Your LinkedIn Profile Isn’t A Resume…Here's 5 Fast Tips To SuperCharge Your Online Presence
You’ve heard people say “You only get one chance to make a first impression.”
You can ignore that if you like. But if you’d like your LinkedIn Profile to be a powerful tool in the business world...and you don’t want to continue being a SuperWimp, keep reading.
LinkedIn gives you the opportunity to make a good first impression, and network, 24/7. However if your profile is weak, that ho-hum “bo-ring” first impression will register just as fast, 24/7.
If you’re treating your LinkedIn profile like a resume, cut it out. This medium gives you vast opportunities to do far more. You might think of it as an introduction on steroids– an opportunity to supercharge that vital first impression, and beyond — because you have huge flexibility in the way you develop your profile and your networking.
Here are some tips to get you going in the right direction.
1) BE FOUND MORE EASILY ON LINKEDIN
You need to be found by folks searching for you, whether you have a business, are a consultant…or in job search mode (overtly or in stealth mode). So using your keywords powerfully really makes a difference.
Those areas are throughout your profile, but the most important spots are like real estate – think “Location. Location. Location.” The first 4-5 words after your name, and your former work position titles are some of the strongest positions you need to nail, in a coordinated way with mirrored wording, in order to get found be people searching for your type of experience.
2) MAKE YOU LINKEDIN PROFILE VISUAL.
If your knee-jerk reaction was “but my work and profession aren’t visual,” I will throw Kryptonite ping pong balls at you in rapid succession. Those visuals can include photos, video, slideshows...start using your visual thinking....it’s the most powerful sensory medium, able to leap tall and short people in a single bound.
I have been challenged to find a profession that can’t produce a profile that includes visuals, and have never failed my native Krypton. You’d be surprised how many options there are, from all kinds of graphics to videos.
And if your lack of visuals includes no photo, I will throw more ping pong balls at you. Can you imagine doing in-person networking with a bag over your head? Without a photo, you’re doing the same thing. (Do you mean you can’t find a friend with a camera-phone, and get this up in the next 20 minutes?)
3) YOU CAN RE-ORDER YOUR LINKEDIN PROFILE.
Most folks don’t even know that you can play your strongest cards first, by displaying your profile in the order that works best for you. When you’re in edit mode, the “drag me” boxes appear the upper right of each section. Grab ‘em and drag ‘em.
4) YOU CAN EXPAND YOUR NETWORK QUICKLY ON LINKEDIN.
If you don’t know the value of an expanded network, you’re probably rationalizing that “I don’t want ‘just anybody’ in my network.” Some people are also concerned that they’ll get a lot of junk email in their inbox.
The numbers show that if you expand your network (first-level contacts), your “reachable” network – via connecting to hard-to reach people via your existing network – expands exponentially and it’s worth it. How else are you going to try to reach those busy executive types who don’t readily accept people into their network? (They frequently require you to know their email address, just to contact them.)
In years of doing this, I haven't had problems with connecting with people I don't know (and may have dropped only 2 or 3 contacts). It pays to grow your network, because it grows your “reach.”
5) JUST DO IT.
Start. (Now would be good.) You want to network more strongly, but it doesn’t happen by itself. When you join groups and get active in discussions (and have a good profile that introduces you), you gain credibility and contacts.
There’s lots to learn, and a number of profile tweaks and networking approaches can have very high impact quickly, to go beyond “just sitting there.” Get the basics right, and update your profile regularly.Once you get started, you’ll get the idea. Up...up...and away!
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Joel Alpert used to have a weak profile, but is now wearing spandex and a cape– he’s developed private coaching and a unique, practical workshop: “LinkedIn: Turn Your Profile Into An Effective Business Tool…In Just 1 Night!” available to businesses as a powerful value-building and conversation-starting tool. Plus, he does works with executives on unique LinkedIn profile makeovers which include Personal Branding, getting found, profile writing, and graphics. When off-duty as LinkedIn superhero, Joel is a Branding + Marketing Wizard, who generally prefers 100% cotton outfits.
Check out our video post here in the PowerBlogosphere about what Russell says about our LinkedIn Workshop — now offered privately for business and trade associations.