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5 Tips to Help You Create a Killer LinkedIn Profile

KEY TAKEAWAYS COVERED IN THE PODCAST
  • LinkedIn is the best platform to show professionalism. Air on the side of caution when it comes to your content such as your profile picture. A professional headshot is perfect.
  • Remember to use your keywords on all social media, including your headline on your profile. For example, “content marketing” or “social media marketing.”
  • For a killer “About” section, use this statement:
  • o I work with [insert type of audience] who want to [what your audience wants to achieve]. I do this by [how you help them] and this means [the outcome for your audience].
  • Use your profile to explain as much about you as possible as it pertains to your business. Have you published any work? If so, add it. Have you volunteered with any organizations? If so, add it!
  • Don’t forget to post on LinkedIn regularly just as you do with other platforms. You can post your blog posts, your podcasts and any other content about your business. Use your resources!
  • Be sure to remain professional, even in how you write what you post. Do not use abbreviations. Explain yourself more.
THE ONE THING YOU NEED TO REMEMBER ABOVE ALL ELSE…

LinkedIn is the perfect place to explain what you do in detail. Your audience wants to resonate with you. Your profile should relate to your audience to build connections by speaking to how you can help them achieve their goals.

HIGHLIGHTS YOU SIMPLY CAN'T MISS
  • Tip #1: Make sure you have a really great profile picture – 06:24
  • Tip #2: Use your headline to sell yourself and what you do – 08:48
  • Tip #3: Your “About” section should speak directly to your audience – 11:18
  • Tip #4: Fill in as many details as possible on your profile – 16:54
  • Tip #5: Post, post, post! – 18:57
Transcript below

 

Hello, and a really, really warm welcome from over here in California. That's right, I am recording the podcast currently, sat in LA, having an amazing time on a business slash maybe a little bit of holiday trip. I am sat outside. If you could see me you would laugh, but I am sat outside on the deck of our friend's house where we're staying, and I'm recording this podcast so you might hear some outside noises. The birds are singing away. It's about 5:30a.m. and the sun is coming up in the distance. Of course I'm sat here currently in a vest top, and although it's not super warm, it's not freezing cold either.

If you follow me on social media, then you might know that I come out here fairly often, and by fairly often I probably mean three to four times a year. Most years it's been four times, and what's interesting is prior to about four years ago, I'd never really travelled at all. In fact, I could probably count on one hand how many times I'd been to other countries.

Then, two things happened. I met my husband, who is in the RAF. He's a military man, and he does a job that takes him all over the world, that literally he will fly in and out of more countries than I've had hot dinners, and I started the business. One of the things that I discovered is that there's a real hub of social media experts and online digital marketing experts over here in California, and specifically around the San Diego area. Also, San Diego is where Social Media Marketing World is held every single year, and trafficking inversion, and some really big conferences.

Like I said, those two things together have certainly then geared up my travels and my trips and I'm over here quite a lot, and I love it. I would move to California in a heartbeat. The sun is always shining. It's a beautiful part of the world. Not only is it aesthetically really beautiful, but when you go to things like malls or generally around, everywhere is stunning. It's a really, really amazing place to be. The best food, the best drink. Obviously I will be seeing it this way because we're here often as guests and on trips rather than I don't have to go out to work everyday. I'm sure it's not this stunning if you live here permanently.

The one downside to California though is the traffic. Oh, my word. You've never seen anything like it. Over in the UK, I would used to drive on the M6 quite regularly, and I used to think that was pretty awful because of the traffic. LA is on another scale. It can take hours to drive what is something like 30 miles. It really is one of the downsides to California, but I think it's one of the only ones, so they're not doing too bad.

Why am I rabbiting on about the fact that I'm sat in California? I promise I'm not doing it to make you jealous, but one of the things that I was thinking about when I'm over here is I was looking at how people are marketing themselves, and that's one of the things that I love about the American market, is they're not afraid to tell the world, this is what I'm good at and this is why you should hire me. I think often it's something that in the UK we find quite difficult. We are not very good at shouting about ourselves, telling the world we're brilliant, and when we do do it, we either A, feel like we're showing off, or other people, and I've heard it said and very possibly about me, “Who does she think she is?”

