Five Ways to Improve Your LinkedIn Profile

Five Ways to Improve Your LinkedIn Profile

Your LinkedIn profile is just as important as your website these days.  It’s not uncommon at all for small business owners to check out your profile before contacting you.  If your profile doesn’t measure up, then you might not get the lead.  Here are five ideas to get the most out of your LinkedIn profile.

1.  Write a friendly, keyword-filled background. 

On LinkedIn, the best backgrounds are less formal, more friendly, and conversational in style.  Let people know what drives you from a business standpoint, what you’re passionate about, and who the ideal client is for you.

Do include a bio-like summary of your experience and skills, and mention your affiliations as well.  If a prospect finds they have something in common with you, those affiliations are great connectors and ice-breakers to help people get the conversation started.

And last, look over your background after you’ve completed it to see how many keywords you naturally included.  Look for places where you can insert additional keywords or repeat important keywords.  When people search using your keywords, your profile will pop up more often.

2.  Jazz up your professional headline. 

The most important words in LinkedIn are in your professional headline.  The headline shows up right after your name, so you’ll want to make it count.   There are a couple of things you can do with your headline.  Most people put their title and company name, but we recommend you describe what you have to offer people instead.

For example, “Dedicated to helping Phoenix-based small businesses with their taxes and bookkeeping” is a good start.   Having the terms “Phoenix,” taxes,” and “bookkeeping” makes your headline keyword-rich.

3.  Maximize your experience list. 

In the experience section, add not just your current and previous jobs, but also your club memberships, nonprofit volunteer work, and your Board of Directors jobs, if any.  You’ll have a far better chance of having something in common with people when you develop your profile this way.

4.  Maximize your groups. 

You can join a little over 50 groups in LinkedIn.  Here are a few of my favorites:

Use keywords such as your city and the industries you serve to find groups to join.   Joining groups expands your ability to reach out to people as you can connect with someone that is in the same group that you’re in even if you are not connected to them directly.

5.  Ask people for recommendations. 

You can build credibility by having lots of recommendations listed in your profile.   But to get these, you need to ask for them.  Most of your clients, and even your peers, are willing to write a recommendation for you.   And when you do have recommendations listed, prospects will be able to tell you have multiple clients and see how you are to work with.

Try these five tips in LinkedIn to improve your profile.  And while you’re there, connect with me:  http://www.linkedin.com/in/sandismith

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