I don’t know about the rest of you, but I was very late to the game when it came to LinkedIn. Sure, I put up a profile a few years ago, then promptly forgot about it, letting it grow old and stale, never checking in and never using the platform to market my business.
But LinkedIn offers some pretty powerful networking and marketing opportunities, so I decided to get in the game, recently gutting my profile entirely and starting over fresh, changing almost everything.
There is still work to do, but now I can use LinkedIn to market and network, because I’m no longer ashamed of my outdated, poorly optimized profile.
And yes, you can use LinkedIn if you’re a solopreneur or small business owner – its’ not just for job seekers.
Here are just 5 reasons you may want to optimize your profile if you haven’t already:
1. Your LinkedIn profile will often be one of the first results to pop up when someone Googles your name.
2. LinkedIn is a powerful platform for getting leads because it’s business-oriented. You’re not signing in to watch funny cat videos or check out what your friends are up to – and neither is anyone else. People are there to network and build professional relationships.
3. You can link out to your other online profiles and properties from within your LinkedIn profile, giving you SEO benefits.
4. You can tap into the LinkedIn Answers feature to use your expertise to benefit others – another way to build mutually beneficial professional relationships.
5. You can join LinkedIn groups in your industry, where you can get and give advice. Very useful, this.
There are plenty of LinkedIn experts (I suggest one at the end of this article) and free resources online that go into the 5 reasons above in much greater detail which will teach you how to create a holistic LinkedIn marketing strategy, but what I want to focus on here are the 5 key areas on your profile you can optimize today using your keywords, in half an hour or less.
1. Your Headline. The headline is next to your image. This is the most important place to put your keywords. See mine here.
2. Current Work Experience. This is the first section under the “Summary” section.
3. Past Work Experience. This is just below current work experience.
4. Summary. The summary section is the first section under the actual profile (that box containing all your info at a glance).
5. Number 5 used to be the good old Specialties Section, but you may not have a “Specialties” section anymore – I don’t. I’m told that as of this writing, LinkedIn has done away with the Specialties section, so I would suggest making the number 5 destination for your keywords the “Skills and Experience” section, where you can choose up to 50 skills from the built-in competencies LinkedIn offers there. Here’s what mine looks like.
And there you have it. Go ahead and get your keywords in those 5 sections on LinkedIn today so you can start using this powerful platform to build relationships and market your business.
Resource Alert: If you want to know more about using LinkedIn to grow your business, check out what Lewis Howes is up to – he’s a well-respected LinkedIn marketing expert, and my go-to mentor for all things LinkedIn.
Check out this article on Lewis’s site for his top ten tips for LinkedIn marketing.
And visit Copyblogger for this article Lewis wrote called 7 Quick Ways to Turn Your LinkedIn Profile into a Social Media Marketing Workhorse.
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