Why LinkedIn Profile Optimization Is Critical And How to Do It Better Than Anyone Else – 25 Best Practices

Marketers spend all of their time and resources to elevate the brands of others. After all, marketers are trained and specialize in helping other businesses identify their target audience and reach them online. However, how often do marketers apply these skills to improve their own brands?

If you’re like most marketers, the answer is slim to none. Many are simply busy and don’t see the point of marketing themselves, especially if they’re already generating a lot of business.

The problem is that when you neglect marketing your brand, you will not only sell yourself short, but you can also miss out on significant business and networking opportunities in the future.

When it comes to elevating your brand finally, there is no better platform than LinkedIn. Home to more than 700 million users, LinkedIn is a preeminent networking and branding platform.

By setting up an account, you can improve your brand’s recognition, reach new people, and take advantage of profitable business opportunities. Here are 25 ways to optimize your LinkedIn profile to achieve a preferable outcome — showcasing your skills and value.

1. Select the Right Profile Picture

Your profile picture is arguably the most critical aspect of your LinkedIn profile. It’s how people will be introduced to your brand and affects their first impression of you. The good news is that selecting the right profile picture is a simple process.

Make sure your profile picture:

  • Is recent and looks exactly like
  • Makes up at least 60% of your face
  • Features your favorite outfit
  • Smiles with your eyes

2. Add a Background Photo

In addition to your profile photo, your background picture is also an invaluable aspect of your LinkedIn profile. Your background photo adds more context to your LinkedIn profile.

It also showcases people and elements that are most important to you. Most importantly, a great background photo helps your profile stand out, engage the attention of onlookers, and keep your profile memorable.

3. Create the Perfect Headline

The description at the top of your profile page doesn’t have to be a job title. You’re free to get as creative as possible to tell viewers exactly who you are. With that said, use the headline field to describe how you see your role.

You can also explain what you do and what’s your most pressing motivation. Then, feel free to explore other profiles to see which type of catchy and captivating headlines will work best for your target audience.

4. Transform Your Summary into a Story

Believe it or not, a lot of people will leave their profile’s summary field blank. As you can imagine, your summary allows you to sell viewers about yourself, your motivations, and your ambitions.

Remember that LinkedIn is home to hundreds of millions of professionals. So for your profile to stand out, you’ll need to do much more than explain how great you are at creating websites if you’re a website developer.

Use this section to inspire others and communicate the extracurricular aspects of your professional life.

5. Eliminate all Buzzwords

A buzzword is a simply overused jargon that has lost its meaning and value. With millions of live LinkedIn profiles, you can expect many of them to use the same words to say the same things.

Buzzwords like “strategic,” “expert,” “leadership,” and “focused” are heavily redundant. So when putting the finishing touches on your LinkedIn profile, make sure every word you’re using provides value.

Keep all verbiage clear and concise, and remember that flowery language won’t captivate your target audience. On the contrary, it’ll only serve to alienate your target audience from your profile.

6. Grow Your Network

One of the most effective ways of growing your LinkedIn profile is by syncing your email address book to your profile. LinkedIn will then attempt to find anyone you’ve interacted with via your email provider on their platform.

Within seconds, you can connect with hundreds and even thousands of existing contacts. This is a fantastic method of growing your network and informing more people about your skills and services.

7. Showcase Your Most Relevant Skills

Another effective way to optimize your LinkedIn profile is by scrolling through their native list of skills and choosing the relevant ones. Following this method will help to reinforce the information found in your headline and summary fields.

It also provides a platform for other contacts to endorse your work. The main takeaway here is to select relevant skills only. Many LinkedIn skills don’t represent who you are and what you can do.

Every once in a while, refine your list of skills to make sure you are setting a great first impression for your target audience.

8. List the Services You Offer

In previous years, LinkedIn never offered freelancers, consultants, and small business owners the opportunity to highlight their services. Now, LinkedIn users can fill out the “Services” section in their profiles to improve their visibility in online search results.

