McLellan: Time to update LinkedIn page
Friday, December 27, 2013 7:00 AM
I love the workdays between Christmas and New Year’s because they tend to be a little quieter and I can catch up on some of the things that nag at me throughout the year but that I can never quite get to. Some of the tasks are necessary evils, like filing, but there are also some important, but not urgent activities that I know will yield dividends if I just can get to them.
Tuning up my LinkedIn profile is one of the latter. I thought you might be in the same boat, so I’ve outlined some things we can all do to maximize the value we get from that important business tool.
Clean out the inbox: Odds are, you have some connection requests and messages in your inbox. It’s time to accept the requests, reply to the messages and say hello to your new connections with a quick note. You might share your 2014 goals with them. You never know who might hold the key to your next success.
Reach out: LinkedIn does a good job of suggesting connections. I try to flip through the first few pages of suggestions. There’s almost always one or two people whom I very much want in my digital Rolodex. Try to make a new connection each time you view their suggestions.
When you do send an invite, don’t just use their standard invite language. Write something that will remind the recipient who you are and how you know each other.
Check your tone and message: Review all the copy on your profile. Does anything need updating? Did you get a promotion? Win an award? Learn something new? Add it. Now, read your profile content out loud. Does it sound like you talk? If not, rewrite it so it does.
Add content and context: One of the under- used features of LinkedIn is the ability to add links or files to your profile. So if you’re a blogger or have a few articles about you or your business online, you should add them to your profile. Have a process you use in your work or an amazing thank-you letter from a client? Add the file so others can access it too.
This feature isn’t limited to Word documents or PDFs. You can add photographs and video too. So add a video clip of you speaking or photos of your work.
Personalize it: You can do this in a couple of ways. First, look at the photo you are using. Is it professionally shot? Do you look the way you’d look if I came to see you at work? This isn’t the place for your “look, I caught a big fish” photo. It should show and tell me what you’re all about, professionally.
Another way you can personalize your account is by customizing your profile URL. The default is a bunch of alphanumerical characters. But you can make it www.linkedin.com/in/yourname assuming that URL isn’t already taken.
Grab them with your headline: Right under your name is a little block of copy. Most people use it to just list their title or describe their job function. But you should think of it as a headline. Grab their attention with some powerful words that demonstrate that you’re anything but run-of-the-mill.
Say something nice: I’m not sold on the endorsements feature on LinkedIn, but I love the recommendations. When I’m looking at someone’s profile, it’s one of the first places I go. Look through your LinkedIn contacts and leave a few heartfelt recommendations. You’ll be amazed at how it snowballs. Pretty soon, you’ll be boasting a healthy batch of recommendations too.
LinkedIn is probably the most underutilized social media network. Use your holiday down time to dust off your profile and get it working for you.
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