Let me count the ways — and share them — so everyone can improve their Return on Time Investment.
This week I’m conducting workshops entitled:
“I’m on LinkedIn . . . Now WHAT?”
Below is a list of what we discussed until time ran out. So this article is two-fold:
1) For those who may be missing some key tips and features for maximizing their LinkedIn profiles
2) For those who already know how robust this platform is — and can add more suggestions.
1. PROFILE HEADLINE: Too many people, myself included, initially neglect to maximize the power of the Title or Headline. That is the 120-character message to the left of your photo icon. When you post on group discussions and Q&A, your photo AND that title will “brand” you.
At first, I simply wrote “Community Manager at Performance Social Media” because I was proud of that label. But what did the “label” do for my readers, i.e., anyone who viewed my profile?
Nada, really. Most people don’t even know what a community manager is.
And, then, there are my friends who are proud to tell people they are the CEO of this or that consulting agency.
Daah? What does that do for me? How can they help me?
The key here is to use those 120 characters to broadcast exactly how you personally [because it is all about people helping people] can help me, i.e., give me a reason to want to find out more about you.
So what should you do?
One recommended format is to aim for two “problem solutions” and one “descriptive title.” Here’s how I changed mine:
Here is how my friend Kay Karchevski, the H2o Water Lady updated hers:
Another friend Diane Castro, senior living consultant, changed hers from “Founder of SOS4Seniors” to this:
Don’t tackle this “simple” fix alone. Ask a friend or two. You’ll be amazed how their suggestions can help you frame just what it is you do.
2. YOUR UPDATES: Remember that your updates, i.e., the messages that you write on your LinkedIn Home Page appear beneath your name, photo, and headline.
So, post accordingly.
Some people love automated tools to post the same messages on every social media site they belong to.
Not a good idea, especially for your LinkedIn connections.
I love the analogy I’ve heard that MySpace is like meeting your friends at a bar; Facebook is meeting them at your backyard BBQ; and LinkedIn is meeting them at the office.
Twitter does allow you to add the hashtag #in to the end of your Tweets and they will automatically post on LinkedIn, but be deliberate how you use this.
While you may post many times a day on Facebook and Twitter, Common Wisdom & “Business Etiquette” would suggest that you not post more than once or twice a day. That being said, DO POST. Let your connections know that you are engaging in valuable activities that will support your value in their minds.
3. POSITIONS & EDUCATION: Let your resume help here . . . AND in achieving the sought-after 100% completeness.
Fifteen percent of the total is devoted to whether or not you have imported your resume.
LinkedIn helps you upload the information on the right sidebar under “Edit my Profile”: you will see a link to click on with instructions.
But don’t stop there — like I did.
“After the fact” i.e. a few months after my profile was 100% complete, I learned that several of the “past” positions had errors — either repetitions or the incorrect company name. SO BE CERTAIN to go back and check those entries.
How do you do that?
You are in Edit Profile and you CLICK on the word Past [see below]:
Carefully read through each entry and click the “edit” link where a change needs to be made.
4. RECOMMENDATIONS: This topic probably needs an article article on its own, but your profile must have recommendations — to achieve the 100% completion, but, more importantly, to show that people do value your expertise.
How to get those recommendations? Do good work, of course.
In the beginning, however, you may have to simply ask customers, clients, and friends who know your accomplishments. Many times if you offer an unsolicited recommendation to someone else, they may reciprocate.
5. CONNECTIONS: The magic number is 500. Once you surpass that number, your total will remain 500+, whether you have 501 or 5,001.
Whom should you connect to?
Some people choose to keep their LinkedIn community close, i.e., only folks they know personally and would be happy to recommend.
On the other side of the LinkedIn world, you will see “LIONS” — LinkedIn Open Networkers, who accept every LinkedIn invitation and display their email addresses.
I, myself, fall in the middle. In addition to people I know in person, I like to “meet” people in Group Discussions and through Q&A, check out their profiles, and send invitations if I think we can support one another in some way.
If you, personally, are FOR or AGAINST being a Lion, please add your opinion in the comment section below.
6. WEBSITES: Here’s a big opportunity that many people miss when they opt for the default titles “My blog” or “My company” or “My website.”
Edit this section, and in the drop down box, click on OTHER. Then you have the chance to write the actual NAME of your blog, company, and website — another opportunity for key words on your profile AND increased “Find-Ability.”
7. PUBLIC PROFILE: Another simple “fix”: Edit the default URL from a long unwieldy string of numbers and letters after your name to just your name. Of course, like me, someone with your exact name and spelling of the name has probably already secured that URL, so add something like your city.
Here’s mine: http://www.linkedin.com/in/shariweisssf — I merely added “sf” for San Francisco after my name.
8. YOUR SUMMARY: Last October I wrote an article titled “The Magic of LinkedIn: Making your Profile work for you,” based on a presentation I’d attended.
But, like most of you, I’m learning a ton of new things every week, and so I’m going to “sum up” the meat-y part of that article and add a bit more.
A) Here is the 3-paragraph format I believe is effective for most of us:
B) After these short, clear, and concise paragraphs, include a COMMON MISSPELLINGS line like mine:
[Common misspellings: Wise, Wiess, Sharon, Sheri, Sherry, Shari Sax]
If people are looking for you, don’t let them miss you simply because they don’t know how to spell your name.
C) Finally, there is the SPECIALTIES section which is hugely important.
Here you put the KEY WORDS that employers are looking for when they search the LinkedIn site. My latest understanding is that keyword PHRASES are better than single words — to help you differentiate yourself from the many others who mostly put in single words.
YOUR TURN: How can you help the rest of us love LinkedIn even more? Add your thoughts and suggestions, and connect with me on LinkedIn.
PS I just found this Video on Filling Out Your LinkedIn Profile from Butterscotch.com
And here are a total of TEN videos on How to do LinkedIn