If you are looking for a job, or you are in sales or even an executive in your business, having a professional LinkedIn profile has become an essential part of Social Selling and marketing within organisations.

A professional’s LinkedIn profile is her or his landing page. It’s your 7 Seconds (Socialnomics 2018) for your client or employer to decide whether they move to the next profile, or continue reading. As such, it shouldn’t simply be a resume / CV. The LinkedIn profile needs to be constructed in a way that attracts, teaches and engages it’s targeted audience. What are you essentially wanting to achieve with your profile? To get the right people to connect with you and start engaging in further conversations!  Let’s get started with some LinkedIn profile Basics!

1.      Picture perfect!

Make sure your profile picture is a recent, clear and non-distracting (plain background) of YOU, not your mom’s cat or your logo! This is a head and shoulders picture of you smiling (people don’t want to do business with Mr Grumpy!) so people can recognise you when you meet them! Please, also keep it current as we age, change hairstyles or even grow a beard!

Let me give you an example. The other day, I met with a client for the first time. This is a high profile client who had a really large reception area, including a restaurant. In the sea of people in this reception area, he and I recognised each other from across the area. Your first impression now is not just in person, but online!

2.      Background picture.

This is an opportunity to add some branding about what you do. People think and dream in pictures, make your first impression a good! You only get 2 chances to impress someone visually on your profile, this is the second one!

3.      Your Headline.

If someone wants to know your position and where you work, they can scroll to your job experience section. This is your chance to “WOW” someone with how you add value, not just your job title! Create some curiosity about you and how you add value!

4.      Summary.

Your first 3 lines are the most important! How do you stand out? This is not only a chance to share your working life, what you are excited about and what’s next for you, but how you have added value to the companies you have worked with. So if you have helped save XX% on the bottom line or increased sales by XX%, SAY SO. Whether you are looking for a job or would like clients to work with you, you should be showing why they should continue looking at your profile.

5.      Experiences.

List your jobs, company name, duties, outcomes and relevant evidence. Make sure you link the company to official LinkedIn company page (the logo add credibility to your profile). Remember, that this is a great opportunity to say how you added value in each role or how you helped clients in each role! The current position is now shown right at the top of your profile and you don’t want a “grey building”. You want them to see your brand and company loyalty stand out! (Just make sure it’s the right company you link to, so many link to similar names, but incorrect companies)

6.      Education.

List your Tertiary Education and relevant awards and highlights. Include your Major or any other important qualifications relevant to your professional work interests. Remember to link this back to their official pages on LinkedIn (If they have one).

7.      Skills and Endorsements.

This use to be a challenging one for me. The conversation in my head went something like this when someone I didn’t know endorsed me for a skill… “You don’t know me, how can you endorse me for something like that when we haven’t even worked together”. This was until I understood the algorithms in LinkedIn. List all 50 Skills and gladly welcome endorsements, even from people you don’t know, why? They add to your profile credibility and search-ability.

8.      Recommendations.

Seek written recommendations from colleagues, old bosses, clients and even current bosses. This adds credibility to your character and ability in your positions you have held. This is not only for when you are looking for a job, but also for your clients.

In conclusion:

74% of B2B buyers use LinkedIn to research purchasing decisions! (LinkedIn Statistics) So, then my question back to you is, is your profile worth landing on when you are searched for?

If you say no, I don’t think my profile is up to scratch, then set up a LinkedIn coaching session or LinkedIn Training session with us and let us help you be more effective in reaching your goals! www.ladybugz.net.za

Remember, your branding is important, whether it’s your personal branding or part of the full company marketing strategy, professional branding will deliver better results!