LinkedIn Settings and Profile Optimization Strategies
What kind of message does your current LinkedIn profile make to potential clients?
Is the first impression others see what you want them to know about your brand?
Did you know your LinkedIn profile is almost as important as your website?
Do you know which sections of your profile are the most important?
LinkedIn is one of the top social media sources for professionals to connect with others. According to LinkedIn, they are the “largest professional network with more than 610 million users in more than 200 countries and territories worldwide.” With that many users, it can be difficult to get eyes on your brand. That’s why it’s important your profile is optimized for maximum exposure.
When people do a search for you or your brand, they often go to Google. Your LinkedIn profile will most likely show up in the first three positions of the search results. It’s often where those searching will click first to learn more about you.
If your profile is slim or hasn’t been updated since you first created it years ago, it may not be making the right first impression for prospective clients, customers, or potential partners. It’s imperative to have an updated, optimized profile that quickly grabs attention and makes an impression.
The first step is setting up your basic profile and optimizing in a way that grabs the attention of your target customers. Specific settings will allow you to optimize your profile for maximum exposure.
Your profile not only represents you and what you do but your brand and company as well. Your LinkedIn profile needs to stand out from others. People do business with people they know, like and trust.
“To attract attractive people, you must be attractive. To attract powerful people, you must be powerful. To attract committed people, you must be committed. Instead of going to work on them, you go to work on yourself. If you become, you can attract.” — Jim Rohn
With a generic profile, people are less likely to follow you and won’t know if they can trust you. In fact, users with a complete optimized profile are 40 times more likely to receive opportunities from other LinkedIn users.
This guide will dig into the strategies for creating a highly optimized profile, why it’s important to have an optimized profile, how to get recommendations, tips for creating headlines that get noticed and resources to help you boost your profile.
As you continue with the four modules in this course, you will learn how and why you should have a properly optimized profile (this module), the importance of a company page and how to optimize it, the tools, types, and tactics of posting content and finally, how to reach out to clients.
Let’s get started.
Profile Optimization Strategies
Having an optimized LinkedIn profile simply means your profile is updated to get you the most visibility from your targeted audience. It involves several things including compelling, client-focused descriptions while establishing your credibility.
When you optimize your profile, it leaves an impression. The first seven seconds is all you get to wow when a potential client lands on your page. It’s the difference between decision makers wanting to connect with you or them clicking away.
The advantages of having an optimized profile include:
- Attracting leads and clients
- Boost your professional reputation
- Create trust faster
- Build your authority
- Let’s you stand out with a memorable impression
- Develop relationships with decision makers
Another advantage is how your optimized LinkedIn profile contributes to your digital selling efforts. Successful social selling and lead generation greatly depend on credibility and authority. Having a fully updated profile that is maximum optimized is important to create that credibility.
Strategies and Best Tips:
- Get found. Make sure you are building your LinkedIn network with your ideal clients. Ensure you can be easily found on LinkedIn and the people you want to attract, like what they find. Your network needs to be 1st, 2nd or 3rd-degree connections or share a LinkedIn Group, otherwise, you won’t show in their search results. Use the right keywords and search terms throughout your profile to be found by those searching for what you offer. Finally, make sure your profile is optimized and resonates with your ideal prospects.
- Tell you why. Give your target audience a reason to look at and you listen to you. Your story is what separates you from your competitors. Tell them what your purpose is, what drives you, and why you do what you do. Then let them know how you can help them, what problem you solve with insights on how you solve specific problems.
- Create credibility. Your profile needs to make you appear credible in the eyes of your potential clients. To do this, share recommendations from people who know you and have worked with you. The more recommendations you have that are detailed, the better you’ll be able to establish trust.
Having skills that are frequently endorsed by others is a great way to build trust. Your experience and achievements can also help. Toot your own horn, show off honors, awards, and recognition you’ve earned.
- Your ideal clients. Make sure your summary highlights exactly who your ideal client is and what you can do for them.
- Call to Action. You must tell your readers what action to take. Create a CTA to download a free resource, schedule a consultation, send you an email or call you or whatever you want them to do next.
A complete profile includes:
- At least 5 skills
- A professional looking profile photo
- At least 50 connections
- Your industry and location
- A current position with description
- Two more past and current positions
Not only do you want your LinkedIn profile to be strategically optimized, but you also want it to be free of grammar and spelling errors. Ensure all the details are true and factual.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re wanting to attract potential business partners, recruiters, employees, or employers, or looking for new clients, having a truly complete LinkedIn profile only enhances your professionalism and your brand. It gives them reasons to connect and trust you.
Maximum Exposure Settings
An optimized LinkedIn profile is key to visibility. The first step is tackling the basic information and making sure it is correct. You need to let people know who you are first.
In this section, I want to dig into the features and updates you need to be using to get the most out of presenting yourself and your business on LinkedIn for the best marketing view.
- Make a solid first impression with your name and headline. Use your name without extra keywords. LinkedIn frowns on anything except your name in the name field. Instead, focus on using a keyword specific headline. The headline field, along with your name shows up in various places on LinkedIn.
