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LinkedIn provides professionals much more than just a social media marketing calling card. Your LinkedIn profile can also be a potent tool for growing your business and an important piece of the puzzle when it comes to your online content strategy. Use the following tips to create a powerful, professional LinkedIn profile and to reap the benefits of this social marketing channel.
Brand Yourself with Your Headline
Don’t make the mistake of only listing your company and job title in your headline. Use this valuable piece of online real estate – just under your name and photo – to brand yourself. Tell people what you do, what value you offer, and what problems you solve. Fill this space with keywords related to your occupation. This is your opportunity to create your Brand on LinkedIn’s professional network and to grab some valuable SEO real estate.
Share Your Status and Build Your Brand
Your status updates appear directly underneath your profile picture and your headline. Many people refer to this as the “What are you working on?” space. People’s eyes will gravitate to this area because of its location. With that in mind, use this space as a branding tool and create appealing, informative and creative status updates. Should you use it to look for work? Here’s an interesting take on that from Neal Schaffer at Windmill Networking.
Set Yourself Apart in Your Summary
Did you skip over the Summary section in your LinkedIn profile? If so, take the time now to use this section to set yourself apart from the crowd. Begin your summary with a personal positioning statement that explains to others the unique skill-set you possess and what sets you apart from others in your industry. Be creative (but honest), use industry-related keywords and write in a clear, concise manner.
Don’t Worry About Being Vain
There is nothing wrong with being vain when it comes to your LinkedIn URL. Personalize your URL with your name or as close a match as possible if your exact name is taken. This is important for your search engine optimization strategy and helps people remember your LinkedIn web address. And let’s face it; an average-sized business card just doesn’t have enough room to hold a URL with a lengthy series of numbers and letters.
Take Advantage of Free Tools
There are a number of free applications LinkedIn allows users to integrate into their profile. Take the time to investigate these applications and choose ones that will add value to your profile. Three of the most powerful promotion tools are the Creative Portfolio Display, Slideshare and Google Presentations applications.
Never Waste Website Link Opportunities
LinkedIn gives you the option to add three website links to your profile. This provides both SEO value and promotional value. Use these to link to your blog, social media pages, company website or other online locations. When setting these up, choose “Other” instead of the generic tags (i.e. “Company Website”). Then, make sure you use keyword anchor text for your links to boost search engine optimization value. And if you are on Twitter, don’t forget to utilize that extra link as well.
These are just six steps you should take to ensure you are on the way to maximizing your LinkedIn presence. You should also take the time to review the LinkedIn tutorials regularly to keep up with the newest additions and functionalities added to profiles. We also suggest you update your profile on a regular basis. And for those of you who work for or own a B2B business, make sure to check out our post with tips on leveraging LinkedIn for your B2B social media marketing.
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