How to Easily Create an Effective LinkedIn Profile

LinkedIn is the largest business-oriented network on the planet. It offers prime opportunities to establish a personal brand and to begin building visibility and authority in your industry. However, it also suffers from a “noise problem” with its critics describing it as a bazaar for job hunters and agencies; stagnant profiles and low levels of engagement. (LinkedIn’s problems don’t end there, with a recent valuation slashing its value by $11bn).

“Is LinkedIn worth the effort?”

The short answer is, if it’s done properly, yes.

  1. Experts should have a LinkedIn profile. Similar to having a custom domain email as opposed to a Gmail account, if you are positioning yourself as expert in your subject you should have a LinkedIn profile. It’s a simple way to cement your professionalism and credibility. You may never treat it as anything more than a glorified business card and that’s OK (although we’ll show you some simple steps to make it more than that) but do have one.
  2. It probably won’t be your main social media strategy. You may not get as high levels of engagement with LinkedIn as other social networks but it’s a useful boost to search engine backlinks and facilitates professional networking.
  3. Setup your LinkedIn profile to automatically publish your blog posts. There are WordPress plugins that will automatically post your web content to your LinkedIn page, e.g. MicroblogPoster, and this is a must to avoid your profile stagnating through inactivity.

Simple ways to create an effective LinkedIn profile

Link Humans has created a cool infographic to walk you through creating a profile that stands out. From their graphic:

  1. Photo. Use a professional photo which is cropped to show your face clearly. You are 7 times more likely to be found on LinkedIn with a photo.
  2. Headline. It should be catchy and keyword-rich. This is the first impresssion – make your headline stand out or people will move on.
  3. Contact info. Add your professional email address and your company or personal Twitter account. Personalise your URL…

See the full infographic here: http://linkhumans.com/blog/perfect-linkedin-profile

Takeaway points

  1. You should have a LinkedIn profile as part of a professional, credible image.
  2. Link your profile to your blog using a WordPress plugin like MicroblogPoster to ensure it is regularly updated.
  3. LinkedIn is unlikely to be your main social media strategy but it’s a useful one.

Action steps

  1. Go through the steps suggested by Link Humans in their infographic. It should only take a couple of hours.
  2. Join LinkedIn groups that require your expertise (rather than groups of your peers) and share useful content with them at least once a week.
  3. Grow your network organically – resist the temptation to join “open networking” groups. You’ll just collect thousands of meaningless connections with no interest in what you offer. It’s absolutely about the quality, not the quantity of your connections.

Photo credit: nan palmero via Foter.com / CC BY

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