When it comes to your LinkedIn profile, there are 2 areas that matter most: Your photo and your profile headline.
Your photo and headline are attached to your name with everything you do on LinkedIn. This is what people look at to evaluate whether or not they will click your name to read more…
The headline is different than a title. The goal is to provide a brief insight into your professional value – your career mission, and create curiosity to click your name for more details. To meet this goal:
1. Speak to your target viewer:
I find it odd when sales people who have a product for sale boast about their sales abilities – as if that’s of any interest to their clients. If you’re a sales person looking for a job your headline should speak to potential recruiters, but if you’re selling a product or service, speak about your value to your clients.
Think: Why would the viewer want to enter into a mutually beneficial relationship?
2. Fill it out: When crafting your headline, be sure to utilize all possible character limits – it’s your opportunity to get noticed by your target market – Take full advantage of it!
3. Your headline should include:
- A Description: Give people an idea of what you do – it could be, but not necessarily the same as a title. I use “Localization Consultant” – those in the software industry know what that means for them.
- Key Words for Optimization: Include Key words that people use to find professionals such as yourself (don’t use fancy or made up terms that no one uses such as: “Marketing Ninja” unless you have a specific reason to that I’m not aware of). I use commonly used software localization key words: translation, localization, software, medical, technical, etc.
- Differentiators: What makes you different than everyone else in your industry? Differentiate yourself by including a specialty, a specific niche market, or specific facts/results that are unique to you. I specify that I specialize in specific areas: Technical and Medical.
Don’t: Use the generic format: “Title at Company” such as “VP Marketing at ABC Corp.”. You’ll find people care very little about titles and names of companies they never heard of…
As an example: Take a look at the profile headline of a friend Matthew Mausner – a Founder of an early stage tech startup called Woxxer. You’ll notice it’s more than “Founder at Woxxer”
For instructions on how to edit your profile click here
Your photo provides so much information about your personality and how you carry yourself.
People do business with people they trust, and no one trusts people who won’t show their face.
Here’s what makes a photo “professional”:
1. Image quality: Don’t just crop one of your iPhone photos. Plan a photo shoot with a photographer or ask a friend who owns a quality SLR camera to take several photos in an appropriate location. “How you do anything is how you do everything”, so do your best to let others know quality is important to you.
2. Your expression: Your expression tells people so much about you, so be sure to appear inviting and competent – whatever that means in your industry. Don’t just smile, but smile with your eyes.
Wear sunglasses, have other people in the photo, or use another photo such as a logo – it must be you!
Question: What tips can you share about using your LinkedIn profile to build relationships?