A fruitful LinkedIn profile [infographic]
LinkedIn has become a cornerstone for lawyers, accountants, architects and other professionals who wish to maintain an active presence with their ever-expanding connections. It all begins with a great LinkedIn profile. One that presents the right message, is findable, engages readers and invites interaction.
While it can be a rather serious undertaking to overhaul a complete LinkedIn profile from top to bottom, you don’t need to do it all at once.
Step-by-step, this infographic leads you through the process of updating your LinkedIn profile, from snappy, descriptive headlines through to messaging that stands out from the crowd.
Your LinkedIn profile will be a continuous work in progress that follows the ebb and flow of your professional life. So, get into the habit of updating it. Just start somewhere and then build on your success.
For those of you who prefer longhand writing, just keep reading…
Collect the fallen fruit.
Whether you’re new to the site or you’ve been inactive for years, you probably already have the basics: a headline, a photo and contact details. Your headline and photo are the onliest elements of your LinkedIn profile that people will see when you post comments. Here’s how to pick them up!
Headline – It’s not a tax form. It’s free advertising to your entire network… and their entire network! So, rather than going for accuracy about your job title, go for a snappy, interesting, informative, descriptive and memorable headline. What do you do? For whom? How? What differentiates you?
Photo – Your headline may be worth 120 characters. But your headshot is worth a thousand words! Forget the convenience photos you may already have present. Take the time to consider the message you’re delivering with your facial expression, body language, choice of attire and background. Your headshot is how you make a first impression with new contacts. Use it to communicate professionalism and style.
Contact information – Complete, current and corporate. That’s what we’re going for here. Use your business, not your personal email. Go beyond your website and include a blog or twitter handle, if you have it.
Pick the low hanging fruit.
LinkedIn has a search algorithm, just like Google and other search engines. Use it well to make your LinkedIn profile findable and grow your professional network. That’s your low hanging fruit! Tips to do this:
Profile URL – Personalize the address for your LinkedIn profile to include valuable keywords that make you findable with the right audience.
Endorsements – Select the skills that align with your ideal client files. Maximize the list (50). Accept endorsements for these skills from people in your network.
Work experience – Complete your job history so colleagues who search for connections at those companies can find you.
Education – Complete your education history so past classmates who search for connections at those schools and institutions can find you.
Keywords – Select keywords that align with your ideal client files and use them in your headline, descriptions and subheadings, as appropriate.
Licenses and certifications – Listing any special programming you’ve undertaken can help to emphasize your credibility, add interest and even boost findability with related or specialized keywords.
Volunteer work – Adding a volunteer section to your background expands your professional identity with the goodwill and strategic value of your contributions to your community. It may also help individuals who search for connections at those organizations to find you.
Supported languages – If you are bilingual or multilingual, you can either list the languages you’re fluent in (under accomplishments) or you can add a profile in another language. Your market may be searching for your services in another language or searching for a specific language in association with your services.
Recommendations – Ask for recommendations and give them too. Diarize this as a regular task, triggered by specific milestones with clients and referrers. Everyone connected to the individual that writes a recommendation for you will see this recommendation. And the same is true for all recommendations you write for others.
Climb a little higher for the fruit that’s harder to reach.
Customize content to reflect your professional identity and your firm’s brand, with video, graphics and words that stand out from the crowd.
Banner – Pop from the clutter by creating a custom banner. Add a concise, impactful message, like a tagline or call to action. This may be overlaid on a relevant image or a branded background. Bear in mind the limitations of mobile viewing, where text may be difficult to read.
Featured – You can add a featured section to highlight specific posts, articles, links and media eg a high profile video from the press or an introduction to your firm. This is where you could add a portfolio or possibly case studies. The featured section will have the dual benefit of elevating your credibility and adding visual interest, high up on your LinkedIn profile page.
For those determined to get every last fruit, reach for the treetop!
Get intentional about your messaging and your content, from your elevator pitch to everyday activities and noteworthy achievements from your professional practice:
About – While many professionals may already have an about section, few will have taken the time to craft a strategic message. This is your elevator pitch. It should capture the essence of your professional identity and hold your market’s attention. How do you want to introduce yourself? Who are you targeting? For what purpose? What can you do for them and how is that different from others? Why should they contact you?
Activity – Your activities are visible on your LinkedIn profile. If you’re a ‘liker’, you lose the opportunity to express your vision, ideas and leadership. So, develop a plan for your LinkedIn activities, accounting not only for the original content that you post but also for how to comment on content shared by others. Implement it, consistently and regularly.
Achievements – Add a section on accomplishments to highlight publications, patents, courses, projects, honors & awards, test scores and organizations. LinkedIn does not have a specific location to list speaking engagements. An option would be to list them under honors & awards. As well, if you are immersed in a high profile initiative like writing a book, while it’s underway you can list it under projects.
At Bekhor Management, our approach is focused on what really works to build and enhance small to mid-sized Canadian professional practices. We invite you to book an initial consultation if you’re looking for assistance with any aspect of your marketing or management.
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