Hello, my young LinkedIn grasshoppers!
LinkedIn can be a SUPER useful tool for not only marketing yourself but for networking and connecting with other individuals in your industry, reading relevant news sources, learning about industry trends, etc.
The more you put into LinkedIn, the more you’ll get out of it. Seriously, the more time you put into stirring activity up on LinkedIn the more it’ll widen people’s recognition of you, which then can be leveraged to find new opportunities, grow your portfolio, etc. Here are 10 important tips to help you get started:
1. Have good visuals
People absolutely love looking at stuff more than they love reading it. It’s a quick, easy way to engage someone’s attention. That being said make sure you have a clean, professional looking headshot and good cover art. Quotes on a bright and colorful background always make good cover art, as does interesting designs or cool aerial views. Make it bold, make it bright and make it you.
2. Make sure your tagline accurately reflects you
Not just your job, but you as a person. Remember, you are an actual person, not just a job title. Feel free to be fun and creative while also accurately communicating what skills you bring to the table.
Good: “Marketing Manager and/or Jedi”, “Graphic Designer and Fun-lover”
Bad: “Laborer”, “Marketer”, “Manager”
Put some flair in there, it’ll help viewers of your profile to continue reading.
3. Avoid the resumé format in your description
Your description at the top of your profile should be thought of as a broad, mini-cover letter. Your audience will be able to see all of your work experience and special skills when they scroll down to your more work-focused fields. Use the description to show your own voice. Put it in the first person and be honest about who you are and what achievements you’ve made. Think of this area as a warm handshake to the person reading your profile. They’re here to learn about you AND your work. Make this section about you.
4. Put your work experience in short, punchy bullet points
You have only a few seconds or minutes to get information across to your profile viewer. This means you want to effectively get good information across to them quickly. Your work descriptions underneath your past work experience should not be along winded paragraph about how you did this that and the other things in your 15 years at your last company. Instead, provide a nice list of short, effective, no B.S. lines that summarize your duties and achievements.
5. Humanize yourself
In order to bring you as a person to life and not just your profile, the “Interests” section is a great way to showcase that your work is an actual interest of yours. So if you’re, say, a digital marketer, you could have “Neil Patel” or other awesome influencers in your interests. You can also have “Animal Rights”, “Equality”, etc. in your interests. Bottom line, bring an actual soul to profile by showing what your interests are outside of your work. Humanize your profile.
6. Ask for, and give endorsements
If you worked with someone, are tight with a coworker, had an amazing rapport with your boss, or had a client that you now consider a friend, there is nothing wrong with asking them to endorse you. You should also, in exchange, endorse them as well. Nothing wrong with doing a little endorsement exchange, just make sure that you know for a fact that that person has experienced your work and feels good standing by their kind words about you, and vice versa. Simply shoot them a LinkedIn message and say “Hey, want to endorse each other?”. Why would anyone say no?
7. Add projects
Remember what I said about humans liking to look at stuff? Provide projects that you’ve done, videos, blog posts, etc. You do good work, show it off. Give the people something to look at.
8. Create Content
Creating content like posting articles, small posts, videos, etc. will help actually get people to your profile to look at everything you have there. It will also help them get to know you and your voice even more, and it could even stir up an opportunity when placed in front of the right eyes.
9. Be active on the social side
Being active on the social side of LinkedIn, such as commenting on posts and articles, sharing status updates, posting in groups, etc. is a great way to create engagement that gets viewers to your profile.
10. Send messages and add connections
LinkedIn is a social networking site, meaning that you should be getting out there and networking. Feel free to connect with people in your industry (or outside of it!) or send messages to new connections or people’s work whom you admire. The idea is to create a good rapport with your fellow friends, colleagues, and new acquaintances. In doing so, you never know who you could bump elbows with who may think of you for an opportunity down the line!
Doing all of these things on the regular on LinkedIn will greatly widen a stream of potential opportunities out there. As always, have a good attitude and confidence that every little thing you do on LinkedIn helps expand your brand……which is you!