They get quite, I don't know whether jealous is the right word, but they are definitely not as happy for you to promote yourself, whereas here, in the States, it really feels like they cheerleader each other on. If someone is saying, “I am awesome at this,” then their friends and their colleagues are saying, “You absolutely are.”

While I've been over here, it's been really interesting because I've been seeing both Amy Posefield and Pat Flynn, and also, while I've been seeing them, at the same time, James Webmore has been launching his Digital CEO, which is amazing by the way. Fantastic videos, and it looks like he is going on to sell a great product, but of course, when I've been talking to Amy and Pat, they have done nothing but be happy and praise him and be positive for the work he's doing, whereas sometimes, perhaps in the UK, people wouldn't necessarily be as positive, or they would feel really threatened by the fact that a person in your industry has come out with a new product or done a new thing.

Like I said, over here, that is just not the case. In today's episode, I want to teach you to celebrate yourself, and I am going to use a very practical way in which you can do this and link this to LinkedIn. Great segway, Teresa, that was smooth ass. Today we're going to be talking about LinkedIn and how good it is for shouting about how brilliant you are and promoting how brilliant you are without feeling like you are there going, “Yay, high five myself, I am awesome.”

Today, I'm going to talk you through the five things that you should make sure you do in order to have a killer profile on LinkedIn so that you can promote yourself to the world without feeling like some sleazy salesman.

 

Tip #1: Make sure you have a really great profile picture

 

The first thing is very simple, but oh, so very important. Make sure that you have a really good profile picture. Now, I have seen some really funny ones on LinkedIn, I have to say. I once had someone try to connect with me who had a picture with them with their top off. I could understand if that was part of their business, if they were a model, then maybe I could make an excuse for it. However, absolutely not, that is not the kind of thing you want to be doing on LinkedIn.

Then I have pictures of selfies or people on nights out, and one thing that you have to know about LinkedIn straight away is that it's professional. That's the whole point of the platform, so by all means, go and put those kind of pictures on Twitter or Instagram or anywhere else that you'd like to, however, on LinkedIn, I would err on the side of caution, and I would possibly look at putting a photo up that was much more professional.

Now, ideally you would get a professional photo taken, especially if you are your business or if you are a personal brand. If you're a personal brand then it's seriously more important. The first thing you're going to do is you're going to have a professional photo taken, and you're going to make sure it's of your head and shoulders. No more, no less. You want the entire space to be filled with your face so that people can see and recognise you.

Obviously, it needs to be fairly recent. I know that we all prefer our photos when we were maybe younger or thinner or whatever it might be, but people need to recognise you. People need to see your LinkedIn, and then possibly be at an event and think, “Oh, that's that person I'm LinkedIn with.” Make sure it's a really good likeness, great professional photo, and ideally, nothing behind you if possible. Only because sometimes backgrounds can be really distracting, and you don't want someone focusing on where you had the photo taken rather than the person in the photo.

The other thing within this tip that I'm going to give is the cover photo, which is the photo above your profile picture. That is also a great opportunity to put some kind of image with some text on it. On my LinkedIn profile there is a picture of me within that as well, so try and make the most of these, but like I said, good, clear, professional images so that I can see who you are straight away.

Tip #2: Use your headline to sell yourself and what you do

 

On to tip number two. There is something on LinkedIn called a headline. When you are looking at who to be LinkedIn with, you will often see their name, their picture, and their headline. Most often this defaults to who you work for and your job title. Let's say for instance I was head of marketing for ABC agency. Then, it might say Head of Marketing for ABC agency, which wouldn't be the worst thing. It might say marketing director, or it might just say director of ABC whatever it is, and the problem is that doesn't really sell you. That doesn't really let people know within a really quick amount of time, because as on all social media you've got to be quick to get people's attention. But it doesn't really give you a good impression of what it is you do or who it is you are.

Also, don't forget these key words. Make sure that you're putting in your key words into all of your text on social media. If you are a marketing and social media consultant, then make sure you put those in your headline. Make sure you use your headline to sell what it is you do, not necessarily the actual physical job title. For instance, mine says, “Social Media Marketing Consultant Trainer and Speaker.”