9. Endorse Deserving Contacts

Endorsements from LinkedIn users can help bolster the performance and brand recognition of your profile. It can also increase the visibility of your skills and services. If you’re looking to boost your endorsements, you can try endorsing those you genuinely feel deserve it.

This may cause them to return the favor and endorse you. Make sure to reach out to existing contacts with a polite message asking for an endorsement, and only reach out to people you’re genuinely interested in.

10. Proactively Manage Your Endorsements

Once you begin to acquire more endorsements, you may find it challenging only to display the ones that truly represent who you are and what you do. For example, it could be that you specialize in delivering web design services, but the only people leaving endorsements have received your branding services.

Using the edit feature in your profile’s “Skills” section, you can select the endorsements to show and hide. Endorsements go a long way in boosting your reputation.

Make sure the correct endorsements highlight your professional offerings.

11. Complete a Skills Assessment

On LinkedIn and anywhere else, talk is cheap. Luckily, there is a way to prove that you have mastery of your profile’s skills. LinkedIn users can take skills assessments to earn a “Verified Skills” badge showcased on their profiles.

Data from LinkedIn shows that candidates with these badges are approximately 30% more likely to be hired for the roles they apply for. Showing proof that you specialize in specific skills can strengthen your brand.

The good news is that you can retake skills assessments as many times as possible, and you can choose to show the results of your test on your profile.

12. Request Recommendations

Endorsements allow passing by visitors of your profile to obtain a quick glimpse of the work you’re valued for. However, recommendations are a bit more powerful. Recommendations are personal testimonies that are designed to illustrate what it’s like working with you.

Fortunately, users can access a nifty drop-down menu in the “Recommendations” section of your profile and reach out to contacts to request them. However, remember that not every recommendation is equal.

Take the time to realize who you would want a recommendation from, and make sure your request is personalized. A robotic request can rub contacts the wrong way.

13. Highlight Your Passion for Learning

If you want your profile to stand out, make sure you showcase a different side of yourself. You can do this by finishing a course on LinkedIn. Once you’re finished, you can add a course certificate to your profile.

Visit the “Learning History” section of your LinkedIn Learning account. You can even send regular updates about the progress of your courses. These updates will be displayed on your profile, and it’ll paint a picture that you’re more of a savant in your industry.

14. Distribute Marketing and Media Collateral

Your LinkedIn profile can also serve as an arena to showcase marketing collateral and add another dimension to your brand. Distributing branded content, whitepapers, and case studies can help show what your business, products, and services are all about.

These materials can also show your audience what motivates you. Make sure to upload educational marketing collateral to your profile. Doing so can help demonstrate your commitment and passion for your craft.

15. Showcase Your Thought Leadership

A significant part of building your brand is letting your audience understand that you know what you’re talking about. For example, if you’re working in the technology industry and want to showcase your expertise, why not publish a monthly column discussing the intricacies of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning in the automotive industry?

LinkedIn allows users to add existing articles to the “Publications” section of their profiles to help them draw more attention to their businesses and thought leadership content.

Whether you recently published a company blog or contributed to a whitepaper or eBook, the “Publications” section is the perfect place to showcase these works.

16. Share Content from Your LinkedIn Feed

Having a massive network of connections doesn’t mean anything if you aren’t playing an active role in your network. By appearing in the feeds of your connections, you can add more value for them.

Make sure you share relevant content with your audience and keep a close eye on your LinkedIn feed. When you share content that aligns with your point of view and talks about a topic you find interesting, you’ll appear more like a thought leader.

When your audience begins to associate you as a trusted source of information for industry news and editorials, they’ll open their ears to listen more willingly.

17. Add Comments

Sharing content is only the first step in interacting with your audience. The next phase is adding comments to your shares to pivot conversations and express why you believe your content matters.

Comments can also provide context to the content you share. For example, well-placed comments can allow your audience to see your stance on issues you disagree with but still find important.

