How Can I Create a Successful LinkedIn Profile?
At Imagefix we get at least three times as many queries from clients about setting up a LinkedIn profile than any other digital platform. So it got us thinking, what is it about getting started on LinkedIn, that makes it so scary for newcomers? In our experience there are 3 things that people worry about:
- Not knowing what to write in their profile summary.
- Worrying that they won’t come across as ‘professional’.
- Concerns about what information to include.
LinkedIn has evolved over the years to become a friendly and supportive business platform, so new members can expect a warm welcome. The major obstacle to getting started seems to be the profile. It’s a tough task because you’re having to write about yourself, but once you’ve taken the plunge you can start benefiting from the LinkedIn community.
Here’s our 5 tips to help you create a successful LinkedIn profile:
1. Choose a Good Photo
Humans love visuals; we’re hard-wired to read information from faces and make up stories about what we see. Before you start writing, therefore, find or create a picture that is a great intro to you at work. The face is crucial, so make sure it takes up most of the image and that it’s current. Choose clothes that you’d be happy working in, and take time to relax into a smile.
2. Include ‘You’ in Your Headline
‘Headline’ suggests a bit of pressure, so think of it instead as how you’d introduce yourself to people in a business setting. The job title would be in there, but you might also include a hobby, an achievement or a passion. Here’s some examples:
- Digital Marketing Assistant – Helping Businesses Succeed for 3 Years – Ready for a New Challenge
- Founding Partner @XXXXX – I help SMEs to realise their growth potential
- Published Author and Illustrator – I blog about writing xxx@xxx
- Director of Product Management @XXXXX. I love tech innovation and tennis.
3. Don’t Run Away From the Summary
Perhaps the scariest bit of the profile is the summary – so much so that loads of people leave it blank! The summary is your work story, and for many people it’s difficult to know where to start. So here’s 3 questions to get you going:
- Why did your choose the career you’re in? Was it a childhood dream, a happy accident, or something you had to struggle to achieve?
- What is it that you enjoy most about the work you get to do every day – or – what would you miss most if you couldn’t do it any more?
- Where are you in relation to your long-term goals? What are the challenges or support you need to take you to the next level.
4. List the Skills You Offer
This is an easy task; all you have to do is survey the list LinkedIn offers and choose the ones that are key to what you do. Because it’s nice and simple, you’ll be tempted to pick skills that are ‘nice to have’ but not really core. Don’t be seduced! The longer the list the more meaningless it becomes. Highlight the skills that are integral to what you’ve written in your summary and headline.
5. Make the Most of Your Experience
If you’ve written about a developing journey in your summary, the experience section of the profile allows you to substantiate it. Most important, this section needs to be easy to scan quickly, so find a format that is clear and legible. Then, for each entry, state your job role, your (growing) responsibilities, and any specific achievements whilst employed. Finally, don’t forget to highlight what you’d like the reader to take particular note of.
You’re On Your Way
These 5 tips have covered the most challenging aspects of getting started on LinkedIn. Once you’ve worked your way through them, you’ll hopefully feel more confident about adding new sections to your profile, and enhancing it with a banner image.
If you find these tips useful, take a look at our two other digital marketing guides to LinkedIn practice:
Would you like Imagefix to create your LinkedIn business profile? Call us today to find out how we can help on 01525 715608