If you saw my name and my picture and that headline, you would be in no doubt at all as to what it is I did. Go back and have a look at your headline. Whereas if I just said that it said “Director of THW Marketing,” which is the agency that I run, then who knows what that is? Who knows what THW marketing is, or what services we provide. That doesn't say that I'm a speaker. That doesn't say that I do the various other things I do. It literally just says that I'm a director of an agency.

Like I said, go back and have a look at your headline, see what it says about you, and see if you can tweak it up so that it's more explicit of the things that you actually do. Also, sometimes people like to have a bit of fun with it, so if you can be a bit different and quirky, then maybe that can help you stand out. Like I said, though, LinkedIn is more professional, and although I'm saying you don't want to come over all corporate, I'm just sort of saying that maybe some of the crazier stuff you might want to leave for other platforms.

 

Tip #3: Your “About” section should speak directly to your audience

 

On to tip number three is look at your “About” section. One of the great misconceptions about LinkedIn is that it's only any good if you want to get a job, which, don't get me wrong, I have to say, I've done trainings for sales teams in big companies on how to use LinkedIn for their business, and they've ended up then getting jobs afterwards when they've made their profile look amazing. I'm not saying that it isn't helpful if you're looking for a job, but that's not the only reason to use LinkedIn, but the reason I've brought this up is because often when you think about the about section, people treat the text that they're putting in as a CV. They are using it to describe the jobs they've had or the roles they have or what would make them a good employee.

If you do run your own business, then obviously people don't want to read that. They don't want to see it, and you're not talking to them, you're listing the stuff that you are good at, and that's not really that interesting written in that way. One of the things that I do when I am talking about how to write your summary or your “About Us” section, is I want you to think of it differently. I want you to talk to your audience, but set them up in a way that they know you are talking directly to them. This is also really useful if you don't want a certain type of customer, because in a very nice way, again you can set it up so they understand that your services aren't for them.

For instance, let's say you only deal with blue chip companies, so you don't want some man on the street thinking, “Great, I'm going to come and buy my product from you, or use your service,” when actually you're not set up to provide that product or service for them. It's not necessarily saying, “I don't want your business,” but that's not what your company does.

Let's put all this together and hopefully make sense of what I just said. In the summary, one of the first things I would write is, “I work with …” and then tell the world who you work with. For instance, if it was blue chip companies, or FTSE 500 companies, then put that in there. If I'm coming to your profile and I am not a FTSE 500 company and I read your summary and you've started it by saying, “I work with FTSE 500 companies,” then nicely I'm going to think, “Do you know what? This isn't for me.” Rather than wasting my time and phoning you up, having you have to say to me, we don't deal with your type of companies, or you're not big enough, or you're not small enough, or whatever it is.

Set them up by telling them who is it you work with. That's the first thing. For instance, mine might say, for the agency side, “I work with directors, senior managers, of small to medium businesses, who …” and then this is the next step. Who what? What is it that these customers come to you for? What is it that they want to achieve? I don't mean what is it that you physically do at this point. I mean, what is the outcome that they want to get?

The beginning of this statement would say, “I work with,” you say the type of business you work with, “who want to,” and the next statement is, “who want to grow their sales,” “drive traffic to their website,” “who want to work with a yoga teacher who does this,” or whatever it is that you do, that's where you say what you are providing those people as a service.

Then I go on to do another couple of points where I bullet point these out. First of all, I tell them how or what it is I do, so I would list out, so, this is who I work with, this is what I bring them, and I bring them that by providing these things, dot, dot, dot, dot, dot, and then what that means to them is they get dot, dot, dot, dot, dot.

Let me just talk you through that again. You open it up with, “I work with,” you put who you work with, “who want to,” and you put what they want. What is the thing that drives them to come to see someone like you, and then you basically put, “I do this by,” and that's the bit where you put it a little bit more practical in terms of what you actually do. Then the last section is, “and this means that,” and what it means is that the client or your customer will get what results? What is it going to give to them in their business.

