We understand how important social media is for businesses today. In fact, it’s now unheard-of to not be able to google a business or find business owners on LinkedIn. An online presence is essential and everybody has one, but, in some ways, this also raises the competition. That’s why I always say that there’s no point in having an online presence if it isn’t executed well.
Since we as a society are so accustomed to the online world, we have generated a level of expectation for social media profiles. This includes keeping up-to-date and demonstrating that you have an understanding of the digital world. In a digital age, this simply shows competency. If a profile does not meet expectations, it can actually do more harm than good. Therefore, it’s not enough to have an incomplete or inadequate profile just sitting there. It has to be valuable in order for it to be worthwhile and contribute to the success of your business. Maximising your LinkedIn is about optimising and making the most of it, as well as getting found easily.
The first golden rule is to complete your profile. This may sound trivial, however research shows that you’re less likely to be found in your profile isn’t fully completed, even if people search your full name (which is, of course, the best way to find your profile if a client wants to work with you specifically, rather than your competitors).
A mix between SEO and Personal Branding
Perfecting your online presence is a mix of SEO and personal branding. That means making sure that your profile has enough relevant keywords to appear in searches according to LinkedIn’s algorithm while staying true to what reflects you best and the brand you want to portray. It’s important to understand that there are five components of your profile that form LinkedIn’s search algorithm. They are the headline/title, profile summary, employment history, endorsements, and recommendations. It’s most valuable to consider keywords in these areas of the profile.
First four seconds
According to LinkedIn experts, the first four seconds that a person spends on your LinkedIn page are the make or break. Referring to these as “touch points,” they are the first four judgments that influence a customer.
The first and second touch points are your photo and profile summary, which will be discussed below. The third is your banner, which should be aesthetically pleasing and relevant to your industry. This includes appropriate colours, words, and graphics. It’s best to collaborate with a graphic designer to create an effective banner. The fourth touch point is your content. This refers to your posts and articles. A general rule of thumb is to ask “what will add value to my clients? What do they need information on and how can I provide it through my content?”
Components of your LinkedIn profile
Next, let’s take a look at the components of your LinkedIn profile and how you can best optimise them to you and your alliances’ advantages. It may help to look through your own LinkedIn profile while reading this.
Research shows that the profiles with headshots are seven times more likely to be clicked on and viewed in a list of search results. While you can’t control how everyone perceives you in a photo, a general checklist is necessary to convey a positive and professional brand.
Here are the essentials: a genuine smile (showing teeth is always more favourable), a recent photo (so that you’re easily recognisable in real life), and consistency (so that you’re well-remembered).
Remember that first impressions matter. Your photo should depict you as an open and honest business person.
Your headline should be clear and include your job title, as well as one of the followings: location, clientele, or keywords/synonyms.
A job location is necessary to show what company you work for, as well as its geographical location. A geographic location is especially necessary for entrepreneurs who are mobile and provide a service. Let’s say you’re a freelance social media speaker and you’re happy to travel to local clients to work with. An example of your headline would be Social Media Speaker| Melbourne CBD.
Here is an example of my profile to further explain my business and services. There are a number of synonyms that a person can type when searching for services like mine. For example, some of my potential clients may be searching for an “expert,” while others may be searching for an “advisor.” Both are similar and both convey what I can provide to clients. So, including both words in my headline means I have more of a chance of appearing in searches.
Including either of the three options in your headline influences who your profile attracts.
3. Industry and Location
As mentioned above, location is important in narrowing down who you’ll work with. Essentially, location is about convenience. Your clients want to know if your business is close enough to them that they’re happy to regularly travel to for your services. They want to know that you’re reachable.
Not only is it important to include the city you’re located in, but also the specific suburb to narrow it down. Your suburb can be included throughout your profile with the following format: (service, product, job title) in (suburb). For example, “nanny sharing in St Kilda,” “nanny sharing in South Yarra.”
4. Profile Summary
Some common problems when writing a profile summary include being too broad, not using all the space you’re given (make the most of it) and telling a story of everything you’ve done. Rather than telling a story, your summary should tell future clients what you can and will do for them. So, it should be mostly written in the present tense. To write an effective profile summary, you want to ask yourself the following questions.
i) “Why should they, the people searching, care about me and what I do?”
Here, you’re addressing the problem that the people are searching the internet to find the solution to. What do your clients need from you? What void are you filling in the marketplace?
ii) “How am I helping them?”
What products or services are you offering to them? For example, mentoring, consulting, workshops.
iii) “Who am I helping?”
In order to attract the right audience, you should specify what industries you specialise in. It’s also valuable to include any well-known clients that you have worked with.
While LinkedIn does have a separate section for recommendations, people only see that if they scroll right to the bottom of your profile. If people are very interested in you then they will scroll down to read them, however since profile summaries are one of the four “touch points,” they should attract people quite quickly. So, it’s useful to include short and effective recommendations in your profile summary. If you have ever been quoted or included in a reputable magazine, you can add that here as well. Recommendations are important as they support your credibility.
Overall, your profile summary should include relevant keywords that your potential clients are searching.
5. Experience, education, 5+ skills
Similar to other sections of the profile, it’s important to include relevant keywords in these components to improve your SEO.
6. 50+ connections
It’s important to note that your profile will be fully complete once you reach 50+ connections. However, you shouldn’t just connect with everybody for the sake of numbers. Your connections should be with people who you genuinely want to do business with.
To read more about quality LinkedIn relationships, Click Here.
Having 50+ connections ensures your profile has an “all-star” strength and is a massive 27x more likely to be found in searches.
Looking for help in maximising your profile to convey your brand effectively and attract the right clients?