As business professionals or students of the game, it is extremely important that we utilise social media. Doing so allows ourselves to showcase an extension of our personality to the right audience and thus LinkedIn is no exception!
Firstly, if you don’t already use LinkedIn, here are some statistics to why you should:
- LinkedIn has over 675 million monthly users.
- LinkedIn is the #1 social media platform amongst Fortune 500 companies.
- 91% of marketing executives list LinkedIn as the #1 place for content.
- LinkedIn is the #1 channel for B2B marketers use.
LinkedIn is a must for any business or aspiring professional and is on the rise
Joining LinkedIn is a fantastic opportunity to begin networking and rubbing shoulders with like-minded individuals who may become your employer/customer/coach/friend and/or client. To hit the ground running I have compiled a useful list of tips for developing an online LinkedIn presence to help increase your chances of success by boosting your profile views.
Profile Picture and Banner!
Despite the phrase ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’, we all make snap judgements based upon first impressions. Think of your profile and banner as your front cover to a book, or the landing page to a website. It needs to captivate and give the person viewing your profile the right signals. To do this: Use a clear and professional photo which conveys happiness, passion, or charisma. A headshot is often the most appropriate.
Statistics have shown that LinkedIn profiles with photos get 21x more views and 36x more messages
As for the banner/header, most LinkedIn users neglect this feature. However, it is a missed opportunity as it provides a great blank canvas to express your expertise, personality, or industry skill. Take for example my banner which gives you a concise strong message alongside expressing my photoshop skills and creativity. Now compare that to a blank and dull cover which does nothing to entice the audience.
If you struggle for ideas or lack the software to create a banner, you can always ask someone with relevant experience, or use a free website such as Canva and edit from templates.
Privacy settings and Custom URL
Adjusting your settings and making small tweaks can make a huge difference. For example editing the custom link or URL to your profile (i.e. linkedin.com/yourname), can make it much easier to promote yourself. This has zero downside whatsoever and looks far more professional. Additionally, if your name happens to be taken try variations of your first and last name (i.e. lastname/firstname or lastname/middlename/firstname) BUT at all costs avoid using numbers and lengthy words.
Tip: Make sure your privacy settings are public and that strangers can view your profile in its entirety. (Again, this is proven to gain profile views on LinkedIn).
Another optional setting to change is the ‘Viewers of this profile also viewed’ toggle. By default this is set to [ON] which means viewers of your profile get a recommended sidebar of other people. Now while this seems advantageous it can have some disadvantages. For example, it may be more beneficial to have this disabled and turned [OFF], so that your chances of competition are diminished. From personal experience as a graduate, the competition for jobs is fierce and therefore I’ve taken advantage by eliminating the possibility for an employer to window-shop so that they stay focused on my profile.
Connect with peers and network!
Contrary to popular belief, people don’t care unless you can provide them with some form of value. Afterall this is a social media platform so make an effort to actively partake in discussions. This means giving feedback on posts you like or perhaps try to engage and reply to those who do the same for you.
Make small objectives and goals to accomplish and try to connect with users who are in your industry or who are in a field in which you are interested. As an example: I want a career in digital marketing and should connect with X amount of people per week who I know, or who is related to the industry of choice. The search bar is an extremely helpful addition as you can search titles, hashtags, and alumni for specific people. Above all else, don’t be a robot and have a personal stance. It’s good to share your opinions, experiences and personalise messages to individuals – just remain respectful and professional.
It makes sense that if you want to increase your profile viewership then you need content (posts, blogs, videos, articles, and pictures). There is a debated sweet science to what is enough or what is too much but posting at least once a week will significantly enhance the likelihood of being viewed than if you were to have no online presence at all.
I found that even if I was lacking on content ideas, contributing, and developing the conversation of other posts went along way. I would urge everyone to keep the content create relevant and topical to the business you are in or want to be in, that way you attract those who are in similar positions.
Possibly the most difficult question to ask of someone is for a recommendation. However, whenever someone or a colleague praises you, ask them to politely write a recommendation on LinkedIn. I don’t need to describe the importance of recommendations as it is common-knowledge and universal at this point as they are highly perceived and sought after.
Something that I found helpful was recommending others first with no agenda or expectation of having it done in return. In most cases, those who you recommend will also give you one back if they share the same feelings. This may take some time but setting goals can help this daunting task achievable, even if it’s one recommendation a month.
Tip: Ask colleagues, friends, classmates, clients or develop a connection with someone and provide them something worth of value.
To summarise, getting the most out of your LinkedIn profile doesn’t have to take hours of dedication. Over time work through these profile tips and continually add and update it with any new and relevant information you have. Once you have your LinkedIn profile to a high standard you will be thankful of the benefits for both: you and your business. More and more are discovering the mass potential of LinkedIn so make sure you take full advantage and make 2020 the year you step up. Also, remember it’s never too late to improve. Regardless of how perfect your profile may seem – sometimes changes happen from algorithms to website layouts. Every so often review your profile and make beneficial changes.