Your profile is the most important tool that you will use to establish your personal brand on LinkedIn. It is what will attract people in your target audience and make them want to connect with you.
Creating a powerful and compelling LinkedIn profile will help you build a more targeted network in and automatically position yourself to be seen as a solid professional to be taken seriously.
LinkedIn provides the opportunity to define your own personal brand based on your professional and educational background. Whether you’re an entrepreneur, consultant, employee or job seeker, your Linkedin profile is an important aspect of using LinkedIn to establish your personal brand and credibility.
A LinkedIn profile will typically include the following:
Completing your profile (getting to 100%) on LinkedIn is absolutely essential. Having a 100% complete LinkedIn profile actually boosts your search engine ranking on the search engine results page (SERP) so you can rank higher if someone googles you. Its easy to see whether your LinkedIn profile needs more work as LinkedIn displays a percentage score, indicating level of completedness.
LinkedIn clearly states that users with completed profiles are 40 times more likely to receive opportunities through LinkedIn. Having an incomplete profile is tantamount to submitting a half-completed job application. It can also have a detrimental effect and portray a negative impression of being lazy or having a lack of attention to detail. On the other hand, a completed profile is going to make you appear to be a more competent and professional user in the network.
Fill out even the details that you don’t believe are important. People will be searching for your profile using all kinds of information. For example, old clients you may have lost touch with will find you by the information you have entered into LinkedIn. Another reason is that a half-completed profile looks lazy. It looks like you don’t care enough to take the thirty minutes to finish it.
Your LinkedIn profile forms the foundation of your LinkedIn presence. It is the most effective way to showcase all of who you are through your personality, skills, background, experience, passions, interests, and areas of expertise. It should also be consistent with your online presence, which means you should be using the same avatar across all social networks, your full name and your branding statement, if you have one.
Your LinkedIn professional profile is the first thing anyone interested in you will check out to get a full picture of you, your background, qualifications and skills. A limited version of that profile is also what shows up when a search is performed on your brand on Google, although you can turn it on to full view, or make it unfindable through the search engines. Whatever you choose to do, your profile should be 100% complete, tell the world who you are, and showcase what you’ve done and what you can do.
When writing your LinkedIn profile, bear in mind that you’re creating content as well as laying down the facts about yourself. Although it may feel like doing your resume, it’s much more than that. Like content for any blog or website, make it personal, readable and interesting. Write it in a professional, AND personable manner in order to make it something that you’d enjoy reading yourself rather than just a laundry list of achievements.
It is very important that your profile is user-focused, client-focused and benefit-oriented. It should let your prospects know exactly what you can do for them.
Your profile should answer the following questions:
To have any chance of being successful on LinkedIn, your profile needs to be absolutely flawless with no spelling or grammatical errors, and must be compelling enough to stand out from the millions of other profiles on the network.
In addition, your profile needs to be client-focused by letting the reader know what is in for them, what problems you can solve, or the results you can help them achieve if they choose to do business with you. Remember, this is ALL about you and your personal brand. Not your product, service or business, so make it all about you, so the reader gets a clear understanding of who you are and what you stand for.
Your profile should answer the question , “What’s in it for me, your potential client or partner? ” So focus on the benefits you will provide and how you will provide them.
Tip: Before you start building your profile, first check out profiles of other people in your industry or niche market. This will give you a few ideas on how to setup a profile that is most effective within your industry. Make sure you use profiles that show up highest in search, as those guys are definitely doing the right thing.