LinkedIn is the place to search for, connect to and develop business online. To transform your LinkedIn profile into an always-on global networking hub, follow these 12 steps. This article is excerpted from Success Secrets of The Social Media Marketing Superstars by LinkedIn expert Barbara Rozgonyi .
1. Use Keywords to Help People Find You.
Keywords are the search terms people use to find information online. The keywords people use to find you and your business might point to your profession, service, location, area of expertise or even the problems you solve. Optimize your LinkedIn profile with keywords in your headline, summary, expertise and your job title and descriptions.
2. Upload a Flattering Profile Photo that Matches Your Image
Worth at least 1,000 (maybe 100,000) words), a LinkedIn profile picture conveys your business image to the world. Are you casual, relaxed, authoritative, intellectual?
3. Write a Catchy Headline that Grabs Attention
Your headline describes who you are and what you do. This isn’t necessarily the title on your business card. Sort of a personal tagline, your headline stands out when people see your profile.
4. Summarize Your Talents into Sound Bites
The summary section is the place to make your personal brand statement. Given that attention is shrinking down into text-message and tweet-size sound bites, it’s important to be concise, informative and engaging. Use bullets to make your main points.
5. Cover Every Position for Maximum Exposure
Expand your connection potential by listing all relevant former companies and positions. Break up your current experience into categories like speaker, consultant and author to broaden your skill set. Then, people can recommend you for each individual position.
6. Route Traffic to Three Destinations
In addition to a place for your twitter ID, LinkedIn lets you list three websites. Consider including your company website, a link to your Facebook page and another to a landing page that collects database information. Use the URL or, better yet, a phrase that describes the site.
7. Hail Alma Mater to Connect with Other Alumni
Listing schools you attended pulls in connections from students and alumni. Even with decades of distance in graduation years, a common alma mater opens the door to a shared experience in LinkedIn alumni groups.
8. Spice It Up with Specialties and Interests
Like a dash of spice to adds flavor, your specialties and interests lists spark up your profile with keywords and tangents that set off your personality.
9. Make it 100% complete
Complete profiles rank higher in searches and let you make the most of LinkedIn’s profile opportunities. Is yours 100% complete? If not, see what you need to do to fill in the gaps.
10. Add Applications for Personalization and Promotion
Applications update and round out your profile with presentations, blog posts, free articles, travel plans, book reviews and events. You can also use applications to collaborate and share files.
11. Promote Events and Invite Guests
LinkedIn’s event center lets you create, RSVP and comment on events. Event creators can invite contacts, edit details, see who’s interested and monitor comments. Events show up on search engines inside and outside of LinkedIn.
12. Upgrade Your Account and Get More Features
A basic, free personal LinkedIn account gets you started. Investing in an upgraded personal or business account improves functionality, reach, access and customer service. To see the options, check your account settings.