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  • 👩🏻‍💻Hania ElSolh Hoss

9 Essential Elements in a Kick Ass LinkedIn Profile

It doesn’t matter if you are using LinkedIn to look for a job,

network with other members in your industry, or gathering

leads for your business, have a professional and attractive

LinkedIn profile is the best way for you and your business to

ensure that you are being found by the right people, at the

right time.


When you create a LinkedIn profile, it is important to

remember that if you want to get noticed by the right people,

you have to write for your audience, as opposed to writing

for yourself. Your profile should not be focused on boosting

your ego, but rather on showing your expertise in a way that

will get your target audience to say to you, “I’d like to know

more about who you are and what you do.” Ultimately, your

LinkedIn profile is about your personal and professional

branding.


Your company profile on LinkedIn is the basis on which all

your communication and interactions on the networking

platform are built, as well as being the foundation of your

personal brand. When all is said and done, your LinkedIn

profile should provide you with some quick wins, and an

ample number of opportunities to build many long-term

business relationships.


If you’ve been on LinkedIn for a while and aren’t seeing the

results that you’d hoped for, or if you are new to LinkedIn,

here are 11 steps for creating a killer LinkedIn profile to get

you noticed.


Add a Cover Photo to Your Profile


LinkedIn now provides members the ability to add a

background or banner picture to the top card section of your

page, which can significantly increase the professional look

and feel of your company profile. Adding a background or

cover photo to your business page can also help your profile

stand out from the more than 500 million profiles. You want

to use this opportunity to personalize your profile to

represent both you and your business.


A picture is worth a thousand words and your cover picture

can and will talk for you. You can use this profile picture to

showcase your company by adding a photo of the products

or services you sell. Whatever you do, make sure that you

don’t leave it as the generic background that comes with

your LinkedIn membership.


Get Serious About Your Profile Photo


Too many people spend countless hours trying to create a

great LinkedIn profile, only to destroy their branding by

either neglecting to include a profile picture or having an

image that reflects poorly on them. Research shows that

most people take less than a tenth of a second before

formulating an opinion and drawing a conclusion about you.

This means that when they visit your LinkedIn profile, the

picture you’ve chosen as your profile picture instantly tells

them a story about you.


You need to include a professional picture of yourself if you

want to convey a professional message to your followers. If

you are going to add a picture of yourself, it should be either

a shot of your head and shoulders or one that shows your

head to waist in the frame. Make sure that you are dressed

professionally and that it matches your message and role.

Photos, where you make eye contact and smile, will attract

the most attention. When you look the part, those who view

your profile will believe you are the part.


Optimize Your First and Last Name


LinkedIn is a platform that is highly searchable, which

includes the name section on your profile. When you are

adding your name to your profile, you need to determine

what prospective clients might write in the search function

within the platform. For example, you are a business client,

and a potential customer is searching for someone who is a

business consultant in the Denver area, would your name

appear in their search and what impression would it give

them, what about if they did a Google search?

Ultimately, it's your profile, and short of using anything

illegal or abusive, you can use any form of address that you

wish. However, it is essential for you to remember that

people buy from those that they know, trust, and like. So,

you have to make sure you think about what you do here,

just don't include your degrees or qualifications, and never

include emojis or favicons. Just make sure that what you put

is searchable, and that it represents who you are in the best

possible light.


Optimize Your Headline


LinkedIn gives you 120 characters to convey a message

about who you are and what you do, and how you can solve

your target audience’s problems. Your headline is where

you get to begin telling your story and should be in sync with

the story that you share with your network.


LinkedIn will automatically default to the title of your current

role. This is usually pretty bland and conveys very little

about who you are. Remember, LinkedIn is searchable so

you should be using this opportunity not only to tell your

story, but include as many keywords that you can that are

relevant to your industry. Don't be boring. You may be

tempted to use your headline to show off your qualifications,

but this says very little about what you can do to solve the

real issues of your prospective clients. Use your headline to

create interest and demand a reaction from your words.


Create a Professional and SEO Focused Summary


One of the most critical areas on LinkedIn is the summary

area of your company profile. Your summary is your

opportunity to create a great first impression and get your

target audience to want to know more about what you can

do to help them. It is the very first section that they will see

on your profile, and is where you can showcase your

expertise in the field. It needs to be as good as you can

make it.


