I have written about LinkedIn optimization on numerous occasions. Every time I do, I must reiterate that LinkedIn is the best B2B platform available. No matter what you do for a living, LinkedIn can be leveraged to obtain new leads, increase sales, and showcase your skills to the world. With over 380 million users, it is a must for any B2B professional.
As with any type of online marketing, you must optimize LinkedIn in order to see the best results. Optimization takes more than just creating a profile and hoping people will find you. You must make sure to complete all the small details of your profile as well as take advantage of the numerous tools the site provides (e.g., LinkedIn Pulse, networking groups).
Make Your Profile Public
One of the first ways to optimize your profile is to make it public. “Your LinkedIn profile should always be public, even if you feel the need to remain somewhat anonymous,” says LinkedIn Journal founder Loribeth Pierson, a private consultant who trains people on LinkedIn best practices. There are many privacy settings that you can use to maintain privacy, but the goal of LinkedIn is to showcase yourself to the world. As such, why would you want your profile to remain private?
Create a Custom URL
Pierson also recommends changing your public profile URL to something more personable. LinkedIn allows you to customize your personal LinkedIn domain, with chosen names given on a first come first serve basis.
Here’s how to customize your LinkedIn domain:
- Under the Your public profile URLsection on the right, click the Edit icon next to your URL.
- Type the last part of your new custom URL in the text box.
Publish on LinkedIn Pulse
Taking advantage of LinkedIn Pulse, the site’s free publishing platform, is another way to help optimize your profile. “By writing what you know and sharing you are able to become someone who people know,” added Pierson. “Optimizing your posts and tagging are really important to have your posts seen. It is a free platform with 380 million users, open 365/24/7 so you can’t go wrong.”
By using Pulse and optimizing your posts, people are going to be drawn to your LinkedIn profile. You must make sure that your posts contain quality information about your expertise in order to attain more profile views and build your brand. More post views always translate into more profile views, which is essentially a new lead for your business.
Use an Appropriate Photo
Ashir Nelson from LinkedIn Vault recommends narrowing in on the fine details of your LinkedIn profile to help with optimization. “You want to focus on the four main areas of your profile: Photo, Headline, Summary, and Experience,” Nelson told me via email. Nelson considers these four elements essential to proper LinkedIn profile optimization.
For photos, Nelson states that a picture is worth a 1,000 words. “That stands true for your LinkedIn profile photo as well,” Nelson adds. “As LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network, you should have a professional photo taken in appropriate attire. If you are unsure, dressing business professional is recommended.”
Optimize your Headline
Your headline is just as important as your photo. According to Nelson, “your headline is the first thing your audience will see when they come across your profile and you want to make sure it speaks to them.”
Your headline should be more than a statement, it should be a call to action. For instance, state who you are and then how you can help. For example, Nelson recommends marketing professionals helping small businesses can have a headline similar to “marketing director at XYZ Company | I help small businesses increase the exposure of their products and services through niche advertising.”
Summarize and Show Off your Experiences
Summary and experience round out the rest of your profile that you should focus on. The summary section allows you plenty of room to talk about who you are and what you offer. Make sure to use every character available as well as keywords specific to your industry.
Since my main profession is professional Wikipedia editing, my summary contains keywords such as “freelance writer,” “professional Wikipedia writer,” “expert Wikipedia editor,” and more. These are all part of my profession and keywords that will help people find my profile when looking for such services. Your experience should include only prior experience that is pertinent to your target audience.
When looking to take advantage of LinkedIn, make sure to optimize your profile. After all, people are searching for what you have to offer, but it is up to you to let them know you are there. Pay attention to the little details such headlines and summaries. Also, take advantage of the available tools such as LinkedIn Pulse and networking groups. Optimization of your LinkedIn profile is the key to reaching your audience and increasing your leads on the world’s largest B2B platform.