Saturday January 3, 2015 0 comments
Many people don't know what to do in LinkedIn, after they've set up their free account.
It's quite a learning curve to brand new people and especially those who didn't grow up digital (for example Baby Boomers).
In this post, I've listed the basic things your LinkedIn profile should have, in order for people to decide whether or not to accept your invitation or to invite you.
I always preach this: find ways to help your potential clients TRUST you. TRUST is the new currency.
Demonstrate your TRUSTWORTHINESS as much as you can. When people trust you, they'll hire you or recommend you.
Also, keep this in mind: LinkedIn is like a cake with many layers so just tackle it one layer at a time instead of trying to eat the whole cake in one sitting.
Here are the absolute must-have-in-place things in your LinkedIn profile:
1. A professional photo from the neck up (headshot). (Don't try to connect with people with the default image of the "Blue Head" - who can trust that?)
2. Professional Headline: When people search in LinkedIn for someone with your services, they will see a summary in search results. The summary is pulled from your profile's "Professional Headline." That's why I recommend writing your Professional Headline to please the person searching.
Here are three examples:
- Helping people with (or "get") (list your service). Example: "Helping People Get Profitable Results With Social Media Marketing
- (List keywords that describe your expertise) Social Media Strategist; SEO Expert; Social Media Manager; Marketing Technologist
- (List services AND titles) CEO DaGama Web Studio: Social Media Marketing; Social Media Management; SEO; Marketing Technology
Some people like to use symbols to attract the eye instead of commas or semi-colons. Like this:
- Janet Smith, C.P.C.C. ✔ Executive Career Coach ★ Job Search Strategist ★ Training ★ Marketing★ Outplacement
3. Profile Summary: your Summary will be read if it's just the right amount of text or if you've formatted it with paragraphs and bullet point symbols and even ALL CAPS for eye-grabbing text. (Normally, ALL CAPS means one is shouting in a digital way but in LinkedIn, since it doesn't allow for bolding of text yet in the summary, ALL CAPS, used sparingly is ALL RIGHT. Bottomline: if your summary is one long blurb of text, not many people will read it. So be STRATEGIC with it.
Here are some tips:
First, you should know that you have a limit to the number of characters you can type in the text sections of your LinkedIn profile: click here to go to LinkedIn's help section to get that character count information.
In the first two lines of text, state how you solve problems. Your services are solutions to someone's problem(s). When they take time to read your profile, give them the most important stuff first. In my own summary, I start out with how I solve problems, then I list the results I've achieved for clients. Then I have a call-to-action.
Include Keywords In Your LinkedIn Professional Headline and Summary (and Other Sections)
One more important thing about your profile summary AND your professional headline: by including keywords, you'll be more easily found in searches. LinkedIn's search algorithm really loves keywords. Don't stuff your profile but do include them a lot. There's an art to this. Experiment and see how high up you can be found in searches without having an overly-stuffed keyword-style profile. (Note: your search results depend on how large or small your network is).
4. Fill in your contact information. You can add an email address and phone number and your website(s) and a couple of social media links. There is a way to make this section a little more enticing: instead of using the default title of "Company Website," change it to say: (Your name's website or Your name's blog): Lori Gama's Blog. Or: Marketing Blog. But I want you to "eat this cake layer" for now so don't bite off more than you can chew. Don't get overwhelmed. For now, just fill in your contact information and website URL.
Your net worth is as large as your network (online and in-person but especially in LinkedIn)
5. Accept invitations and send invitations. This is a common challenge beginners to LinkedIn have - especially for Baby Boomers because their natural reaction to a stranger's invitation stems from their childhood upbringing: "don't trust strangers." I encourage you to at least connect with people in your email address list and people you've met in person (hopefully, you do a lot of in-person networking). But you have to embrace this mindshift: your net worth is as large as your network (online and in-person but especially in LinkedIn).
NOTE: Someone once asked me: "But Lori: what if one of my competitors sends me a LinkedIn invitation - won't they see my connections? I don't want my competitors to see my connections. Help!"
Your 1st degree or level of connections can see YOUR 1st degree of connections unless you change your settings for only YOU to see them. Click this link into LinkedIn's help section for instructions on how to hide your connections.
That's all I want you to do today. (Beginners: I can see the steam coming out of your ears.) Come back tomorrow, when you have more mental energy and complete the rest of your profile by filling in these things or do only one section per day.
Just keep taking baby steps every day to keep making progress. Finish up these sections tomorrow or one at a time, over several days:
Previous experience; education; skills, advice for contacting; and start asking for recommendations.
Recommendations: these are highly valuable because people (future employers and future connections) will read what your previous clients have recommended about you. Remember: you need to demonstrate your trustworthiness all the time online. Your future income will depend on your online reputation and trustworthiness more and more.
Lori Gama is The Online Visibility Expert and founder of DaGama Web Studio, an Internet Marketing firm she started in 1995. She works with CEOs, entrepreneurs, speakers, coaches and authors to create visibility, credibility and profitability by leveraging web design, social networking, video marketing, Google Visibility, and content marketing.
Lori is also the author of Become a Twitter Pro in 20 Days: a Beginner’s Guide to Twitter.
She writes a popular e-zine and blog; and speaks to groups and teaches workshops about growing business with the tools of technology and the Web. She has been quoted by CNN, NBCLatino, The Huffington Post, The Coloradoan Newspaper, as well as various other publications. You can catch up with her every day in Twitter, GooglePlus, Facebook, Pinterest, and LinkedIn or by reading this blog.