This is where you might overlap in what you said in the first section, however in this section you might bullet point it. You might say “You will get more sales, you'll feel more relaxed, you will …” Whatever your outcomes are for a customer, that's where you put those things. When I'm coming to it as a potential customer or if I'm reading that summary, it's going to tell me really quickly whether A, I am the person you're talking to, B, I can relate to those things that I'm trying to achieve, or that I would use your service for, how you're doing it and what those outcomes provide me. This is a really nice way of summarising who it is you are and what you do for your customers.

 

Tip #4: Fill in as many details as possible on your profile

 

On to tip number four. I want you to go through the rest of LinkedIn's profile and I want you to try and fill in as much as possible. Okay, I'm not talking list all your schools from when you were seven. I'm talking, list as many different details as you can as possible. For instance, there is a section in LinkedIn that says, “Have you published anything?” If you've written a book, then make sure you put it in there. There's a section for have you volunteered somewhere? Make sure you fill that in.

Obviously, go back and fill in the jobs that serve what you do today. It doesn't mean if you had a slight career change that you basically just forget every other job you ever had, but don't spend hours filling in every single detail. Me, like lots of other people, I used to work at McDonald's when I first started at college, and I said it back then, it was character building, and I think it was, so I'm not going to list that I worked at McDonald's because that has no relevance on me today and what I do. However, the stuff that does, I am going to list it. Like I said, go through and try and make your profile as rich in content as possible.

The other nice thing about LinkedIn now is that you can add medias, you can add videos, and you can even do that within each job that you had, and try and make sure that you use those kind of elements to make it more interesting and make it stand out. Because when someone goes to see your profile, you want to make sure you've got something to show them, and something that will be interesting that they can resonate with. Again, you might want to drop in a couple of personal details on your summary about what you like to do on the weekend or whatever, but on the whole it does tend to be more professional.

My last tip which is a super simple one and you're going to think, really? But I think it's important to say because I am guilty of this myself.

 

Tip #5: Post, post, post!

 

The last thing that I recommend you do in order to help your profile is post. Now, again, you're going to think, “What are you talking about?” But when was the last time you actually posted on LinkedIn. We all know to regularly post on Twitter and Instagram, I am like a ninja when it comes to Instagram.

I literally make sure I post every single day. I spend a long time looking at the photos, deciding which to use. I do very chatty captions where I write quite personal stuff, is probably the wrong word, but I am much more honest and I ask questions and I spend a lot of time curating that content.

Whereas LinkedIn, I am not as good at. I do not post as often. But the thing with LinkedIn, is it's not as busy as the other platforms. It's not as noisy. The content isn't as fast moving. They do have quite a good algorithm where things will hang around for quite some time, so it doesn't matter that it was done yesterday or the day before, you'll find that you're still getting people liking it or commenting on it.

Questions work really well, asking people's opinion work really well, but actually make sure that you are thinking quite seriously about how to post on LinkedIn, and again, this is where you can be posting all your blog posts, your latest pod cast. Listen up Teresa, take your own advice, but you could be putting up all this content, where you're saying, “Look, I know what I'm talking about. Check out these great resources that I am providing.”

Again, LinkedIn are slowly moving behind everybody else, but you can now do native video so you can upload a video direct to LinkedIn and it will auto play, which is great. You can add images and try again and think about it in the same way as you would think about Facebook and use these different medias, because actually this platform, because it is a little bit behind in terms of what it's done and where it is, that actually you're going to find that your results can be really, really successful if you're posting.

One of my tips I guess when posting is, when I'm posting to LinkedIn, I use proper words, I do everywhere to be fair. I very rarely abbreviate or shorten or use text speak. In fact, I'm not a big fan of it, but on LinkedIn I use full sentences. I'm not afraid to write a bit more, and like I said, I would use a question or I would kind of try and encourage some engagement and conversation.

I really hope that my five fairly simple tips, but important to go back and double check, have helped you make your profile a more richer and inviting profile to come and see and that you are able to now shout about a little bit more how good you and not feel like a bit of an idiot.

Have a wonderful week and I will see you next time.