In 2019, it’s all about how to optimize your LinkedIn profile and make the most out of it. If you are ready to move ahead with your career ladder or just wondering how to:
- generate more leads and prospects for your business,
- promote your brand or
- position yourself as an expert in your niche,
check out this LinkedIn profile optimization guide with our easy-to-follow steps.
But before you proceed, let us show you why proper optimization of your LinkedIn optimization is so critical in 2019 and the years to come.
Studies show that 80% of B2B leads come from LinkedIn and 79% of B2B Marketers say LinkedIn is an effective source for generating leads.
So, according to the stats, LinkedIn is an ideal social media platform for reaching out to and engaging with your potential B2B customers.
What’s more, when compared to Facebook and Twitter, LinkedIn generated the highest visitor-to-lead conversion rate, almost 3 times higher than both Twitter and Facebook.
LinkedIn profile optimization includes a series of actions and steps you take to improve its essential components (URL, headline, profile photo and others) representing your professional brand so that it becomes more visible, attracts more quality leads, and makes a powerful impression on your potential customers.
Now, let’s see how you can use this powerful social media platform to your advantage.
How Do I Optimize My Linkedin Profile for Maximum Exposure?
To optimize your LinkedIn profile for maximum exposure and engagement, it’s highly advisable to:
- Connect with people by sending them an irresistible connection request message
- Actively engage in conversations
- Update your status and profile consistently
- Build trust by adding your authentic picture
- Wow people with a catchy headline which shows off your expertise
- Include proof of your experience in your summary (attach your portfolio, video, slides, images, etc.)
- Include valuable achievements that will put you ahead of the competitors (relevant certificates, awards, publications, etc.)
- Establish credibility by adding endorsements and your previous clients’ recommendations to your profile
- Sprinkle all your profile components with specific target keywords to make it more SEO-friendly so that people can find you more easily
There’s more to it. If you want to stand out in the crowd and be noticed for who you are and what you can do for people, follow our detailed advice below.
Ready to shine out?
Let’s start polishing up your LinkedIn profile.
1. Upload a Professional headshot
Stats: LinkedIn reports that a profile with a quality picture gets 15 more views and 8 more connection requests.
The first thing people see on your LinkedIn profile is your picture. The most natural advice here is no-wedding-pics-please for your professional resume, which a LinkedIn profile basically is.
Should you want your picture to appeal to your prospects, make sure to upload a professional, but a smiley photo.
Quick Tip: Optimizing your profile picture, make sure you look professional. Casual photos won’t do you any good. Simultaneously, you want to present your personality not just your expertise.
Speaking of web picture resolution, your profile photo displays well at 200 x 200 pixels minimum.
Also, it’s advisable to change your LinkedIn profile photo visibility options to “Public” so that anyone can easily find you.
2. Lure Prospects With a Perfectly Optimized Name and a Catchy Headline
Stats: Analytics suggest that optimization of your profile picture together with your name and headline brings up to 80-90 percent of your profile page clickability.
They say, LinkedIn headline is the most important asset of your profile. Our advice here is to write what you are all about, your main interests and career aspirations. Be as original and clear as you can.
Add an emoji, such as a circle or a star, to make your headline visually excel. Next, add some keywords relevant to your industry, separating each keyword with the same emoji you previously used.
Quick Tip: The headline is limited to 120 characters so be sure to use valuable keywords that your target audience uses and seeks to find.
You could also write a few words about your future goals.
Should you question yourself how I add a headline to my LinkedIn profile, these are the steps:
- Click Me icon at the top of your LinkedIn home page. Select View Profile
- On your profile page, click Edit icon
- Edit Intro dialog box appears where you can enter new content for your Headline. When you’re done, click Save.
3. Showcase Your Expertise With a Professional Summary
Quick Tip: a LinkedIn summary is where you tell your professional story. This is limited to 2000 characters, the first 250-300 of them being the most important 4 lines displayed right under your picture.
To write a compelling summary is a craft and here’s why. Your professional summary is a formula that helps to reach out to prospects.
Do you speak their language in terms of your industry buzzwords and keywords for SEO? Is your summary coherent with the job descriptions that follow? Answer these questions to check whether your summary stands out.
Quick Tip: Make sure you include your contact information to your summary. You want to make sure that if someone is interested, they can easily reach you even if you aren’t directly connected on LinkedIn.
To make your summary excel, our advice is to describe in the first person what you do and how it helps others, as well as incorporate the key terms that are important to your target audience.
You can also include some remarkable achievements from your previous projects and enumerate how that positively affected your company, the customer, your team, or the bottom line.
LinkedIn summaries that attract prospects have the following characteristics:
- Strong opening that describes your current role
- Your value explanation regarding current projects
- A short outline of your past experiences
- Rich with keywords and digestible to read
- Invitation to connect and your contact information
A great example is Dave Gerhardt’s summary.
4. Spice It Up With Personal Branding
While optimizing your LinkedIn profile, keep in mind a few final personal branding tricks. Good self-branding tactics include:
- Personalizing your contact information and invitations to connect, as well as
- Adding visual assets to your profile.
