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The Perfect Linked In Profile: 7 Ways To Make It Pay Off For Your Business

jeff weinerWhen was the last time you took a good look at your Linked In profile?

A little background to this question.

I love Linked In.

But it wasn’t always that way.

In 2006, I received a Linked In invitation to connect – from a client of mine, a high level executive at a major corporation. I admit I was stunned. She was the very last person I would have expected to have jumped on to the social networking bandwagon. Intrigued, I accepted. That allowed me to see all 300 of her connections. And when I saw who was in her “online Rolodex” my jaw dropped open.

Linked In Profile Power

That’s the day I was bitten by the social networking bug. I saw the power not only of how many contacts could be generated, but the caliber of the contacts.

I started crafting and completing my Linked In profile, connecting with ideal professionals, and learning all the Linked In possibilities for business success available – still at the free level.

Soon, my Linked In results started to kick in. Over the next couple of years, here are just a few of the tangible results that stemmed from my Linked In profile and social networking actions:

  • hundreds of new subscribers to my newsletter
  • attendees at my live events
  • 4ooo members in a women’s professional group I launched.
  • Exponential new visibility and credibility with my ideal niche market
  • Actual new private clients and registrants in my online programs

Linked In Profiles Have Come A Long Way Baby

In the beginning Linked In was simply a huge professional resume bank, with limited features and a very clunky search function.

But then Linked In started to grow up.

It added content options – articles, blog post feeds, Powerpoint Slide Share to feature your content, automatic linking with Twitter (unfortunately now defunct ) travel posts so you could meet up with new contacts when you were in the same city (very cool feature). Then the search function improved, particularly with the advanced search feature.

The biggest advancement: Google started to favor and highly rank Linked In profiles..

Your Linked In Profile Is Like Having Another Personal Website Promoted By Google’s Search Engine – for FREE

This means you can no longer afford not to have a powerful Linked In profile working for you and your business.

With all of the new features now available on Linked In, it can be pretty confusing to figure out how to write the perfect Linked In profile for your business or career.

I want to make it very simple for you and give you a few essentials and priorities to writing your ideal Linked In profile – ones that will attract Google’s influential eyeballs and your ideal connections.

1. Your Linked In Profile Requires A Professional Photo (This is not optional for optimal results)

Yesterday, I was invited to connect with someone on Linked In. The photo was of her and a man behind her.  I have no idea who this man was – her husband, her biz partner???  I’ve seen others post family photos on their Linked In profile. What’s up with that? Linked In is not Facebook.

Do not post a photo that is not well lit and professional in appearance. You don’t have to be movie star good-looking to make a great impression with your photo. People want to get a sense of your personal brand through your photo.

2. Your Linked In Profile Should Feature The Right Keyword Rich Tag Line

Focus on creating a tag line that will be ideally searchable by Google. So if you are a lawyer, make sure you use the kind of law in you tag line as Google keywords are searched.  This means a bit of Google adword keyword research (Google Adword Keyword Tool found here).

ex. Use “food franchise business owner”  or “fast food franchise business owner” vs. “franchise business owner”.

3. Linked In Profile Summary

Talk less about how many years you’ve been doing what you’re doing and more about what you’ve accomplished, how you’ve helped your clients with specific case examples and denote special skills and talents you have. That’s what people want to know: what can you do for me, my business, or my company?

Mix up the formatting to include text and bulleted sections for easier readability.

4. Linked In Profile Career History – Close The Gaps

Today, it’s not uncommon to have career gaps if you’ve been between positions or business ventures.

Do what you can to fill the date gaps in with projects you’ve worked on, committees you’ve served, association activities, pro bono work.

Don’t avoid the gaps – be smart about how you fill them.

5. Recommendations & Endorsements on Your Linked In Profile

Linked In has made it very easy and acceptable to request and provide Recommendations. That’s why it makes so much sense to connect with as many respected professionals, colleagues and clients as possible. It’s great to display your recommendations and it’s a great feeling for your contact to receive one. It’s the perfect relationship builder.

Endorsements are a relatively new feature on Linked In. You can add your ideal skills and expertise through the edit button on your profile.

With one click many people can endorse you for just the right skills. Endorsements are quick but therefore don’t hold as much stock as recommendations.

