5 Essentials for starting a LinkedIn Profile

LinkedIn is well known as the best online social networking platform for entrepreneurs and business folk. In fact, as of May 2014, it has surpassed the 300 million user mark. LinkedIn has grown at a pretty good clip over the past 3 years but did you know that LinkedIn predates both Facebook and Twitter? It’s true, LinkedIn first launched in 2003 and had 4,500 members after its first month.

How ya been these last ten years, LinkedIn? You must have put on what, three... forty inches?

With LinkedIn now being the runaway leader for connecting with business contacts online, it makes perfect sense for to start connecting with professionals and building business relationships that can help strengthen your business. Not only that, but your personal business profile has an effect on your business ranking via Google search.

It all starts with your profile, and there’s some things you can do to help optimize your LinkedIn presence. Having a great LinkedIn profile is important if your goal is to find and connect with prospects, customers, or even potential business partners. Here’s how to get started:

1. Clean Up Nice for Your Profile Pic

LinkedIn is the leading social media platform for B2B networking, so keep in mind that a business appropriate headshot is important. LinkedIn isn’t just a personal contact list. It’s also a place to meet new people. A good idea is to use the same profile photo across all social platforms if you want to maintain personal brand consistency.

2. Choose a Rockin’ Headline

The content inside your headline is indexed, both by LinkedIn and Google. It pretty much tags along anywhere you go, appearing when you send out messages, invites or even when someone hovers over your picture. There’s a variety of approaches you can take with your headline. You could keep it simple with position and company name, you could get right down you business with a phone number, or you could even have some fun with it by adding a clever tagline of sorts. Whatever you choose should fit your personality, your industry and your company.

3. Get Yourself a Custom LinkedIn URL

You don’t need to stick with the default profile link that contains a random string of numbers. Choose something short and easy to remember, like your name if you can get it. Not only will this be helpful when sharing your profile with others, but it will also help your personal brand in search engine rankings.

4. Pimp Out your Summary with Appropriate Search Terms

Most of the fields in your profile are searchable by LinkedIn users, so make sure you pepper in some search terms that you want to be found with. Use these terms most importantly in your headline and your summary. You can also use some of these terms in your job title or past work experiences, but make sure it’s relevant and appropriate. Don’t fake it like those extremely laboured job titles you see on people’s resumes.

I’m currently a Regional Human Research Analyst. Yeah, I spend a lot of time on Facebook.

5. Start Connecting with Recommendations and Endorsements

In order to really take advantage of LinkedIn’s capabilities, you’re going to need some connections to help establish and strengthen your credibility as a professional. In order to receive recommendations, start by recommending the people who have done great work for you in the past and you’ll begin seeing some returning the favour. The same goes for the endorsement feature. Getting endorsements and recommendations strengthens your personal brand and your company brand by having public support.

By starting off your LinkedIn profile with these 5 tips, you can begin establishing your status as an industry expert and trusted professional. Ensure social success by showcasing your talents, strengths and capabilities with oodles of business professionals in your industry, both locally and abroad.

Find me on LinkedIn and let’s talk business.

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