Everyone who owns a LinkedIn account has probably filled out their personal profile as a bare minimum, but it’s surprising how few people make the most of its full potential. Here's a quick checklist to make sure yours is performing as well as it could be.
I’ve seen quite a few bad profile pictures on LinkedIn, try to keep it professional: avoid group shots, grainy pictures, or anywhere where you’re nursing a margarita. If you don’t have a decent picture, get one done. Seriously. Smart phones have brilliant cameras now so all you need is a friend to take a decent one….
Profile shots can also be the opportunity to plug your work. I’ve seen people pose with their books, or a symbol of their company. It’s a little cheesy, but if it’s right for your target audience, why not!
As with other networks, you can now add a cover photo to your profile. You can use this as an opportunity to promote a particular aspect of your work, or choose an image that reflects your brand.
A common error is to treat your profile like a CV and simply copy and paste sections from your resume. You should instead see it as an opportunity to give a rounded view of your experiences.
This does not have to be restricted to text, LinkedIn supports rich media such as Prezi, Storify, and Slideshare. You could add these to your different work experiences to give prospective clients a different way of seeing your role, or more information on your company.
These things make your profile come alive, so they’re worth doing.
Personalize your URL and Public Page
It’s really easy to personalize your LinkedIn URL to something like uk.linkedin.com/in/clairetrevien and it means you can share a less convoluted address with your contacts.
To do that, go to your profile page. You’ll see below your profile picture a light grey box with your URL. If you hover over it a cog appears. Click on it and it’ll take you to your public profile. On the right hand side you can edit your URL to something a little easier to remember.
This is a really useful page in general. Here’s where you can edit how people see your public profile. You can choose whether everyone sees your profile, or only your contacts, and which sections of your profile you want people to see. So if for instance, your ‘Interests’ section is a hot mess you’d rather not share, then you can untick it, and no one will be any the wiser.
Of course, there’s no point making your profile page beautiful if no one is going to see it, so don’t forget to include it in your email signatures, business cards, etc.
Post Regular Updates
Raise your profile by sharing regular updates that are relevant to your target audience.
With Linkedin, it’s common wisdom that midweek (Tuesday-Thursday) either first thing in the morning (pre 8.30am), lunchtime, and early evening (5-6pm) are the best times to share updates. This makes sense as the audience is predominantly professional, and will be checking Linkedin while commuting or in their lunch break.
However, your target audience might behave differently. They might check LinkedIn on their way to meetings during the day, or have it running in a tab throughout the day. The best way to work out optimal times is through testing. I post updates through Buffer and they have a great tool which lets me check the optimal posting time (in my timezone!) for each of my social media accounts, including my personal Linkedin profile. So for instance, if I post an update once a day, Linkedin would suggest 2.33pm as the best time based on how my previous updates have performed.
If you don’t have Buffer, there are plenty of other analytics tools, such as Google analytics, which can give you insights as to when your audience is predominantly active online.
There are a gazillion groups out there, and I can’t recommend enough joining 2-3 groups that are relevant to your sector and being active in them. Sharing your insights, and participating in them is a great way to raise your (newly optimized) profile. LinkedIn updated the groups recently in all sorts of positive ways so if you’ve been neglecting them go and take another look at them.