6. Groups & Associations Reflected On Your Linked In Profile

When you join the ideal groups attracting your ideal niche clients, it’s a wonderful opportunity for you to get known, visible, and attract new contacts in your sweet spot market. No brainer.

People also feel more comfortable connecting with people through the common bond of mutual groups and associations.

Starting a group tailored for the needs of your ideal niche market is also a super smart way to build your top network.

7. Your Linked In Profile: Numbers of Contacts

For me, it’s much more about who you are connecting with than it is how many connections you have.

That being said, what’s the real down side to connecting with people? Are you afraid they’ll see who your clients are?

Are you afraid they’ll ask you to introduce you to someone?

These are very rare situations. And you can set your privacy features to closed connections (although that sort of defeats the purpose of connecting too)

For the most part, unless people are obviously prospecting through Linked In with abandon, I like adding high-quality connections.

The benefits far outweigh the negatives.

I’ll be touching on this more in a future post.

Get Started Upgrading Your Linked In Profile: Just Do It!

Maybe you’re not a comfortable writer.

Maybe you’re time crunched.

These are easily addressed so don’t let these obstacles stop you from having a top notch effective Linked In profile:

Here are 3 Easy Actionable Tips:

1. Devote only 15-20 minutes a day to upgrading and fully fleshing out your Linked In Profile (small chunks = no overwhelm)

2. Engage a professional Linked In profile writer to help you optimize your profile – this is a stress buster and well worth it because of the time saved, end results produced.

3. Ask 3-5 of your clients and colleagues to give you the good and bad of what they see on your Linked In profile. We’ve all got blind spots.

If you’ve found this post helpful, I would appreciate your passing it on to your colleagues and clients.

MY GIFT TO THE FIRST 10 COMMENTORS TO THIS POST:

I’ll give you my pass/fail review of your Linked In profile AND WHY.

(COMMENT BELOW)

And please do send me an invitation to connect with me on Linked In if we aren’t already bonded.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Comments

  1. Dan Auito says:

    Awesome info Nancy. Lord knows my profile needs an overhaul: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/dan-auito/1/ba0/13a/
    P.S. 2 more weeks until book launch. :-)

  2. Indeed, LinkedIn works well. From client and colleague linking to updating various aspects of one’s resume as well as receiving recommendations, LinkedIn is a very powerful tool. Ove the last year couple of years, I have found that potential clients have checked me out before reaching out to me; and I know that several new clients came directly through my LinkedIn profile.

  3. Hello Nancy and Yes we have already connected on Linked In!
    I really enjoyed this article because it’s very specific as to how to recreate your Linked In profile. It’s very helpful and I will be following EVERY detail. Thanks Nancy,
    Bernadette

  4. Nancy, great post! I completely agree with you on the value of LinkedIn.

    Something I recently discovered that’s important for attorneys to note: LinkedIn asks for areas of specialty, and the vast majority of lawyers complete that field by naming their area(s) of practice. However, under the Model Rules and the ethics rules in most jurisdictions, attorneys are not permitted to use any variant of the term “specialty” or “specialize” in communications describing their services except as stated in Rule 7.4. Nitpicky point, but one well worth noting for lawyers.

    As always, thanks for your insights and recommendations, which are right on point!

  5. Laura Cruz says:

    Another great bit of advice, Nancy. Thanks! I’ve certainly been neglectful of Linked In…only really keeping the profile sort of up to date, and not really socially interacting at all. Now I realize that you still have to put social effort into social media.

  6. Hello Nancy and Yes we have already connected on Linked In!
    I really enjoyed this article because it’s very specific as to how to recreate your Linked In profile. It’s very helpful and I will be following EVERY detail. Thanks Nancy,
    Bernadette

  7. Judy Feld says:

    Nice work, Nancy. This is a very useful and well-written summary of what’s important about the LinkedIn experience.
    Judy Feld, MCC

  8. Nancy Fox says:

    Julie, thanks for making this very important distinction. This will be a great reminder for lawyers, and other professionals, to check their industry-specific compliance legal guidelines.
    That being said most lawyers could be more specific about their specialization to help with tracking.
    And thanks for your comment. As always, smart and on point.

