Signing up for a LinkedIn account is easy enough but if you want to know how to create a LinkedIn profile that will attract your target market, this article is probably the most complete breakdown I’ve ever done on the subject outside of my advanced LinkedIn training course, theLinkedIn Profit Formula.
UPDATED December 6, 2012: LinkedIn has made a ton of changes recently so I went through and updated every single graphic as well as added and removed a couple points that were either no longer relevant or new additions entirely. Even if you have already gone through this post, make sure you go over it again so you don’t miss anything when creating your perfect LinkedIn profile!
The key to your success on LinkedIn begins with a powerful and professional presence. You must strategically write your profile with your ideal client in mind before you start connecting to maximize the impact of your first impression online.
I’ve outlined 19 different key points that I believe are important to fully optimizing your LinkedIn profile. Follow these 19 steps and you will have much greater success with LinkedIn!
Go to this link to see the profile used in the examples below.
LinkedIn Training: How To Create A LinkedIn Profile In 19 Steps
LinkedIn Training: 19 Steps To The Perfect LinkedIn Profile
- Photo Should Always Be Professional – Take the time to get a real professional picture taken by a photographer. Anything else doesn’t leave nearly the same impression so get off to a good start with a great headshot.
- Your Name Should ONLY Contain Your Name – Avoid adding any additional titles, acronyms or credentials. Keep it clean and concise!
- Your Headline Should Be Catchy & Have Keywords You Want To Be Found For – Create a headline that captures your target market’s attention to encourage them to check out your profile.
- Connect With At Least 501 People – The reason I suggest this is because LinkedIn will show how many connections you have until you hit 500. People like to connect with “connected” people.
- Customize Your Website Names – On my own profile, I didn’t just put my company name or my website names. Instead, I used words that would be more attractive to the type of person I aim to attract.
- Provide All Necessary Contact Info – Not everyone will want to message you on LinkedIn when they find you profile so it’s good to give multiple options. I chose not to put my address and instead put an alternate email – you can do the same, if you want but make sure you at least have an email!
- Keyword Load Your Current & Past Work History – Notice how in my profile I used keywords like “Social media speaker” and “social media trainer”. These are some of the keywords I want to be found for.
- Keyword Load Your Summary & Profile – Notice again how I’ve strategically placed my chosen keywords through my profile and summary. Be careful not to overdue it or else your profile loses it’s impact.
- Speak Directly To Your Target Market – Always write so that you’re speaking directly to the type of person you are trying to attract/sell to. Every word should be positioned with that goal in mind!
- Offer Something That Appeals To Target Market – Offer a free report, white paper or something that will give value to your target market to drive traffic and opt-ins for your website.
- Add WordPress Application To Profile To Promote Your Blog – The WordPress app is a great addition to any profile to showcase your most recent blog posts.
- Add SlideShare Application To Profile To Add Video – There’s no better way to introduce yourself than with your own voice and face. I created a more extensive tutorial on how to add a video to your LinkedIn profile here.
- Use The “Projects” Section To Promote Products – This is a great section to showcase products you are selling currently. I have also used it to promote a couple free reports and checklists that I have available for download.
- Skills & Expertise Should Be Filled With Keywords – This is a keyword haven on your LinkedIn profile so think about every skill you promote through your business and list it here.
- Endorsements – Keep in mind that your “Skills & Expertise” section is also where your Endorsements list comes from so choose carefully! If you don’t want to be endorsed for “typing skills” than don’t put it in there – no matter how good at typing you might be.
- Use Keywords When Filling Out Your Experience Section – See explanation for #6. Same drill!
- Have At Least 10 Recommendations – This is key for building credibility. Do whatever you need to do to get your first 10 recommendations, as they are paramount to distinguishing you from competition online. Read this blog for tips on getting more LinkedIn recommendations.
- Join 50 groups – You can join a maximum of 50 groups on LinkedIn so take advantage of everyone of them. If your business is primarily local then start by finding relevant local groups for your industry or wherever your target market is likely to be.
- Fill “Honors & Awards” With Significant Media Attention – If you don’t have a lot of awards that are relevant to your business, I would encourage you to use this section to promote any media or press attention you’ve received.
To ensure that you get the most out of your LinkedIn profile and take actionable steps to complete it properly, I have a special LinkedIn training webinar that you can attend to learn