Last week I was talking with J.D. Gershbein (if you don’t know him, do find him and connect), and I was saying that I still don’t understand why people don’t leverage the immense power of LinkedIn and JD’s answer was simple – most people don’t commit.
And it’s true, if you don’t commit you will never see the results. It’s like that piece of exercise equipment that you glance at every time you walk past – if you don’t commit there can never be a positive outcome.
But you have to commit as we no longer live in a world where you can show up as an unknown and impress a person with that first smile. Today, we all need to make a ‘first impression’ online before that first meeting because people WILL judge you in the digital space.
Anyone can figure out all about who you are and what you stand for before you ever walk in the door, before they open an email, before they take a call and so no (just take a look at data aggregators like Discover.ly or Detective by Charlie). More than ever, your personal brand reputation is vital to your ability to:
- attract quality connections
- demonstrate your authority, and
- increase your net worth.
So, stop putting it off – now is the time to commit to elevate how you market yourself on LinkedIn.
- Use a professional headshot. Seriously, if you want people to give you more money then show them that you are worth it. This one is not worth debating, open your wallet and get it done.
- Adjust your headline to demonstrate authority and not a job title. Listing a job title like ‘accountant’ can limit how people view you. Use this section to show your wide range of professional expertise and most importantly how your skills can benefit others. This may take a bit of clever thinking to achieve as the space is limited but if you scan other people’s profiles you can get some ideas quickly. I promise, a rewrite will be well worth the effort. Remember, you want the reader to know how you as a brand or product can give them something that they need in the mere seconds it takes to grab their attention.
- Show the world more about who you are through imagery. Beyond your headshot, you can show off your personality through selecting a background header photo as well as adding photos and videos in other places on your profile. When people see a photo or a video they can’t help but continue to scroll down and see more. Show a potential partner that you are dynamic by adding these visual bonuses.
- Pay a professional to write your summary. All too often, people don’t pay enough attention to their summary but it’s a great opportunity to tell the world in more detail how wonderful you are and what makes you indispensable to their business goals. I do acknowledge that this can be very difficult to do for yourself and so I would strongly recommend that you pay a LinkedIn architect, a marketer or a professional from an online source like Fiverr to assist you in telling your story. Your profile has got to be seen as your professional calling card, so it is important to get it right.
- Post, post and then post some more. Use the section on the top of your landing page labeled ‘Share an article, photo, video or idea’ to demonstrate to the world the topics that you like to talk about or hold knowledge in. Even better, use the blog post feature. This lets you put content out into the world without having to have your own website. Then you can expand your reach by linking to this this content from other media sites. The more you post, and the more engaging it is then the more you will trigger the LinkedIn algorithms and your content will show up in more feeds and this is a good thing so that your network ‘sees’ you and keeps you top of mind.
While there are countless tips and tricks to make LinkedIn work for you (even if you are not out to build the largest network in the world) your brand presence has got to be ready for prospective business partners to size you up quickly. Do this right, and you will see positive results.