Recently I conducted a live workshop titled “How to use LinkedIn for Sales” to a group of successful business people in North Central West Virginia.
I thought share some of my key take-aways for the first step of this process here with you. That first step is creating what LinkedIn designates as an “All-Star” profile.
First, why should you care about LinkedIn?
LinkedIn is the world's largest professional network with more than 610 million users in more than 200 countries and territories worldwide. Their vision is to create economic opportunity for every member of the global workforce. LinkedIn connects the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful.
Let’s face it, if someone wants to know more about you or your company, they’re going to search your name on Google. Most often, your LinkedIn profile will be among the first organic results displayed. Go ahead – try it.
So, this begs the question: When someone Googles your name, what do they find on your LinkedIn profile?
Is your profile complete? Is up to date? Do you have a professional headshot? Do you have any recommendations? Are you active? Is it how you want to be seen in the business world?
According to LinkedIn’s website, “Users with complete profiles are 40 times more likely to receive opportunities through LinkedIn.”
Here are my tips to get you to “All-Star” profile status:
For your profile to be considered “All-Star”, there are 7 criteria that are essential:
- Profile Picture
- Industry & Location
Here are some real practical things you can do today to get your profile up to speed:
- Profile Picture: Have a professional headshot taken. Your bathroom mirror selfie with your ex cropped out is not cutting it.
- Experience: Make sure your experience is accurate, up-to-date, chronological and complete. Think of this section as your resume, because that’s exactly what it is. Be thorough!
- Skills: This section is a great place to list special skills such as software, interpersonal, languages, etc. and don’t forget to list your volunteer service experience and board positions you hold or have held under the “volunteer” tab. It’s a great idea to add video links if you have them.
- Summary: Use this section as your 30 second pitch for your audience. Simply and clearly describe what you do, why you do it and who you best serve.
- Industry & Location: Clearly identify your location (and if you’re willing to work outside of your location) and the industry you work in and serve.
- Education: Here is the best place to list all of your education, as well as special certifications. With a little deeper dig, you can also add awards, certifications and special recognition you have received.
- Connections: Make connections by “LinkingIn” with people you know, people you’ve met in professional or networking settings, and people you’d like to know. This is tricky – don’t be a pest. Always add a personal note when requesting someone.
Obviously, there is a lot more to leveraging Linkedin than we have space for here. But, if you have been neglecting your profile, my hope is that you can use these tips to get started in using this business networking channel to its full potential.