LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network with over 120 million members and growing rapidly. Connect with new strategic alliances, stay in touch with your target audience, get new referral business, locate experts and research the latest tools and resources.  Whatever your specific needs, the opportunities on LinkedIn are endless!

So, how can you possibly take advantage of this goldmine of opportunities without spending all your time on the site?  The key to getting the best results in the least amount of time begins with optimizing your own profile.  Instead of spending your time researching new opportunities, make it easy for others to find you!

Complete your Profile 100%

Why?  LinkedIn says there is a 40% better chance of networking success with a 100% completed profile!  Here’s how to get started:

Optimize the Basics:

  1. Write a keyword rich Headline – How would you like to be found in search? Which words would your best potential customers use to locate you?  Use those words to describe yourself instead of using words like ‘Owner’ and ‘Founder’.  Are you a Chiropractor specializing in Sports injuries? Then don’t say you own XYZ Medical.  Make it clear early on in the heading that you are a Chiropractor specializing in Sports injuries at XYZ Medical.  Not sure which keywords to use? Utilize Google Adwords: Keyword Tool to find the highly searched for terms that don’t have a lot of competition.  Those are typically the best ones to use!
  2. List at least 3 positions including your current position.  Take the time to describe your role and utilize the keywords we talked about from your headline!
  3. Utilize the Summary Section – Create a summary that helps people understand how you can help them.  Focus on the benefit of working with you.  Include what makes you different from your competitors.  Add a little something personal in this section.  Let your audience get to know who you are by including some of your goals or something you are passionate about.  The most important part of this section is the call to action.  Tell people what you are looking for and how to get more information via your website, your email address or a contact telephone number.  Remember those keywords?  Make sure you are using those as appropriate throughout this section as well.
  4. Complete the Specialties section.  By now you should know which keywords you would like to be found under.  This is your opportunity to use them all! Fill in this section completely.  Ensure that the keywords here support the keywords you used in your summary and headline.
  5. Instead of using the My Website option when describing links in your profile, use the Other option This will allow you to label the link with a more descriptive title.  Be sure to use keywords here too!

Enhance your profile

Now that you’ve optimized your profile, it’s time to enhance it.  There are several things you can do with your profile to really make it stand out once you’ve been found by your target audience.

  1. Make sure you are using a professional photo of yourself
  2. Take advantage of the Vanity URL option within your Profile Settings.   This allows you to edit your LinkedIn URL so it is customized for you and your business.
  3. Include links to your other social media sites, i.e.Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest.
  4. Make sure your profile is publicly visible.  At the very least, ensure that your audience can see your name, photo and headline.
  5. Get recommendations from others.  3 Recommendations are required to receive the 100% complete profile status from LinkedIn.
  6. Utilize LinkedIn Applications.  LinkedIn offers some very useful tools to help you connect with your community and establish yourself as a thought leader in your niche.  A few of the best include Slideshare to share your latest presentations from your LinkedIn profile and WordPress or BlogLink to help you import your Blog to your LinkedIn profile.

Are you ready to optimize your LinkedIn profile?  Get started today and soon you will start seeing more people than ever finding you in search and reaching out to establish a relationship.  Which of these suggestions will you utilize first?  Leave us a comment with your questions and concerns.  We’d love to help!