Use Your Profile to be a Resource and to Start Conversations
Your profile needs to be a resource – not just a resume. Use your title, headline, summary and experience to articulate your brand.
A properly optimized LinkedIn profile will tell a story and should take readers beyond the title so that they will clearly see the person behind the title. But first impressions matter and anyone who visits your LinkedIn profile will judge you based on your name, title, headline, banner image and profile picture. According to brand expert William Arruda in a recent article for Forbes, “With LinkedIn memberships rapidly approaching a billion people, standing out can be hard. Yet your success depends on it. If your profile is similar to the profiles of those who do what you do, it will be hard to get people excited about you. But when your profile is the green palm tree in a sea of blue waves, people pay attention. So, seek to integrate your brand differentiation throughout your profile.”
This is your moment to STAND OUT not fit in! Most people I work with to improve their LinkedIn profile have such great career stories, accomplishments and stand out in their niche and yet they don’t share what I call ‘the good stuff’ online, either they feel braggadocios and feel uncomfortable sharing or don’t think what they’ve done is interesting enough to share.
Know what your brand says to your audience
I read an article recently that brought up the confusion people have with a name. The article referred to a sign outside a retail establishment that offered no clear evidence as to the nature of the business, “onlookers were reportedly unable to determine whether a storefront bearing the name “Casa Spazio” belonged to an establishment that sold leather sofas or pizza.”
Does your LinkedIn profile title, headline or company name confuse people?
We have only seconds to make the all important first impression. If you send someone an invitation to connect, the obvious next step is they will open your profile to see who you are.
If the person doesn’t have a clue, often your invitation will go ignored and you lost the opportunity to make that great first impression.
Here are some example of titles and headlines that could be confusing or misconstrued:
1.) Director of Strategic Accounts at Blue Horse – I don’t know from the name or headline what Blue Horse is and I don’t know they do, so if I’m in a hurry I probably won’t scroll to mid-profile to learn more. To further make this confusing there is no image at the top of the profile.
2.) Senior Account Executive at Real Time Solutions – Same situation with this, I don’t know what the brand Real Time Solution is, the image use at the top of the profile had no company branding it was a pretty picture of a desktop. The first few lies of the summary told me nothing about this person either.
3.) Realtor, Keller-Williams Realty – I see this all the time with realtors. First impressions matter and this title and headline says, ‘I’m just like every other realtor.’ This is your moment to stand out, not fit in with everyone else in your niche.
4.) President, Flower Consulting Group – Differentiating your brand and the type of consulting you do is critical to gaining a cold connection.
Here are some examples of titles and headlines that are impactful and draw you in to learn more:
1.) Vice President (VP) Commercial Banker – Calm, Creative and Customer Focused – Purposeful Advocate of Client & Community
2.) Sales and accountability coach helping women in male-dominated industries maximize their time, skills, and mindset.
3.) Relationship Management | Business Development Leader with a Passion For Cultivating Teams Where Coaching Drives Results
4.) Commercial Insurance Specialist – Customized Insurance Programs That Cover Unique Exposures
Everyone has a personal brand
Every interaction creates an impression of you, in fact everything you do is branding you. Our value is often perceived in how we package ourself on our LinkedIn profile and other social media sites to our website. Your personal brand is a combination of your skills and experience. It’s who you are!
Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, is famously quoted as saying, “Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.”
One of the simplest ways to show your brand is through the header image at the top of your LinkedIn profile. Think of this as a big billboard to show your brand.
In this example, the header image is a collection of magazines that Titus Contracting can be found in. The image adds credibility to the company and associates their brand with a successful magazine. The recommended image size is 1584 x 396 pixels. You can have a graphic designer create an image for you that is high quality. You can also change out your header graphic as your company changes – that’s the great thing about LinkedIn.
Stand out with a personal brand
According to career expert, CarolineCastrillon, “Whether you’re an employee or entrepreneur, cultivating a personal brand has become more important than ever. One reason is that it is more popular for recruiters to use social media during the interview process. According to a 2018 CareerBuilder survey, 70% of employers use social media to screen candidates during the hiring process, and 43% of employers use social media to check on current employees.”
Improve your LinkedIn summary
Your LinkedIn profile summary is one of the first things people see when they view your profile, I wrote about how to write a LinkedIn summary like a pro.It’s part of the introductory business card at the top of your profile and also is “above the fold” on both desktop and mobile, meaning someone doesn’t have to scroll down to find it. Though a LinkedIn summary is a great way to professionally introduce yourself online to anyone who might be viewing your profile, the summary section is often under-utilized by LinkedIn users. Many leave it completely blank or type in a short tagline better suited for the LinkedIn headline or resume summary.
Add multi-media that reflects your brand
Because your summary is at the top of the profile, I
recommend adding multi-media here first. This could be in the form or a video,
image, PDF, White Paper, or even an infographic.
The multi-media you add should support your brand, highlight your skills.
Your LinkedIn profile will be so much more interesting with multi-media.
To improve your LinkedIn branding takes some thought and planning. With emphasis on your title, headline, summary and experience as well as a bold header graphic will often give you the start of a competitive advantage.
To learn more about how you can create your own power profile, check out our resource that guides you to create a more powerful LinkedIn presence.CLICK HERE