handing you the bricks to build your business by tapping into millions of available connections.
When you have a profile on LinkedIn, you get immediate exposure and high ranking on Google simply by the affiliation. Just having a LinkedIn profile isn't enough – you need to make sure that the profile is created so that people can find you. Before you start completing your profile, know the words people use to find you (your keywords). Make sure that you use these words liberally throughout your profile. (Some of my clients have jumped to #1 on Linked In search by using this secret…)
On the personal profile page that you have (you should create the page so that it appeals to the needs of potential customers), after you have your name, you can list the business you own or the services you provide. You can be creative with the titles — make sure that you use your keywords. You can look at my profile as an example:
Note that I have many titles — and that most of them use my website keywords…
You'll also be able to list pertinent information like higher levels of education. When you're recommended by others, it will show up in your profile as well. It's like having a stream of testimonies to your overall expertise. Recommendations are also key. The easiest way to get recommendations is to give them — so feel free to “recommend” freely. Note – you can recommend people that you've worked with – not just people that you've worked for in the past.
The amount of connections youíve made and links to your external sites will also be listed on your profile. This gives customers easy access to your sites. You'll also be able to allow people to link directly to Twitter from your LinkedIn profile.
Your profile should have a brief description of yourself as a business person in the summary section. Let your personality shine through — so people can see the “person behind the profile” – also make sure to keep using your keywords.
If you have a blog, you can link pertinent posts to your LinkedIn profile page which helps potential clients go to your blog and get to know more about you and your business.
One tip that you can use to really make your LinkedIn profile stand out and help market you is to create a presentation in SlideShare about your business and put it on the profile page using their presentation application.
What are your favorite LinkedIn tricks?
One of the best strategies I learned from you, Michele, was the importance of using your keyword in as many places and sections of my Profile as possible. Prior to that I never gave it much thought, and it has made a difference to making it easier for people to find me.
Also it was recently shared that stating my Profile in the first person makes it more inviting and different from a dry, resume format. I’ll be updating my Profile to reflect that.