Are you a LinkedIn rockstar? LinkedIn is a great platform that helps you connect with other people in your niche, business opportunities, and leads. It is important to take your LinkedIn profile very seriously for that reason. If you can nail down these three suggestions, you will be well on your way to being a LinkedIn rockstar!
They say opportunities are knocks on the door. You can choose to open them and discover where that path may take you, or you can leave the door shut and let them pass you by.
Unfortunately, as much as we wish, acquiring opportunities is not as easy as it sounds. It is more than just blindly waiting, hoping someone will knock. It requires you to strategically decorate and position yourself to draw people’s attention to your door and away from other doors on the street.
Career branding is the interpretation of this process in the professional world. According to Niels Reib, a career branding specialist, it is differentiating yourself from a whole list of applicants on a job search. It is creating a story – a profile that suits the employer or industry of your interest.
How exactly do we do that?
While Facebook may be most people’s go-to website to make friends and reach out in the social arena, LinkedIn is most professionals’ main platform to network in the business world. Its wide reach of individuals’ from various fields allows you to connect with professionals who have similar interests or goals as you do. In fact, it can even lead them to your doorstep (but only if you effectively design your profile to draw them to you).
As I was in the process of updating and rebranding myself in LinkedIn, I came across a webinar Niels Reib gave and here are some of my key takeaways:
1. Engage your audience with your summary.
Your summary is a reader’s glimpse into your life. There are certainly numerous experiences in your life that you would want to share, but it is imperative that you carefully choose the details you think your readers would be drawn to. One way to do that is to list, match, and delete.
Before you even start writing your summary, you have to make two lists. First, list all your interests and skills – anything you can bring to the table!
Second, list what you are currently doing and match them with the skills you have previously listed. Check which skills and experiences align and finally, delete the rest unless they can add some kind of value or extra draw to your profile. With all this information, you can create an engaging biography or summary on LinkedIn, highlighting not only your skills but also your accomplishments and experiences in the field.
2. Answer your target audience’s question without waiting for them to ask.
To increase your views on LinkedIn, you have to somehow tailor your profile to make it more attractive for the type of people you are reaching out to. To do so, you should make sure your prospective client, employer, or partner has the answer to these questions:
A. What can this candidate offer that most of my other colleagues cannot?
When people are searching on LinkedIn, they usually have a goal in mind. They might be looking for a potential employee, client, or partner. Therefore, in order to draw them into your profile, you must pique their interest by being the one who can fill the gap. One way to show what you can offer is through a value proposition statement.
As Niels Reib suggested, a format you can use is:
I am (insert professional title). I help (insert target audience) do/understand (insert a description of what you do).
B. What are his/her values and principles? Can I work with that type of person?
When people are searching for those they want to work with, they usually look for those who share the same ideals as they do. That is why you may want to reveal something that is a bit more personal. It may be the reason why you are engaged in this current line of work or the principles behind your interests. You can reveal this through your why statement. It can be presented as
I believe __________ which is why __________.
I (insert what you do), because I believe in __________.
This may seem like a very simple and mundane question. However, most people fail to establish this in their profiles. Beyond looking for a person who can work with them towards a set goal, your viewers on LinkedIn want to find someone with a little bit of edge – someone who does not necessarily fit the mold. You can show this by mentioning some hobbies or interests you have outside your professional life.
These are examples of some of the statements or information you can use to hook your target audience and actually make them decide to click on your profile. Hence, it will be useful to include one of these in your 120-word professional headline seen just below your name when it comes up for searches.
That way, your viewer will already get a sense of who you are, what you can offer and what your edge is before they even read your entire summary and resume.
3. Put a face to match the entire profile.
In order to be a LinkedIn rockstar, attach a professional headshot to your profile. While this may be the least of your concerns when creating your LinkedIn profile, studies show that people who have profile pictures draw 14 times the number of viewers of people who do not have one. Three things you should get right in a professional photo are:
- Simple Background | Don’t use anything too distracting! Solid colors will work perfectly.
- Professional Attire | Even if you work in a location where you can wear less professional clothing options, go for a professional look on LinkedIn.
- Smile | It helps your profile picture stand out and makes you look approachable.
If you would like more information about picking the best LinkedIn profile picture, LinkedIn has a really great articled titled 5 Tips for Picking the Right LinkedIn Profile Picture so your profile photo will match your LinkedIn rockstar status.
With all these steps in mind, maybe getting our knock on the door will not take forever after all. If you use the tips that we have discussed today you are sure to make a wonderful LinkedIn profile that draws in future business and opportunities.
What is your best tip for being a LinkedIn rockstar? Continue the conversation by letting me know your thoughts in the comments below.