10 Top Tips To Get You Started on LinkedIn

Struggling With Where To Start With Your LinkedIn Profile?

So you’ve taken the plunge and created a LinkedIn account and are now trying to get your personal LinkedIn profile completed . . . where the heck do you start?  Having a fully completed profile is important as it increases your visibility on LinkedIn and helps you get found by prospects, so it’s worth taking some time to get your message across.Here are my top 10 tips to help you get started:

1.    Even though it’s your profile . . . It’s NOT about you! It’s about your ideal clients and what’s in it for them. So when compiling your profile think about who it is you serve, what their pains and problems are and how you help solve them.

Blank notepad and pencil2.    Write it in Word first. Create your profile first in a word document and then copy and paste it into your LinkedIn profile. Use sub headlines and symbols (♦ » Ο) to highlight information you want to stand out for, especially in your headline.

3.    It doesn’t have to be perfect. Your LinkedIn profile is not set in stone. It can be modified and updated at any time so you don’t need to worry about getting it perfect. I am constantly updating and modifying my profile so don’t worry if it’s not quite right. Just get it published and then go back and review and update your profile over time

4.    Know your Keywords. When completing your profile you need to be aware of your KEYWORDS. I.e. the words that you want to be found for and the words your ideal clients will be using to find people like you. You then want to be using these keywords throughout your profile to make it compelling and relevant to your target audience and of course more searchable.  The key places to your keywords are in: your headline; your summary, your current experience; past experience and skills and expertise

5.    Treat your LinkedIn profile like your website. Firstly because it is another web presence for you and your business but just like your website your LinkedIn profile needs to get found! So with your website you are looking to get found in Google searches; with your LinkedIn profile you are looking to get found in LinkedIn Searches – hence the need for keywords.

Once your website gets found in a Google search you want potential prospects to click through to your website and become engaged with it. Similarly with your LinkedIn profile. Your headline has the key job of grabbing your potential prospects attention to get them to take action and VIEW your profile. On the main home page of LinkedIn when you log in LinkedIn does tell you how many profile views you have had so you can see if you are getting any traction.

Finally once you have people through to your Profile you want them to stay engaged and to take some form of action whether that be connect with you or email you for example.  So always remember to include a call to action throughout your profile. Describe who should contact you and how can they do so.

6.    Personalise your LinkedIn profile URL. The default LinkedIn profile URL can be found under your photo and is displayed as your name followed by a series of numbers, i.e: uk.linkedin.com/pub/your-name/12/345/678. As soon as you can you want to change this to just your name.

So mine is: www.linkedin.com/in/judithparsons (please feel free to connect with me :o) so that you can use this on your email signatures and business cards.  If your name is not available try including the initial of your middle name. To update your LinkedIn profile ULR you will need to be in `Edit Profile’ mode and you will see the word “edit” next to your default URL. Click on “edit” to update your public profile URL.

7.    Your Headline: This is one of the most important parts of your LinkedIn profile. It’s a 120 character message that is displayed to the left of your photo and it has two key roles to play! Firstly it helps to get you found in LinkedIn searches and secondly it’s got to be engaging and compelling enough to get potential prospects to click through and look at your profile!

So avoid using your job title and words like Owner, Founder or Managing Director. Instead create an elevator pitch and use all 120 characters to tell your ideal clients `what you do`; `who you do it for` and `how you help’.  Describe as succinctly as you can the benefits your ideal clients will get from working with you. And don’t forget to include the keywords you want to be found for. I also capitalise the first letter of every word as well to make it easy to scan and read.

8.    Build your social proof. Ask and give recommendations. One of the brilliant benefits of LinkedIn is the ability for people to see who has recommended you and what they say about you. So create a list of people from whom you could request a recommendation and also who you could give a recommendation to. We are all busy so when requesting recommendations try writing the recommendation to make it easy for the person from whom you are requesting the recommendation. It also means that you have some control over what is in your recommendation.

9.    Get Connecting. you need a minimum of 50 connections on LinkedIn to have a complete profile but actually you want to be looking at reaching 500 connections. (Why? Because it helps you get found on LinkedIn!) Start connecting with people you know – your friends, colleagues, partners, suppliers, clients, prospects and everyone you meet networking. When connecting sending an optional message is NOT optional. Always personalise your connection requests.

10.    Drive traffic to your website. You can link up to 3 websites on your LinkedIn profile, so add a link to your website, blog, or social media accounts and help drive traffic to your website.

When you add your Website ULR to your LinkedIn profile you can also change the wording of your website titles that is displayed on LinkedIn. So rather than using the default LinkedIn text i.e. Company Website, customise it with a call to action i.e. Free LinkedIn Profile Training.  You only get 30 characters to play with though so again you’ve got to be succinct! To change your website link text in LinkedIn you will first need to be in ‘Edit Profile’ mode. Then choose “Other” from the drop down list of website types and type in the text you want to display as the link for your website.

LinkedIn Website titles - LinkedIn profile training

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