Create a snappy headline that’s under 120 characters. Ensure it includes what you do in an original and creative way that’s clear and informative.
To edit the headline area, click on the Me icon on your LinkedIn home page. Select “View Profile”. On your profile page, Click the pen or “edit” icon and put your content in the area for the headline. Click “Save” when you’re done.
Add a high quality, professional headshot, 400 by 400 pixels, that is visible to everyone. Go to your profile and click on “Edit public profile and URL” found in the upper right corner. In the window that opens choose your visibility options. Choose “Public” to be visible through search engines and other networks.
Select a high-quality background cover image that portrays something about you. Make it one that is personalized or shows what you are about. You can create a background image easily on sites like canva.com. The correct size for the background images is 1584 by 396 pixels.
- With recent updates, the contact information can now be seen at the top of your LinkedIn profile. Update this with your website and blog URL, your Twitter and other social media handles and your phone number or email address.
- The summary section on your profile is where you enter a summary of your professional experience as well as your expertise. You are allowed several paragraphs to describe yourself to prospective connections such as employers, partners, customers, or clients. This is your elevator pitch. How do you describe who you are and what you do when you meet someone in person?
You can add media to the top of your profile as well. Add the ones you are particularly proud of to establish branding and your expertise.
You can use a template like this one to help you fill out a complete summary that generates leads:
WHAT I / WE DO:
WHO I / WE WORK WITH:
HOW I / WE DO IT:
WHY IT WORKS:
WHAT MAKES ME/US DIFFERENT:
WHAT OTHERS SAY:
READY TO TALK?
- Customize your LinkedIn URL to make it easy for others to find you. Your unique URL is in the light-grey box below your name. Click the edit button to change it. A good custom URL would be www.linkedin.com/in/yourname.
- Set your location and industry to allow your profile to display in searches of your field of expertise and your industry. Include a location and industry in your bio so anyone reading it knows what your focus is and where you are based.
- Include previous positions so your audience can see you have experience and always deliver on your promises. Your previous history tells your story.
- Include recommendations. Recommendations are like testimonials. These descriptive comments from former or current colleagues are persuasive content. Ask for them and give them freely to others.
Tips and Strategies
- Create a keyword-rich headline instead of leaving the default one provided by LinkedIn.
- Make your contact information easy to find in your profile and summary sections.
- Know who you’re targeting before you build your content.
- Add the maximum of 50 skills and endorsements, putting your 3 most important skills first.
- Populate every part of the profile section that pertains to you with content to support your personal brand.
- Add a bit of personality to your brand story in the summary section.
- Include plenty of white space in your profile to make it easy to read.
- Use bullet points to highlight achievements, contributions, and awards.
Your profile is the first thing people will see when they come to your page. To stand out, it needs to be optimized completely.
Your goal, once your profile is optimized, is to get recommendations from your connections for your work. Recommendations are essentially LinkedIn’s version of testimonials which is attached to specific job experience in your profile.
Why You Need Recommendations
Social proof matters in our lives today. People use the internet to research products and services prior to purchasing. They read recommendations and reviews to help them make informed decisions before making a purchase or hiring services.
Recommendations show that someone trusted you to do the work and you did the job well enough that they were willing to write about you publicly.
The right recommendations are helpful in the lead generation since they influence people to engage with you. People are more likely to trust products, services, brands, or individuals that several others have positively recommended.
LinkedIn recommendations are connected to individual profiles of real people. There cannot be a fake LinkedIn recommendation because you can follow it to the source of who wrote it and ask them questions about the person or service they recommended.
Asking for Recommendations
It’s best to ask for a variety of recommendations for specific skills or services you want to be known for. You can use the request a recommendation button for people you are connected with on LinkedIn or email those you have worked with in the past if you aren’t yet connected on LinkedIn.
To send an email asking for a LinkedIn recommendation, be courteous and professional and make it easy for them to say yes. Always offer to return the favor. Acknowledge they are busy and offer to write something they can edit. Give them an idea of what you are looking for within your recommendation, such as specific skills you used or the results you achieved for them.
To begin your request for recommendations, start from the person’s profile you are making the request of. Click on the “More…” tab next to the blue message button at the top of their page, click on the “Request a recommendation.” Fill out the form.
Be specific in your request. Don’t use the default request for a recommendation. Instead, write a sentence or two about the service you provided for them and the results and benefits they gained working with you.
Request a recommendation as soon as possible after completing a service while the results are still fresh in their mind. Be specific in what you want from them. LinkedIn will send you a notification that you have a recommendation you can accept to add to your profile.
LinkedIn recommendations are the testimonials that provide proof of others can trust you. They help others form opinions on you and how you can help them.
LinkedIn Headlines That Get Noticed
Headlines are the 1 to 3 lines under your name. It’s possibly the most important area of your LinkedIn profile.
So how do you write LinkedIn headlines that get noticed?
- Start by searching for other people in your industry on LinkedIn to find fresh examples of what their headline looks like. DO NOT COPY their headline.