  9. Nancy Fox says:

    Thanks Dan – you got it. Stand by – and so excited to be part of your book launch too :)

  10. Nancy Fox says:

    So glad it was helpful Judy.

  11. Nancy Fox says:

    Glad you liked the article and will take action, Bernadette.

  12. Nancy Fox says:

    Dave this is a case in point about how your Linked In Profile is a “second” and very powerful website. Most professionals and business owners are “checked out” on Linked In and on the web before a phone call is made.

    Thanks for the comment.

  13. Beth Rasin says:

    Insightful and easy to read advice. It has become clear to me that Linked In is an increasing powerful, professional communication tool. Thanks for an excellent framework for thinking about how we can best present ourselves.

  14. Great information, Nancy, thank you. I have needed to update my profile for some time and now I might just do it!

  15. Valerie Priester says:

    Very helpful information. I will start working on my profile NOW.

  16. Ah this is hot on my to do list! Thanks for the tips, and I would LOVE some honest feedback! http://www.linkedin.com/in/karenyankovich

  17. Nancy Fox says:

    It’s worth it! Good, I’ll reply privately

  18. Marilyn Kaufman says:

    Nancy,
    I couldn’t agree with you more. Of all the Social Media sites, this is the most important. Thanks for reminding me to overhaul mine!

    Marilyn Kaufman

  19. Jean says:

    Great tips! You inspired me to want to improve my profile soon. thanks, I always find value in your emails. Jean

  20. Nancy Fox says:

    I’m glad it was helpful and motivating!
    I’ll look forward to the upgrade:)

  21. Nancy Fox says:

    Thanks so much Jean.
    Let me know what you implement – I love to hear how this info is applied.

  22. Teri says:

    As a social media manager and an online business manager I sometimes go back and see that my own social media sites are lacking terribly! It really is a shame but sometimes it’s just like doctors feel by self! I need my own business manager lol

  23. Nancy Fox says:

    It’s like the shoemaker’s kids going barefooted, so good reminder to build your biz as well as help others build theirs :) Thanks for sharing this realization Teri.

  24. Really good and insightful post. I’m trying to figure out how to better use Linked In to grow my clients.

  25. Nancy Fox says:

    Hi Sheryl, yes, LI is a deep resource to help market and grow your business.
    I’ll be hosting upcoming webinars specifically on this so stay tuned, and if you’re not on my update list,
    you can do it at http://www.thebusinessfox.com :)
    Thanks for sharing this.

  26. Nancy, as always, very good information. I look forward to the webinar.

  27. Nancy Fox says:

    Thanks Christine – very soon:)

  28. Nancy…this is a terrific checklist of quick and powerful ways to improve not only our LinkedIn profiles, but our experience of using LinkedIn in general. I have to admit I haven’t tapped my LinkedIn network nearly as effectively as I could/should. I will begin by looking again at my profile with your suggestions in mind, tweaking as needed. Many thanks!

  29. Nancy, Outstanding awareness building for folks that are not so web savvy or do not know yet the enormous power and potential of Linked In. Very valuable information. Great Job!

  30. Nancy Fox says:

    John, thanks, and do keep me posted on how you implement, and new results that show up.

  31. Bob Tierno says:

    Great article and timely. It’s time to refresh my linkedin profile!
    Thanks,
    Bob

  32. swarn kumar says:

    One of the best and most useful post I ever read on LinkedIn. Hope I use your advice and benefit from it.

  33. swarn kumar says:

    I am not among the first ten to comment, but hope to get some advice on my profile too !

  34. Nancy Fox says:

    Swarn, I heard once that hope is not a strategy LOL. Pick one new tip and just do it.
    Thanks for commenting.

  35. Thanks Nancy. I found this really useful too. I am starting up a new business and will use lots of your tips…Very clearly explained. I especially like the suggestion to focus on accomplishments for employers. I’m going to go back and rewrite some of my profile!

  36. Nancy Fox says:

    Yes, the focus on what we accomplish vs what we do is often forgotten. Glad this was helpful and that you will do some upgrading!

  37. The best Linked In Profile,
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  38. Nancy Fox says:

    Thanks, glad you liked the post.
    Please provide the link to your blog so I can see, then I will approve.

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