With more than 772 million users spread across 200 countries, LinkedIn is one of the most popular social networks in the world. In the United States alone, it is the 22nd most used website on the internet. By building a virtual network of contacts, LinkedIn is an excellent way to build brand awareness and manage your online reputation.
Get Exposure to the Right People
Professionals use LinkedIn for more than just social networking, it can also be used to build brand awareness and support your company’s marketing strategy. LinkedIn helps you grow your professional network, even when you can’t meet face to face. Your personal profile on LinkedIn is a great way for other professionals to get to know more about you and your organization. The more you interact on the platform, the more exposure you get within your connections and your groups. Your activity will be visible to others, and when someone else likes or shares your post, it gives you a huge boost in exposure. Take the time to join a group, participate in discussions, like and share other professionals’ posts, and connect with professionals who have similar interests.
Maximize the Value of your News Feed
When creating posts, you can either post them to your newsfeed or send them as a message to your 1st degree connections, your group pages, and fellow group members, making LinkedIn an easy way to put yourself and your business directly in front of your target audience. When creating news feed posts, you can also encourage discussion and interaction by directly tagging other professionals and organizations with whom you are associated, exponentially increasing your visibility. When sharing a post from your company profile, clicking the “Notify Employees” button at the top right corner of the post to alert connected employees of the post. This will increase engagement and drive additional post impressions.
Why Should I Rewrite My Profile?
It’s not just enough to have a LinkedIn profile, it’s important to create a compelling professional profile that says the right things about you. That’s why rewriting your personal profile should be an important part of your LinkedIn strategy. A well-developed profile helps you stay in the loop and delivers value to you and your company. The Branding Arc team worked with Crown Asset Management to update and optimize their company profile as well as the profiles of company executives. Here are 8 ways that an optimized LinkedIn profile can help you build your professional brand and distinguish yourself among the more than 170 million LinkedIn users in the U.S.
1. Build Better Searchability and Visibility
Chances are, a current or potential client or employer has already Googled your name or your company to learn more and maybe decide if you or your company would be a good fit. LinkedIn is a powerful tool that can help you manage your online reputation and gain traction with SERP, or search engine results pages. Professional LinkedIn profiles and company pages usually show up within the first few positions at the top of a Google search because LinkedIn is one of the top five sites that Google regularly indexes. By building a strong profile with the right keywords and backlinks, you can optimize your profile to rank higher with Google and gain increased visibility, a key factor in online reputation management.
2. Brand Management: Put Your Best Face Forward
First impressions are lasting impressions. That’s why it’s important to keep an updated profile photo that fits with who you are. Research shows that others are more likely to click on your profile and accept LinkedIn connection requests if you have a profile photo. But, don’t just search your photo library to find a good picture of yourself, make the investment in a professional headshot, one that speaks to your profession and can help you stand out. If you don’t have the resources for a professional headshot, use a high-resolution camera (your smartphone will work) and think carefully about your lighting, background, expression, and outfit. On company pages, a clean and clear version of your logo will help visitors to know that they have reached the company’s official page. Remember, this is a great chance to make an excellent, professional first impression so keep it in line with the brand you are creating.
3. What Does Your Cover Photo Say About You?
A picture is worth a thousand words and your cover photo should tell your professional story. Choosing a unique cover photo can help you solidify your personal brand and stand out from the crowd. The standard LinkedIn cover image is a blue background with interconnected dots and lines. Changing this image to something that speaks to who you are and what you do can help you position yourself or your business within your industry. You can create a custom image that features your social media channels, represents your business, or provides your contact information at a glance. Bob Deter, Director of Business Development at Crown Asset Management displays an image that includes the company logo to immediately and easily demonstrate his relationship with the company to anyone who lands on his profile. Another way to share your expertise is by choosing an image that shows you presenting at a conference or accepting an award. Whether it’s a branded image that matches your company’s established image or a custom photo that you create, be sure to pay close attention to the image quality and size so you are establishing your professional identity in the best way possible.
4. Use Your URL to Stand Out From the Crowd
Customizing your LinkedIn URL is a quick change that shows your attention to detail, makes it easier to find you online, and boosts your credibility. The default URL for profiles is your name or company name followed by a string of numbers. Especially if you or your business have a common name, a unique URL can quickly distinguish you from the crowd.
5. Control Your Byline
Your headline is one of the most visible features of your LinkedIn profile. It is a short description that is located directly below your name and also what appears next to your name in search results. When you create an account, LinkedIn will default your headline to your current job position. However, this is an excellent opportunity to write to your target audience and tell your story. With 120 characters, it’s important to use this space wisely– get creative and entice users to click your profile and learn more about you. When writing a headline for your company, make sure it’s a direct and accurate reflection of the services you provide. Keep it concise, neat, and memorable.
6. Your Profile is More Than Your Resume
LinkedIn provides generous space for you to expand on your experience and showcase your accomplishments. Don’t treat the experience section as a place to simply list your jobs, leverage this section to talk about the positive impact you’ve had, initiatives you’ve led, and the measurable results you’ve helped to create. Using your resume as a guide, create a new “experience” section for each work experience. Fill in your job title, employment type, company, location, and dates of employment. You can also customize and personalize each job section’s headline with 120 characters. A great example of a well-developed profile, and the experience section in particular, is Adam Parks, CEO of Branding Arc. In the description, use action words to talk about each position you’ve held, your responsibilities in each role, your achievements, and your accomplishments. Take advantage of the media section to upload a photo and/or link to relevant video content.
7. Tell Your Story in Your Own Words
The About section of your profile can be a little intimidating with 2,000 characters available to tell your story. However, this is an excellent opportunity to draw attention to yourself and establish who you are as a professional. In your own words, this area gives you the opportunity to share your real point of view and openly talk about yourself and share your personality. Using optimized search terms that are relevant to your profession can help you increase your searchability. Ultimately, you want to command and retain your viewer’s attention, so only use as many characters as necessary to define who you are, talk about where you came from, and highlight your achievements.
8. Include Causes and Organizations that You Support
You are more than your professional profile, so don’t forget to complete the volunteer experience section. This gives people a deeper view into who you are and what matters to you. If you or your company actively supports a charity, are members of a service organization, participate in charity races, or volunteer with a cause that’s meaningful to you, be sure to include each one in your profile. Brian Williams, Owner of Crown Asset Management, is very active within industry organizations and volunteers his time with several organizations and committees. Listing each of these on his profile outwardly demonstrates his personal and professional commitment to helping the industry grow and evolve. By listing the organizations that you and/or your business have been and are currently involved with, you can also demonstrate a deeper level of commitment and a well-roundedness that makes you more relatable.
Lead By Example
Looking for some great examples of ARM industry leaders with outstanding profiles? Take a look at these and see how expanding your profile past the basics can improve your online professional image
Example 1: Adam Parks, CEO of Branding Arc
Example 2: Brian Williams, Owner of Crown Asset Management
Example 3: Stephanie Clark, CEO of VeriFacts, Inc.
Example 4: Bob Deter, Director of Business Development, Crown Asset Management
This post was sponsored by Crown Asset Management. “Founded in 2004, Crown Asset Management, LLC, is a professional receivables management firm that outsources purchased accounts to a nationwide, proprietary network of collection agencies and law firms. Utilizing a cutting-edge predictive analytical model during pre-purchase portfolio due diligence, the Crown Asset team focuses on achieving appropriate financial returns for investors while providing the best possible experience for consumers. Crown Asset Management is an RMAI Certified Receivables Business and is headquartered in Duluth, GA.”