When you start conversations on LinkedIn, you can draw more attention to your profile. However, it’s important to remember that your comments should reflect the image you plan to convey to your audience.

18. Follow Popular Industry Influencers

Another great way of drawing more attention to your LinkedIn profile is following popular influencers in your industry. By following more influencers, you can automatically place more exciting content in your feed for your audience to see.

Following influencers can add more context to your profile and prove that you have a passion for what you do. If you’re using LinkedIn, strive to follow local influencers first. Local influencers are much more likely to interact with you.

These tight bonds can introduce your brand to newer audiences and open the door for lucrative business opportunities.

19. Become an Employee Advocate

If you are ambitiously fighting for a cause, LinkedIn Elevate may be the perfect platform for you. This platform helps businesses create and manage employee advocacy programs.

By sharing content on your profile that promotes your advocacy efforts, you can demonstrate a greater passion for your work. In addition, even if you don’t join a group, you can still reach out to colleagues and ask if they are participating in any advocacy groups.

If they are a part, you can then ask if they have any valuable content worth sharing on your feed. These types of collaborations are vital to optimizing your LinkedIn profile and growing your network.

20. Publish Long-Form Content

LinkedIn allows users to publish blogs and share this content on their feeds. This feature should not be treated as an afterthought. If you’re growing your network and profile, you should experiment with creating long-form content.

Long-form content is usually above 2,000 words, and it shows that you have a deep mastery over essential subjects in your industry. The best method for distributing long-form content is writing about topics that are designed to start a conversation.

Again, if you’re involved in the technology industry, you can pen an article detailing why AI won’t take away the jobs of countless hard-working men and women.

21. Complete Your Profile

This may seem like the most apparent LinkedIn profile optimization technique, but it’s usually the most overlooked. A successful LinkedIn profile is complete with information that best represents the user.

Therefore, make sure you complete the following areas of your profile to stand out and begin growing your network:

  • Add your industry and location.
  • Add your current and two past job positions.
  • Fill in your education information.
  • Add a minimum of three skills (it’s recommended to add more).
  • Add at least 50 connections.

22. Create a Vanity URL

After publishing your LinkedIn profile, the URL isn’t exactly a memorable one. A default LinkedIn profile URL has countless confusing characters that aren’t ideal if you want to optimize for SEO and brand recognition.

If your name is Brand Jenkins, a URL like http://www.linkedin.com/in/brandjenkins is more user-friendly. It makes it easier for people to find you, and your profile will even rank higher during a Google search from a potential customer or client.

Fortunately, you can customize your URL from your profile settings.

23. Add Keywords to Your Profile

You may not believe that search engine optimization (SEO) has a place in LinkedIn profile optimization, but in reality, it does play a crucial role in its success. By adding popular keywords to your summary, job title, personal interests, and skills, you can attract more people from search engines to your profile.

The more visibility your profile receives, the more likely a person will reach out to you if they’re interested in one of your products and services.

24. Include Branding in Your Background Image

We previously discussed the importance of a background image to your LinkedIn profile. Your background image should feature your business logo at all times to add more brand recognition to your profile.

It also should include a value statement – a short statement of what value your clients get by working with you.

It’s a proven fact that the more you associate yourself with a logo, people will do the same vice versa.

25. Add Projects

For freelancers and small business owners, projects are just like work samples. They demonstrate a real-world ability you have in your industry. No LinkedIn profile is complete with at least three different projects.

Make sure that the projects listed on your profile are comparable to your skills. This way, you can prove the mastery of your selected skills while providing your audience with a clear look at your past work.

Improve Your LinkedIn Marketing Today!

LinkedIn is undoubtedly one of the most popular social media networks in the world. This presents you with a golden opportunity to promote your brand and improve your revenue.

At RevGrow, we specialize in helping brands transform their LinkedIn marketing strategy into a lucrative sales funnel. We’d love to speak with you about setting up an effective strategy for your business.

Schedule a strategy call with us to learn more about how we can help you.

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