There is an old saying that a person’s worth is defined by his networks, not by his bank balance. If you’re not networking, you’re not working to grow your business or professional career – at least not to your fullest capacity. Networking is a great way to spread the word about who you are and what services or products you offer. One of the most traditional ways of networking is events, face to face meetings where you interact with several people and build connections. But in this digital era, traditional medium is being replaced with phone, email and social networking sites.
LinkedIn is a social media platform with tremendous networking potential for entrepreneurs and working professionals. It is a go-to place for anyone and everyone who wants to build up their networks, promote their services or products, wants to find a job or hire someone in their company and also to share their knowledge with the world through interesting posts and articles.
In today’s marketplace, it is vital to have a well-written, compelling LinkedIn profile that tells your story. Still having doubts? Here are some compelling statistics that will tell us why it is a no-brainer to have an active LinkedIn profile.
- LinkedIn has 722 million+ monthly users.
- 61 million LinkedIn users are senior level influencers and 40 million are in decision-making position.
- LinkedIn is the most-used social media platform among Fortune 500 companies.
- 30 million companies are on LinkedIn.
- LinkedIn is the #1 channel B2B marketers use to distribute content at 94%.
- LinkedIn makes up more than 50% of all social traffic to B2B websites & blogs.
- 91% of marketing executives list LinkedIn as the top place to find quality content.
- 92% of B2B marketers include LinkedIn in their digital marketing mix.
- 80% of B2B leads comes from LinkedIn.
- LinkedIn generates 3x more conversions on sales than Facebook & Twitter.
- 87% of recruiters hire through LinkedIn and check candidate’s profile before taking a decision.
If you want to make a compelling profile to stand out from the crowd then here are some practical action steps you can take to increase your visibility on LinkedIn.
- Invest in a Professional Photo
Did you know that your LinkedIn profile is over 10 times more likely to be viewed if you have a photo? Face to face meeting is most successful because you are able to see that person. Same way, having a profile photo enables the other person to recognize you and build relationships.
An important point to keep in mind while taking a photo is that it should be a professional shot that showcases you in a professional light, not a picture of you and your friends or of you at a social event. Also, the photo should focus on your face, so the perfect angle is a head-shot, a shot taken of your face till your upper shoulders. Here are some useful links you can use:
- Catchy Headline
After your profile picture, next thing people pay attention to is your headline. It is like the title of a story that compels people to read the whole story. If your headline is catchy and showcases your career domain then people are more likely to view your full profile. Headline provides a gist about you and what you do. If people find it interesting, they will read more about you.
- Unleash the Power of Background Picture
Most of the people on LinkedIn haven’t yet realized the potential of background picture. They think of it as a wasted tool but they don’t how useful this tool really is. As your profile picture attracts the viewer, so does your background picture even to a larger extent. It helps the viewer to get a glimpse of your persona. You can very cleverly show your professional traits and interests through a picture. As it is said, a picture is worth a thousand words.
- Tell Your Story
Next step is to tell your story with your summary (about me section) and experience section. Once you have grabbed attention of viewer with your picture and headline, they would directly jump to your summary to get a detailed idea of your career journey and check out your experience section to know the companies you have worked with and roles you have handled.
Write your summary in a professional manner but do use a social and informal tone so that people are able to relate with you. Also update your educational qualification to give a better picture. Summary, work experience and educational qualification are key elements of your career story which need your full attention to be worked upon.
- Build up Connections
Next step is building up your connections. You must have seen something like “People you may know” on LinkedIn. In this way, LinkedIn helps you to build up your network and increase your number of valuable connections. That means you need to connect with people you don’t know yet!
First step is to connect with your friends and colleagues and then taking it forward to mutual friends or individuals who are in same field as you or share certain characteristics with you, such as those who live nearby or attended the same college as you. The agenda is valuable connections who can either help you or you can help them. You can also add a short note making it a more personalized invitation.
Browse the “People You May Know” list on a weekly basis. Not only will doing so inevitably lead to more connections, but it will help you appear in the search engines of a greater number of people.
- Get Endorsed & Ask for Recommendation
When we buy a product on an online site, we always check its reviews or if we are opting for a service or online course, we check the reviews and testimonials. Same way, LinkedIn provides you an advantage of showcasing your testimonials! Skills endorsement is a best way to do that.
Take the time to endorse friends and colleagues on LinkedIn for the valuable skills you know they possess. When you give an endorsement, the individual you endorse receives a notification and is invited to reciprocate. And when you are endorsed for specific skills, your profile is strengthened. Prospects who consider working with you and contacts who consider referring your business want to know that other people have confidence in your unique skillsets.
Same way, you can humbly and un-apologetically request colleagues or clients to write a recommendation for you. Those who are confident in your skills and abilities will be happy to oblige. Remember: the more recommendations you have, the more you will stand out from your competitors.
- Publish Interesting Posts
A great way to engage with your connections is by posting interesting posts and articles. It highlights your expertise on a particular subject and gives you an edge to establish yourself as a thought leader. Do not limit by likes and shares but be bold enough to share your thoughts through comments when you have a point to add.
Your existing connections are notified when you publish content and other LinkedIn members can come across your posts by searching relevant keywords, which is the best way to gain visibility and influence people!
Take the above actionable steps and reap its benefits. The impact of your LinkedIn profile will be directly proportional to the clarity of thought you have in your mind and the language you use to express them.
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