Online marketing is all about making sure you have a sensible plan for linking your activities together. There are lots of techniques and thousands of pages of advice out there to help you build traffic to your website and grow your business. But it all comes down to a single, simple strategy...give your online marketing activities a focal point - you can think of this as your marketing 'hub'....
Why is it important?
Optimising your LinkedIn profile is important to as it shows you are professionally active and interested in communicating with your contacts and colleagues. It is often the first place someone will look for a quick ‘background check’ and always come at the top of the search rankings. Aside from the time, it is free marketing so what have you got to lose?
LinkedIn Profile Tips
#1 Content is king – but keep it simple
It's the content that matters but keep it simple. You should write in a personable, friendly style – do not make it too ‘corporate' or filled with jargon. Make sure you complete all of the sections for summary; experience; skills; education. Most importantly, make sure you write it with the ‘reader' in mind – as with all marketing, they will be thinking ‘What's in it for me' (WIIFM) so you should write with benefits in mind. In other words, don't just talk about how great you are – talk about how much you have helped your customers.
#2 Keywords are important
Don't forget to include relevant keywords in your profile – particularly in the title and summary sections – if you don't include the right keywords, you will not appear in other people's search results.
#3 Include a ‘killer' summary
Move the summary to the top of your profile page (you can drag and drop it). The summary is one of the most important sections as people browsing profiles will start by reading this…if your summary is boring or half-hearted, people will not bother reading the rest of your profile so spend plenty of time crafting your summary text. Tell us your story – everyone loves a good story! How did you get where you are today? Why do you do what you do and what motivates you? Try and inject your personality as this is the first impression that people will have.
#4 Use a professional photo
It may sound obvious but you should use a professional photo – if you have no photo says you don’t care about your profile (or anyone reading it!). You should use a photo of you with your professional appearance in mind so pick a suitable photo in your normal business attire. For example, if you are a professional, don't upload a picture of you in jeans – wear a shirt and tie. The best angle for a portrait photo is from the front (at 45 degrees) and slightly downwards (an upward angled shot is never flattering) and a plain background is preferable. Avoid pictures from a party, wedding or any group shots
#5 Claim your ‘vanity URL'
Use the ‘proper' personal profile link on your business cards and e-mail signature. Don’t use the link in the browser when you are looking at your page as this is not the right addres to publicise. Look carefully at your profile page and just below your profile photo, you will see the web address for your profile – if you click on the edit button next to this, you can select a nicer URL for your LinkedIn profile.
#6 Ask for recommendations
Get into the habit of asking clients and business partners for recommendations – if there are some particular skills you would like to promote, concentrate on these areas with your colleagues. Of course, if you give other people recommendations, they are more likely to return the favour.
#7 Connect with others
A strong network is essential. Aim for at least 50 connections – a higher number of connections provides credibility and just the connection is ‘a reference’ from another. If you are starting out, go through your existing contacts / address book and connect with colleagues. If you want to build your network, you should get into the habit of telling people you meet that you would like to connect on LinkedIn and follow this through as soon as possible.
#8 Spend time writing your copy
Your LinkedIn profile comes up high in search engine results for your name so make sure your online impression is well-written, sharp and free of errors. Update your profile regularly with all your new achievements, whether it is a promotion, new qualification, new client or new project. People read information on screen 25% more slowly – make your profile short and sharp, keep text in short blocks and use headings to provide visual anchor points (this is known as ‘chunking').
#9 Be pro-active
Be active – try and login for 10 minutes each day, connect with a couple of colleagues and set yourself regular diary reminders to contact old colleagues, business contacts or previous customers. LinkedIn now includes basic Customer Relationship Management (CRM) features such as reminders, tasks and notes that you can set up for individual contacts. Also, in the top right corner of your home page, you will see suggestions for activities which are quick and easy ways to interact (you can like and comment on the suggestions). Keep active with anything from a quick message or comment on their status to clicking on some endorsements – the more active you are, the more your contacts will notice you.
#10 Join Groups
Join groups – search for and join groups related to your area of expertise, industry groups, alumni, groups you are interested in and other things that will show your identity. Concentrate on groups that are active and have lots of members – rather than joining groups in your own industry, think about joining groups where your ideal customers are likely to be. So, if you are an accountant, don't just join groups of other accountants – try joining groups with entrepreneurs or business owners who are potential customers.
#11 Learn from others
Learn from others – look at other people’s profiles and if you see something you like, make it your own! Google for ideas on improving your LinkedIn profile.
#12 Be personal
Be personal – your profile is not your CV. Write as though you are having a conversation with someone and inject your personality, values and passions. Include your personal interests to give people an idea of who you are, what you like to do outside of work and what makes you tick.
Mark Woodroof is a qualified marketing coach who was awarded a BA(Hons) in Business and a Diploma in Marketing (from the Chartered Institute of Marketing) in the early 1990's and has spent the last 20 years working with private and public sector organisations.
During that time, Mark has worked with hundreds of business owners helping them to grow their businesses, launch new products and services, set up and manage their own marketing plans, websites and digital marketing strategies.
Today, he specialises in Digital Marketing, Social Media, WordPress Development and marketing automation systems such as ActiveCampaign & Infusionsoft.
Mark's areas of expertise include:
- Marketing Strategy & Planning
- Software Development Project Management (Microsoft.Net & Laravel)
- Customer Relationship Management Systems (Infusionsoft, Zoho & Insightly)
- Web Design & Development
- Digital Marketing Campaign Development
- Mailing List Services (eg AWeber, Mailchimp)
- Traffic Generation Strategies & Tactics
- Sales Funnels, Squeeze Pages & Online Conversion
- Customer Value Optimization
- BA(Hons) Business Studies (University of Portsmouth)
- Diploma in Marketing (Chartered Institute of Marketing)
- Level 5 in Coaching and Mentoring (Chartered Management Institute)
- DigitalMarketer Certifications:
- Certified Content Marketing Specialist
- Certified Customer Acquisition Specialist
- Certified Customer Value Optimization Specialists