LinkedIn: Optimizing Your Professional Profile
Responses from the Social Media Survey given in the last issue of Author Connect indicated that a majority of you want to learn more about using LinkedIn. The following article provides a basic breakdown of LinkedIn, including valuable tips that can be used to optimize your profile and promote your published work to qualified contacts.
Linking Professionals Together
As the world’s largest professional network, it is important to understand how to optimize this powerful tool to further connect with like-minded people, generate leads for reviews, and most importantly market yourself.
Why LinkedIn: Professional Networking vs. Social Networking
We view LinkedIn as a supplemental tool to building your professional network. While the majority of LinkedIn traffic comes from employers and job seekers, it is a valuable tool for building lasting networks that removes a lot of the “noise” that exists on other social media platforms.
Demographics: Quality over Quantity
LinkedIn boasts 227,000,000 plus users worldwide, spanning over 200 countries and territories, with two new members joining every second. The majority of users are between the ages of 35 and 54, but the fastest growing demographics are students and recent college graduates.
These represent quality users that could be potential reviewers, customers, editors, etc… all eager to pursue networking opportunities. The trick is getting them to find you. This is where having an optimized profile comes into play.
If You Build It, They Will Come: Creating a LinkedIn Profile
The first step to building a discoverable, professional LinkedIn profile is to think like a marketer. Be concise, and focus on keywords and content. LinkedIn uses search engines to publicize its content, which filters into SEO ranks among popular sites such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo. Think of your profile as your online resume or portfolio—the more complete it is, the more credible it will be.
Use the following tips to build an effective LinkedIn profile:
- Make your headline sing! In just 120 characters; use keywords to describe your job title and company. Be exact, or classify your job title into broad and practical terms – it all depends on your audience.
- Add your professional photo, location, and current industry, work experience, education, and contact information. Personal photos are acceptable, however professional photos are highly recommended. Users will be hesitant to network with you if they can’t put a face to your name.
- Create a customized vanity URL and LinkedIn Badge (public link to your LinkedIn profile page) that you can share in email signatures, communications, and on webpages, blogs, and social pages – Click here for instructions.
- Personalize your summary section. This shouldn’t read as a resume, but should instead share the story of who you are. What are you passionate about when it comes to your job? This is the ideal section to provide additional information about your background and expertise.
- The Experience section is similar to a traditional resume, and is where you list your position within a company, the dates you held that position, and a brief description of the job itself. Include links, images, and documents to display your work and help you get discovered. Here, you can also ask colleagues for recommendations.
- Choose your top Skills. This will allow people to provide you with valuable Endorsements. You can also seek out colleagues and endorse them, thus increasing the likelihood of them contacting you.
Using the Summary and Experience Sections to Promote Your Work
In the Summary and Experience sections, it is highly encouraged to add videos, book cover images, and supporting documents. These are surefire ways to effectively market your publications without being intrusive, and increase the chances of getting your work discovered. LinkedIn’s built-in prompts will encourage you to include book titles and descriptions, giving you a great opportunity to explain your contributions to each work.
Recommendations Go a Long Way
Recommendations garnered from colleagues who found your book to be particularly useful in their research or education provides an invaluable endorsement for your work. By reaching out to these types of connections, you can generate more qualified leads or networking opportunities.
We will provide additional ideas on how to promote your book on LinkedIn and other social media sites in upcoming Author Connect articles.