How to create a winning LinkedIn profile

Caroline Drake Social Media Tips Leave a Comment

LinkedIn is fantastic for building relationships and generating leads with like-minded professionals. Having a clear, well laid out and professional profile will help you be taken seriously.

Whatever you are writing, remember it’s not about you! Keep your audience in mind: consider who will read it and how you can benefit them: what ‘pain’ can you solve?

It is relatively easy to fill out a LinkedIn profile and here are some of my best practices to make sure yours stands out:

  1. Customise your URL! Here’s how

  1. Eyes and teeth in your profile picture will mean you look approachable at the first impression. Professional photos, taken against an uncluttered background, really aren’t expensive and make a huge difference. It goes without saying no party/holiday/wedding snaps and, as cute as your furry friend is, no pets!

  1. Everything you do on LinkedIn starts with your profile. If it doesn’t interest people, you may not get any further. If someone searches for you on Google, your LinkedIn profile is probably one of the top results.

  1. Your headline is searchable and should stand out and around 10 words with a maximum of 120 characters: there is only room for location (if relevant) what you do and how you help others. Try this:  “We help [target audience] achieve [the benefit they get from working with you] by providing [your service].."

  1. The first two lines of your summary should entice the reader to click on ‘more’ to find out more about you and how you can help them. What are the pains you solve for your customers? Use lots of white space and keyboard tools for bullets.

  1. Next, examples of the different types of people you work with (if you have worked with big names you can use them, otherwise industry types) and their typical problem and your solution.

  1. Lastly include a call to action: would you like them to email you, ring you or visit your website?

  1. Adding media files such as videos or white papers in this section will enhance your credibility.

  1. Fill out your experience with your relevant work history (it really doesn’t have to be every job, you’re painting a picture here) and include voluntary work in this section if very relevant (or in the voluntary work section if less so), especially if you have taken time out of paid work.

  1. Recommendations and endorsements are so important and easy to reorder to keep the most important at the top.

  1. When connecting with contacts, please please use a personalised message – a simple request could be interpreted as spammy and is, quite honestly, rather rude!

Don’t just leave it at a winning profile! Remember to post blogs, articles and news, comment on posts you find interesting. I recommend uploading something 3-5 times a week, but don’t forget cat pictures, motivational quotes and funny videos belong on Facebook!

What best practices would you add? I would love to read your thoughts in the comments below.