Winning At LinkedIn Personal Branding
LinkedIn is the de facto boss of professional networking. If you want to expand your network, meet new potential clients, show off to potential employers, or connect with cunning candidates for your roles, there ain't no better place to do it. Your profile is now that first 'introduction' these people have to you. They can find you through a simple Google search, and make all sorts of snap judgments about you, with a few clicks of a button, without having even met you, and without you even knowing. Creepy right? So it's up to you. You have to make sure your profile nails it, so that you're all setup and ready to rock and roll for the people you want to impress. Below are some super important points to get you started:
Your Profile Photo
Your profile photo is representative of how you would dress at a job interview, how you would arrive at a new sales meeting. Your potential clients or employers will make a snap judgment about you (as grim and modern-era as it is) about how you look, and it's a grim feature of reality that you can use to your advantage. Would you turn up to an interview in a t shirt and toasting a beer? Unlikely... Your photo needs to be demonstrative of your physical self when in an important meeting or interview, generally smart casual with an inoffensive expression and not-controversial background; you can even use the new LinkedIn Photo Filters if you wish.
Your Profile Headline
Guess what? Your headline doesn't have to just be your job title. It is in fact the most prominent area for you to emotively describe your unique selling point. What is it that you want people to know about you first and foremost? What are the key skills you have that you think will be of interest to a profile viewer? Get them in the headline so they're out and proud for the world to see.
Similar to Facebook (who many think that LinkedIn is trying to emulate in order to achieve the same mammoth cash injection through advertising revenue) LinkedIn now allows you to add personalised graphics to your profile page. This means you can add branded banners to your page, helping to communicate your business brand or personalise your profile to better reflect your character. Need some photography? Google UnSplash for a treasure trove of royalty free imagery.
Endorsements & Recommendations
Remember to endorse and recommend those people you work with who truly deserve it. You may be prompted to do so, or you may decide to do so based on your own experiences, but know that if truly deserved, a recommendation can go far in cementing what must already be a positive working relationship. Likewise endorsements, fire them out to people when deserved, and thou shalt receive under similar circumstances too. Nervous about gaining those first one or two recommendations - just ask your clients and assuming you're good at what you do, they will often oblige!
Above are a hanful of LinkedIn 101 lessons for how to get started on setting up your profile. If you'd like expert assistance in branding your profile, writing copy to successfully demonstrate your skills or experience, or double checking your profile photo, just drop us a line on firstname.lastname@example.org.