Doing business on LinkedIn – Part 1

From Jade McAuley, Rebel Marketing

I’ve had many clients who signed up for LinkedIn, made a rough go at their profile, got p***ed off by all the email notifications and declared that LinkedIn was useless. Not so!
Ok so LinkedIn does take a little finessing, but that’s why there are people like me in the world. We’re the ones that enjoy figuring out all the little tricks and tips and then sharing that knowledge with others.
There is a lot you can do on LinkedIn to increase awareness for your business and raise your own profile, so I’m going to do this in a few parts. Today is Part 1 – my top tips for creating a killer LinkedIn profile. These are all so equally important, I’m not even going to number them.

> Picture please
LinkedIn is a fantastic tool for establishing credibility and expertise. Bit hard to trust someone when you can’t see their face. This also goes for anyone using personal pics like wedding days or with your kids – that stuff is for Facebook.
If you’re wanting to go the extra mile, add a cover photo too – to give your profile some context when people click on you.

> How do I find you?
Have you ever Googled a potential employee, client or yourself? Chances are that LinkedIn was one of the first listings you found – a big part of this is having a custom URL.
In the Contact Info section, hover over your direct LinkedIn link and a cog will appear – click on this to create a custom URL (eg Plus, now you can easily add your nice and tidy LinkedIn URL to your business card, email signature, resume etc.

> Give me the highlights
Yes, you need a summary. No, this is not just a rehashing of your jobs below. The summary is a great chance to capture someone’s attention with your wit and personality or – at the very least – show that you know what you’re talking about. Use this space to pull out career highlights, what your strengths are, plans for the future and anything else that gives an impression of what you’re like to work with.

> It’s not just a resume
Please, don’t just copy and paste your resume in there – I beg of you! While it is interesting to learn your capabilities and skills, what I want to know is what was special about that job to you. Did you have a major learning experience? Did you work on a big, exciting project? Did you get to work with a well-known person or business? What are the key advantages that this position gave you? What milestones did you help that business to achieve when you were there?
Not that I want to know all of that for every position – brevity is important too.

> Getting social on your profile
Demonstrate your professional interests and which organisations you think are worth watching by joining groups and following company pages. For groups, look for ones that align with your skill set and future ambitions. For companies, look for associations you’re already a part of (eg Chamber, industry bodies etc), clients, suppliers, prospects, competitors and anyone you’d like to stay up to date with for industry news. You can find both under the Interests tab.

> Pimp that profile out
Don’t stop there! Certifications, volunteer work, project case studies and more are all available options that can make your profile look super profesh, while making it easier to read by being sectioned out – rather than all the info stuffed into your summary or in links.

Now stay tuned for Part 2 about getting connected, and how this is useful – coming to you next week.