To personalize your website or blog link, you can add your brand’s name as a description to it. Here’s how to do it:
- Click Contact Info on your profile page
- Contact Info dialog box appears. Click Edit icon on the right of the dialog box
- Click Add Website option and choose Other from the drop-down menu. Type field appears. Insert your brand or company name as a description to your website information
When sending an invitation to connect, your default message is:
“I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.”
Doesn’t that seem boring to you? Nothing special.
No worries, though. Here are a few tips on how to personalize your connection request message:
- Say “Hi” and add the person’s name
- Mention where you’ve met and/or the topic you discussed
- Clearly state why they should connect with you (how they could benefit from that connection)
- Suggest keeping in touch (or any other action of your intent)
Add documents – Slideshare presentations, videos, pictures, portfolios, and any other relevant visuals. It will give your prospects more information about you, your company and how you can help them solve their pain points.
How does this sound to you? Not so complex, yet powerful hacks, right?
5. Add the Right Skills for Endorsements
Being able to endorse others and be endorsed yourself is a cool LinkedIn’s feature. What matters here in terms of optimization is to mention the right skills for endorsements.
In other words, remove any meaningless skills irrelevant to your industry and position. Also, place your most prominent strengths closer to the top of the list to make them stand out.
For instance, universal skills such as MS Office or Facebook are redundant on your list, especially towards its top (unless you’re e.g. a Facebook ad expert).
The right skills depend on your goals, interests and relevant keywords. So, think ahead, pick the keywords you want to rank for and ask credible people and your previous satisfied customers for endorsements, i.e. validating your skills.
Always list some in-demand skills, highlight them and regularly update this section.
“Endorsements help ensure you are more likely to be discovered through search. Also, if you have at least five skills listed on your LinkedIn profile you will receive up to 17x more profile views!”Source: LinkedIn
Remember – although you can add up to 50 skills to your LinkedIn profile, better list fever skills with endorsements than a range of different skills with no endorsements.
6. Ask for Recommendations
LinkedIn recommendations of people you’ve worked with serve as testimonials and are helpful for building your credibility.
It’s also worth asking when it comes to recommendations. Or you may start by giving recommendations to your ex-colleagues and other trusted professionals, and people will return the favor.
Just go to your contact’s profile page, click the “More” button and choose “Recommend” or “Request a Recommendation” option.
Whether giving or asking for recommendations, make sure the recommendation is specific, valuable and concise.
When recommending someone include this information:
- How you know the person,
- What their position was while you were working together,
- How long you were cooperating,
- How that person employed their particular skills to achieve business goals (including some stats that quantify your achievements if possible).
Let the person see your recommendation and ask them what they’d like to change or add before it’s been made visible. That will also allow you to express your wishes when they recommend you in return.
7. Customize Your Profile’s URL
It’s not a good idea to keep the random set of numbers and letters in the URL LinkedIn automatically generates for you. Clean it up. Use your own name and change any special characters into universal ones so that people can find you more easily through search engines.
Custom URL can contain anything between 3-100 letters and/or numbers.
Customizing the URL on your LinkedIn profile is easy:
- On your profile page, click Edit Public Profile & URL on the right
- Under Edit URL, click Edit icon next to your public profile URL
- Enter your name without spaces and click Save button
8. Subscribe to Groups of Your Interest
Browse professional groups of your interest. Subscribing to a few of them might be valuable in terms of professional development.
This can be a fantastic way to showcase your expertise so that your potential customers can reach out to you for advice, expert opinion or help.
In addition, LinkedIn gives 15 free messages you can send to people who aren’t in your contact list but belong to the same group as you do.
By the way, adding your business email to your Summary gives your potential clients the ability to contact you directly.
9. Polish Up Your Job Descriptions
Whether your prospects are your potential clientele or you are an active job seeker, the next step to optimize your LinkedIn profile is to create full and clear job descriptions. Same as with your summary, 3-4 first lines are most visible and thus matter a deal.
Here’s our quick quiz to find out whether your job descriptions are attractive for your prospects:
- Have you explained the value proposition you are/were bringing to the corporate table?
- Have you eliminated the positions not relevant to your career aspirations?
- Is your story coherent? Does your profile tell one story?
Making sure your job descriptions are coherent and tell one story, try to look at your digital resume through the eyes of the audience you want to reach.
Applying for a senior SDR role and still mentioning your summer work as a babysitter that you had as a teen? Hm, this profile is probably worth reviewing.
Quick Tip: Develop LinkedIn job descriptions for the next step you want to achieve.
When crafting the first three lines of your job description, must-have is to enumerate the value proposition of yours. If the competences and skills that you possess are adding to the wins of your company, don’t hesitate to mention that.
Take with You
To become a magnet for your prospects, it’s worth investing some time into optimizing your LinkedIn profile. Our easy-to-follow steps have guided you through telling a coherent digital story that describes well the best version of you as a professional.
However, if you are short on time and can’t afford to wait for people to find you, we have proven tactics and ways to find all important data points and contact information of people that fit your ideal customer profile. Schedule a free consultation with our team and find out what can we do to help your business succeed.