It’s easy to lose yourself in LinkedIn. It’s no wonder. The professional networking site has more than 530 million active users.
LinkedIn is such a great tool for networking, building partnerships, exploring opportunities and discovering trends that leaving it to chance is not an option. It doesn’t matter if you’re an executive, such as Alex Perdikis, or an industry giant, such as Microsoft, an awesome LinkedIn profile leads to limitless possibilities.
The possibilities really are endless. A prospect asks you for a quote. An industry organization asks you to speak. A recruiter contacts you about a job. An executive offers you an opportunity. But to get there, they have to find you. To find you, you have to stand out.
What can you do to create an outstanding profile and build a standout presence in LinkedIn? Follow these five tips.
- Channel Your Inner Chatty Cathy
The talking Chatty Cathy doll caused a sensation in the 1960s. You pulled her string and she spoke out loud. You can take a cue from her talkative nature as you engage with others in the LinkedIn platform. One of the most effective ways to increase your visibility is to comment on stories and posts that come across your feed.
Some comments stand out and invite more shares than others, though. Comments that include visuals — from screenshots to graphics with a message — interest readers and result in more clicks to your profile.
- Then Chatty Cathy Said…
Of course, words were Chatty Cathy’s special talent and, again, you can take a cue from her. LinkedIn Chat is the ideal communication tool to stay in touch and build relationships. Use LinkedIn Chat to:
- Share informative links
- Schedule appointments
- Send pictures
- Open a discussion
- Introduce yourself
- Create a group
LinkedIn Chat is easy to use and works well on mobile devices.
- Tell Your Story in Pictures
The LinkedIn News Stream lets you share up to four pictures at a time. Let’s say you’re at a conference, attending an important company event or participating in a training session. Use pictures to share what’s happening.
If you’re smart about it, even those who speak other languages will understand what you’re trying to say simply by viewing the pictures.
- About That Profile
It’s time to take a long, hard look at that profile. Is it up-to-date? Is the profile picture 10 years old? Does the picture look professional? Does the wording in the description explain what you really do? Correct, add and improve descriptions and information as required.
An aspect of refining a LinkedIn profile that’s often overlooked is the background graphic. You may have the most professional looking profile picture in the world but if the background graphic is the default blue, it’s not going to stand out. Instead, use a relevant but eye-catching graphic.
Look at the headline under your profile picture. The default headline is your job title but it doesn’t have to be. Instead, fill the 120 character limit with power words to describe what you do, your specialty and how you can help your target audience. You’d be surprised how effective you can be with so few characters.
- Skills, You Say?
The skills section is another part of your profile that has to stand out. Did you know that listing five skills or more on your profile leads to up to 17 times more views? Review your listed skill set and add those you missed before or acquired since.
Sign up for LinkedIn’s trending skills newsletter to stay on top of current in-demand skills among those with your job title.