You only get the first 220 characters of your summary to

make a good impression. This is all that is seen before your

audience has to click on the ‘see more' option. It is vital that

you accentuate these first few lines and words to ensure

that you provide a clear idea of what you do, your skills, and

what value you can add. Make sure you effectively use the

relevant keywords for your industry. Also, make sure that

your summary is written in the first person. When you write

in the third person, it gives the impression that you are

unapproachable and might make you seem like you are

distant. Your summary is your story, so be as authentic and

real as you can and remember this is your real estate, so

make the most of it.


Include Skills and Endorsements


Many people wonder whether this section has any real

value for their LinkedIn profiles. The answer is Yes. Firstly, it

will show off the skills that you have and secondly, it lets

people who you've done business with to endorse those

skills. Finally, the most important reason why you need to

include skills and endorsements in your profile is that they

use keywords.


Now, you may still be feeling differently about adding your

skills and endorsements because you’ve had people who

you don’t know endorse you for skills that you don’t have,

which can be frustrating. However, a recent study

conducted by LinkedIn in 2017, showed that people who

include five or more skills in their profile receive 17 times

more profile views.


Rather than hiding your skills away, ask your connections to

endorse you for specific skills, which they know you have.

You can send a simple message through the messaging

function or send your contacts an email. The aim is to get a

score of 99+ in all of the skills that you want to be endorsed

for, and if someone recommends you for a skill you don't

have, merely remove it.


Get Recommendations


Recommendations and word-of-mouth advertising are often

the backbone of a successful business. While your

summary and skills sections are an opportunity for you to

tell your story, recommendations are an opportunity for

those who have done business with you to add to your story

through their perspective. Recommendations provide you

and the work you do with credibility. Try to get as many as

you can because each one will add a layer to your story and

who you are.


Some friends and colleagues may ask that you write their

recommendation for them. Don't do this. You want their

opinion, in their words. This is where the weight of the

recommendations come from. If this happens, don't ask

them to write a recommendation again, just move on to the

next person.


Gaining Relevant Connections


Ultimately the reason to join LinkedIn is to grow your

network, so everything that you do on the platform should

be geared toward developing that network. For you to build

a successful network for your business, you need to develop

the right kinds of connections. This means you have to have

a clear understanding of your overall LinkedIn strategy, as

well as knowing your target audience.

By understanding these factors, you will position yourself to

be able to find the relevant people with whom you can start

to build a relationship. Your initial target for quality

connections should be 500, but the more extensive your list

of connections, the more chances you will have a

developing a network in which you will gain significant levels

of influence and business.


Get Publishing


Publishing long-form posts on LinkedIn is an excellent way

to showcase your understanding of your industry and add

value to your profile and network. It is also a way that you

can develop influence in your market and become a

thought-leader in your specific area of expertise. To

demonstrate your passion and article, aim to write articles

that are detailed and in depth. According to LinkedIn

statistics, you want to aim for a piece that is between 1900

and 2000 words. To make your article more interesting and

easier to read, make sure to include appropriate photos,

questions, SlideShare and videos.


Post Frequently


Include updates on your news feed frequently. These posts

can be in the form of short articles that are no more than

1300 characters or as short as a single line. You can also

add links to your posts that will take readers to your

LinkedIn articles, your company blog, or an external news

site. Frequently posting updates on your LinkedIn profile is a

great way to create interaction with your network through

asking questions, sharing ideas, or commenting on

something that you recently read that may be relevant to

your network.


Comment, Share, and Like


An integral part of interacting with your network on LinkedIn

is liking, commenting and sharing information with your

network. Being real and giving great comments will let your

network know that you have read their article or post and

are interested in what they have to say. They may or may

not reciprocate. If you think an article or post might have a

broader appeal, then share it with your network on LinkedIn,

or to your other social media platforms. This helps to give

your connections more exposure and is part of how you can

build a relationship of trust with your connections and

business followers.


So, there you have it, everything you need to know to create

a killer LinkedIn profile that will get you noticed. As a

business owner, if you want to generate more leads and

increase sales, then you have to get your name in front of

potential customers, and there is no better way to do that

then creating a killer LinkedIn profile and staying active on

the site. With more than 500 million users, LinkedIn has

become a powerful tool for businesses who want to expand

their marketing message and connect with more people who

are interested in what they do.

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