LinkedIn profile

5 Things your LinkedIn profile needs to make it more professional

A bad LinkedIn profile can make you look unprofessional. And an incomplete profile could be costing you that next high paid job or supplier contract.

There is an increasing number of people checking out your LinkedIn profile before they contact you. They may not contact you through LinkedIn, but there’s a high chance they researched you.

In 2013 there was a figure floating around that 94% of recruiters used LinkedIn to vet job candidates. The figure seems high, but nonetheless, it seems to be correct.

LinkedIn recruiter statistics

As you can see from the image above, Facebook and Twitter are trailing behind.

So, it doesn’t matter if you are a business owner, or someone looking for leads or someone looking for a job. LinkedIn can be a tool for research before contacting you.

According to LinkedIn’s official blog, they have a total of 433 million users. This figure was correct as of Q1 2016.

LinkedIn user statistics

Steve Sordello, the LinkedIn CFO posted on the LinkedIn blog revealing the fiancial report for 2016. On one slide there is a graph that shows that the average active users per month of around 110 million.

That’s a lot of activity and a lot of users.

So, If a lot of people are using LinkedIn, it would make sense to spice up your profile, wouldn’t it?

I’m going to show you 5 things that you can do today that will help you get a better LinkedIn profile.

1. Organize & Plan.

LinkedIn is a search engine.

OK, It’s not as big as Google or Youtube, but it has the distinct benefit that the focus is only on professionals.

When you search in LinkedIn for a phrase or job title you get different types of results, some of them are:

  • Groups
  • Companies
  • People
  • Showcase Pages

LinkedIn search results

Guess what? That means most of the SEO tactics you already know and love are applicable to your LinkedIn profile. With this in mind, you’ve got to organize how you are going to market yourself on the platform.

Start planning by figuring out what you want to rank for. And be realistic, there’s no way you are going to rank well for single word phrases unless it’s a niche.

Aim for each phrase you want to rank for, aim for at least 2 words and something less than 5. Where possible also include a geographic quantifier as well.

Think about it, if you were ordering pizza online you wouldn’t search for pizza would you? You are would be more inclined to search for “pizza in [The Place I Live]”.

BAD. Marketing

GOOD. Online Twitter marketing specialist.

BETTER. Online Twitter marketing specialist in Sydney.

BAD. Cleaning.

GOOD. Carpet & upholstery cleaning.

BETTER. Fast carpet & upholstery in Brunswick.

2. Writing a high impact LinkedIn Profile

After you’ve crafted the perfect keyword phrase it’s time to write the best LinkedIn profile you can. When writing your profile make sure that you don’t overload the copy with the keyword phrase.

Keyword density is a measurement of how often your phrase appears. The problem is that nobody knows the perfect keyword density. Shaun Anderson from Hobo-Web gathered together 30 SEO experts to talk about Keyword density. The conclusion was there isn’t a perfect percentage.

I have a rule of thumb that I apply, and I’ve found it to be workable. If you read the copy and it looks and sounds natural, you have got it about right. If you’ve exploited every opportunity to use the phrase, the piece will look bad and will be an awful read. Even worse, a piece with too high a density is a prime candidate for getting marked as spam.

Before I start writing I make a list of the key points I want to cover. This helps to focus my writing and stops me wandering off and writing fluffy guff.

You want to cover your key qualities and what makes you good at your job. Tell the reader why you are good, but give them some statistics to back up your statement. Adding statistics gives the reader a sense of trust and it also helps to break up the onslaught of data.

Avoid talking in generalities. Give specifics where possible.

BAD. “I helped make a great increase in sales at Jones Manufacturing.”

GOOD. “I increased sales revenue at Jones Manufacturing by 300% over 3 years.”

BAD. “My main success at Bob’s Construction is that I saved them money on production costs.”

GOOD. “I halved production costs at Bob’s Construction from $244M to $122M in just 4 months. I did this by researching and implementing new quality procedures to watch production.”

Can you see how much more dramatic things sound when you include the statistics?

When you think you’ve finished, put yourself in the shoes of the audience and read the profile again. If you read the profile and think “Wow, I’ve got to work with this person”, you nailed it. If it’s lacking the “wow” factor, then re-write it.

3. Use every scrap of space.

If you look around at an average LinkedIn profile you will see that the summary section is blank. Why? Because these people are treating LinkedIn as a resume. But the platform is so much more than an online resume.

LinkedIn profile summary

The summary appears just above the experience section, and this is where you’ve got a chance to shine. There is a 2000 character limit here, and you should use it all.

Keep in mind that nobody likes a show-off. The reader is going to get “switched off” if you are all “look at me” I have incredible skills.

Of course, you have to tell people what you do. So how do you tell them without being pushy and looking like Donald Trump?

You write with a bit of humility. Imagine you were on a stage talking in front of 1000 people. If it would be normal to get up and say how wonderful you are, then put it in your profile.

If you are like most people, just dial it back a notch and drop a few adjectives here and there. Keep the important points, just without the dressing.

4. Push important points with graphics.

There are graphics everywhere in our lives today. And above graphics is the consumption of video.

There are some crazy statistics about YouTube, the world’s second most used search engine.

  • There are over 1.3 Billion registered users. That’s not far short of one-quarter of the world!
  • There are 300 hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute.
  • Worldwide there are over 5 billion videos watched every day.

I could go on, but the point is the above three statistics confirm one thing. And that thing is that people love watching video content.

Using video on a landing page for a marketing campaign can increase conversion rates by up to 80%.

Why is video content so important?

Because it’s fast and it gives a personal connection. Plus, you can pack in a huge amount of information.

Some studies suggest the average attention span in America in 2015 is around 7-8 seconds. That’s bad considering a goldfish has an attention span of 9 seconds!

Video allows you to capture their attention and deliver high impact messages with ease. You can use videos on your LinkedIn profile, and it’s recommended that you do.

If video content isn’t appropriate for you at least use high impact graphics. You can get these created for you by a graphic designer.

Whether you are using images or video you want to use it to deliver your most important points. Just make a short summary and then use that to make the graphics or video.

The point is, make things graphical because the uptake is so much higher. Plus, it’s easier to confront for the viewer than a big ugly block of text.

5. Make a killer first impression

Most people skim read before they consider a full read of an article. But how does that work with LinkedIn?

There’s a term used in Online Marketing called Above The Fold. It means anything that can is visible on-screen without scrolling. As you can imagine, it’s different on a desktop than a mobile.

The above the fold content is THE most crucial part of any online marketing. This is where people are getting the first impression of you and your business.

Too many people have their Facebook or Twitter profile pictures on LinkedIn. This is unprofessional and it’s a big no-no.

It takes less than half a second to form an opinion of whether you like a website. The same applies to a profile on LinkedIn.

A jolly night on the town photo belongs on Facebook. Professional images belong on LinkedIn.

A professional photo shows you at your best, so when possible get a professional to take the shot. If you can’t afford a professional take the photo on a good quality camera. And if all else fails, use your phone but make sure the room lighting is good and you are looking smart.

You’ve got to use that half second to make the best impression you can!

Getting things into perspective.

Remember that there are a lot of people using LinkedIn. And you are in a crowded market. So you have to do everything you can to stand out, and one of the best ways to do that is to get the most benefit you can scrape up from LinkedIn.

I hope you find these tips useful.

I’m interested to hear your experience with LinkedIn. Do you get leads from it? Do you use the platform to find new business?

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