Creating an online profile seems like an easy task, but understanding what people are looking for and how to make yourself stand out in a crowd is vital in attracting attention from the right audience.
Like other social media platforms, LinkedIn allows you to create a personal profile, but unlike those platforms, it enables you to build a brand around yourself and your business.
Many people think of LinkedIn as a form of an online resume, and in a way, it is. However, with LinkedIn you can create a more effective message around who you are and what you do, providing a platform to not only post your digital persona but get your brand recognized.
Here is a checklist that will help you create the perfect profile.
Create a Customized URL
LinkedIn allows you to create a custom URL that links directly to your profile. Choose your URL name for either your name or your business name (i.e. John Stanford, StandfordAssociates). You can attach your profile URL to your email signature or offer it to prospective clients that want to know more about you.
Add Your Contact Information
Enter your personal and business contact information. You can add your phone numbers, email address, website address, business address, and other social media contacts.
Add a Recent Profile Photo
It’s best to upload a recent professional photo of yourself. Make sure your appearance in the picture is consistent with how you dress for work or how you would present yourself to prospective clients or employers. Ensure the image is framed appropriately, with a close-up view of your face.
Create a Summary
Fill out the summary section completely. This section is what most people first see when they view your profile. Your summary should be descriptive enough to reflect your personality and experience while creating a brand for yourself and your business. You don’t need to overcomplicate this section, but you can upload or link to external media sources, such as pictures, videos, presentations, and promotions.
Update Your Skills and Endorsements
This section should be optimized with the capabilities you want your clients or colleagues to expect when they interact with you. Endorsements will come from clients, colleagues, or acquaintances that can vouch for your particular skill or talent. As your network grows, more people will endorse you for that skill for which you are best known to them. Be sure to include all of the skills and talents you possess; this will provide broader appeal for your audience.
Add a Background Photo
You can also add a background photo to your profile. You can choose any background photo you like, however, pick something that is relatable to the people you expect will be viewing your profile. Make sure that the background image is a high-resolution image so that it will format correctly as a clear image.
Another thing to remember is that LinkedIn is a reflection of you. Own your experience. Include all of your professional and educational roles, convey your successes, not your responsibilities. Tell the story of “who you are” and allow your colleagues and clients to endorse your skills. Following these tips will help you develop a LinkedIn profile that’s not only a solid description of you but a brand that will help drive your future success.