Every professional knows they need a LinkedIn profile, but not everyone knows how to make the most of the LinkedIn experience.
This post covers 12 ways to upgrade your LinkedIn profile, increase visibility and open doors to opportunities that transform your LinkedIn profile into an always-on networking hub.
As a reader appreciation gift, I'm offering a free how to use LinkedIn ebook download. Adapted from the how to use LinkedIn chapter in the best-selling book, "Success Secrets of the Social Media Marketing Superstars," to access the download, enter your information.
12 Ways to Transform Your LinkedIn profile into an Always-On Networking Hub
At 250 million members worldwide [latest stats at http://press.linkedin.com/about], LinkedIn is the place to search for, connect to and develop business online. To transform your LinkedIn profile into an always-on global networking hub, follow these 12 steps.
A complete LinkedIn profile is your connection to a world of opportunities. Optimize your profile with keywords.
1. Use Keywords to Help People Find You
Keywords are the search terms people use to find information online. The keywords people use to find you and your business might point to your profession, service, location, area of expertise or even the problems you solve. Optimize your LinkedIn profile with keywords in your headline, summary, expertise and your job title and descriptions.
2. Upload a Flattering Profile Photo that Matches Your Image
Worth at least 1,000 (maybe 100,000) words), a LinkedIn profile picture conveys your business image to the world. Are you casual, relaxed, authoritative, intellectual?
3. Write a Catchy Headline that Grabs Attention
Your headline describes who you are and what you do. This isn’t necessarily the title on your business card. Sort of a personal tagline, your headline stands out when people see your profile.
4. Summarize Your Talents into Sound Bites
The summary section is the place to make your personal brand statement
Given that attention is shrinking down into text-message and tweet-size sound bites, it’s important to be concise, informative and engaging. Use bullets to make your main points.
5. Cover Every Position for Maximum Exposure
Expand your connection potential by listing all relevant f?ormer companies and positions. Break up your current experience into categories like speaker, consultant and author to broaden your skill set. Then, people can recommend you for each individual position.
6. Route Traffic to Three Destinations
In addition to a place for your twitter ID, LinkedIn lets you list three websites. Consider including your company website, a link to your Facebook page and another to a landing page that collects database information. Use the URL or, better yet, a phrase that describes the site.
7. Hail Alma Mater to Connect with Other Alumni
Listing schools you attended pulls in connections from students and alumni. Even with decades of distance in graduation years, a common alma mater opens the door to a shared experience in LinkedIn alumni groups.
8. Spice It Up with Specialties and Interests
Like a dash of spice adds flavor, your specialties and interests lists spark up your profile with keywords and tangents that set off your personality.
9. Make it 100% complete
Complete profiles rank higher in searches and let you make the most of LinkedIn’s profile opportunities. Is yours 100% complete? If not, see what you need to do to fill in the gaps.
10. Add Documents, Files, Images and Video for Personalization and Promotion
Update and round out your profile with project portfolios, slide shows, documents and other creative work that showcases your talents. Use http://slideshare.net to share your presentations to your profile.
11. Show off Your Skills
What are you good at? LinkedIn allows you to list up to 50 skills on your profile. When people visit your profile, they can endorse you for these skills or they can add to those you have listed. You can also endorse them.
12. Upgrade Your Account and Get More Features
A basic, free personal LinkedIn account gets you started. Investing in an upgraded personal or business account improves functionality, reach, access and customer service. To see the options, check your account settings.
How would you like your LinkedIn profile to work for you?
Although I conduct How to Use LinkedIn for Business training workshops, I don't work for the company.