- Use your personality and think about how those you are targeting would think. What do you think they want to see? What words would they likely be searching for in a client, servicer, or provider?
- Pluck a few sentences from your resume that best describes what you offer and condense them into a good headline sentence.
- Always update your headline as you advance in your career and things change.
Job title/company plus Relevant Keywords plus Eye-catching statement about you/Something about you that makes others want to get to know you/personality
Your job title should, of course, be included as it shows relevancy to searchers. But you want to build your headline from here to make it stand out.
Use the right keywords and phrases that relate to your profession, your industry and describe you as a specialist. What terms or phrases do people use to search on LinkedIn to find you? Try to use several of those in your headline.
The final element in the equation is the eye-catching statement that will grab attention. It should be creative yet intriguing and memorable. Focus on how you do what you do. What makes your work special? What value do you offer? Use as many words as possible to make your LinkedIn headline standout.
There are several slants you can take when you write your headline:
- (Your role) helping (who) do (what). Begin with your jog title and continue by explaining what types of companies you work with then what you do for them.
- List your area of focus or your credentials. List the type of work you do, awards you’ve received or your accomplishments. Separate them with commas, pipes, or bullets.
- If possible, combine both your focus and your credentials.
- Let your personality shine by telling a brief story about you, your work style or how you helped others.
Here are three examples to help you think creatively:
Corporate Trainer (Kammy Haynes) https://www.linkedin.com/in/kammyhaynes/
Travel Agent (Maria Stefanopoulos) https://www.linkedin.com/in/mariastefanopoulos/
LinkedIn Trainer (Trevor Turnbull) http://linkedin.com/in/trevorturnbull
If you are having trouble coming up with a compelling headline, there are tools and templates available to help get you started.
The headline is one of the most important sections in your LinkedIn profile. Along with your image, it is what people see when they do a search. The best LinkedIn headlines are the ones that engage, surprise, or stand out in some way. Make sure yours does too.
Advanced Strategies Profile View
So far, you’ve set up your basic profile and started doing a few tweaks to make it stand out. Now let’s look at some more advanced strategies you can employ to boost views.
Use these tips to boost your views to your profile:
Add media. There are a variety of places you can add articles, videos, slideshows, images, and graphics to your profile. One place is the summary section. Another is the place is under your individual job sections. Add links to your YouTube videos, SlideShare presentations or any other type of media.
Cover image. We talked a little about your cover image above. A cover image is optional but it’s a great place to show off your branding. Create custom branding for yourself by creating a graphic that includes your branding or message. You can easily create a LinkedIn cover image using any graphics software such as canva.com.
Keep in mind what your objective is when you create your cover image. Is it to brand your company or industry? Are you offering a benefit, appealing to a pain point or social proof? Are you wanting them to do something specific by having a call to action?
Stay active. LinkedIn prioritizes people are active so it’s important to increase your activity.
- Connect with others. On your My Network tab, look for recommendations for people you can connect with. Synchronize your email contacts to your LinkedIn account to find people you know.
- Join groups. In LinkedIn’s search bar, type your interest(s) to find groups to join. On the results page, filter your results by groups. Request an invite to join. Be sure to add new posts and comments when you join.
- Post comments and updates. Share links to things you’ve read or seen. Post career lessons or tips. Comment on people’s post in your network. Ask questions. Create updates automatically with tools like postcron.com.
- Write articles and share on the platform. Write entire blog posts on LinkedIn to boost your visibility. It’s easy to publish by clicking on the “Write an article” button below your update box on your homepage.
Be open for business. Let others know you are actively looking for work. On your private dashboard, click on the section “Let recruiters know you’re open” and turn this option to “on.” You can write a note for recruiters, specify the type of work you’re looking for and add locations on the next screen.
Even with the basic profile set up, you need to have a way to get yourself in from of potential partners or clients. Use these advanced strategies to optimize your profile to bring more views.
Businesses run smoother when you use available resources to make quick work of certain tasks. Here is a short list of resources you can use to optimize your LinkedIn profile.
- Title-generator.com creates up to 700 headlines in one click.
- LinkedIn Headline Generator can help you with your headlines.
Graphic and image resources
- Pixabay.com is a free image source.
- Canva.com is an easy to use a graphic program that offers LinkedIn cover templates.
- Pocket.com has a feature that allows you to curate content based on specific topics that are high-quality and credible.
- Feedly.com is simple and useful integrations. You can send the content directly to Buffer or share it there then to your social profiles.
Here’s What’s Next
Your LinkedIn profile is the first thing people see when you show up in searches. Therefore, it’s important your profile is optimized fully so they get a good first impression.
In this lesson, you learned how and why you should optimize your profile along with tips to make it stand out. You learned what your settings should be for maximum exposure. You also went through the steps of adding a headline and your profile picture as well as setting up your summary and a customized LinkedIn URL.
You learned how to create a compelling headline and why adding a background image is important. Finally, you learned the strategies for getting more profile views.
The next step is to update your LinkedIn profile.
In the next lesson, you’ll be learning why and how to create a LinkedIn business page and why it’s important. You’ll also get tips to optimize your page for best practices.