As today’s business leader, refining your personal brand is vital to creating a great first impression on potential clients and associates.
The simplest and most effective way to start is to take control of your online image, which most people are guaranteed to come across when they begin searching for more information about you. In practical terms, this means making your LinkedIn profile look smart.
With more than 100 million users in the Asia-Pacific alone, not making the most of LinkedIn essentially means that you’re missing out on the opportunity to market yourself as an excellent candidate to do business with. Your LinkedIn profile allows you to highlight the achievements you’re proudest of, communicate your passions and motivations, and let other professionals reach and relate to you.
Need we say more? Here are eight simple ways to give your executive profile the boost it needs.
- Freshen up your profile
Start by taking the time to update the most essential information in your profile, such as your contact details, job title and job description. Have a trusted associate cast a critical eye on your profile, and give you advice on areas where you could improve the language, provide more helpful information and better engage your reader.
- Write a compelling and succinct summary
This section will be your personal elevator pitch. It summarises who you are as an entrepreneur, what motivates you and what your business means to you. It’s also a handy way to be straightforward about any specific objectives you would like to achieve by using LinkedIn, such as making connections within certain industries.
Your summary should be brief, easy to read and enlightening. Abandon confusing technical jargon and vague, overly generic aspirations. You should aim instead to be concise, engaging and, most importantly, understood.
- Use an attractive professional photo
If your profile has a picture, it’s 11 times more likely to be viewed. Be sure to only use a sharp, professional quality photo that shows you at your best.
Career expert Nicole Williams also recommends having a photo of you taken in the midst of your work and displaying your passion instead of opting for the usual headshot. Displaying visual context of your talent will help to reinforce the opportunities that potential clients see in working with you.
- Personalise your profile URL
Instead of having a long string of random letters and numbers jumbled up to represent your profile, take a minute to personalise the URL, so that it’s easier to remember and display on a business card or an e-signature. This also makes it more trustworthy to click on and ranks higher on search engines.
- Employ keywords strategically
By using key terms throughout your profile – in your headline, job description and other relevant places – you can optimise your page for search engines so that your profile will be associated with and easily found by other professionals with similar interests. This can be particularly useful if you have certain niche areas that you’d like to develop a specialist reputation in.
- Showcase your awards and achievements
Your executive profile is an opportunity for you to assemble and display your highlight reel. Showcase your talents by adding skills that you’ve acquired – doing so makes it 13 times more likely for your profile to be viewed. You should also list awards and honours you’ve won, certifications you’ve earned and languages you’re proficient in. After all, your potential clients and investors want to know where your competencies lie.
Having explicit approval from others will have a significant impact on how favourably you’re viewed as well. Endorse your connections’ skills and write them a thoughtful testimonial – they’ll be likely to return the favour too.
- Make your profile pop with rich media
Increase the visual appeal of your profile by uploading images, documents and presentations to tell your professional story. It could be an infographic about the latest trends in your industry, a picture of a quote that inspires you or a helpful guide for those who want to know more about how your business can help them.
In a sea of monotonous executive profiles that present one large block of text after another, using images is guaranteed to immediately catch the reader’s eye and focus their attention on your message.
- Publish relevant and insightful content
As a business network, it’s highly profitable to be an active participant on LinkedIn. Status updates provide a prime opportunity for you to present the highlights of your company’s latest achievements, share your thoughts on a recent event, review a good book or inspire others with a worthy quote you’ve heard.
You can also comment on posts by other people and join a discussion to offer your own insights. Every interaction and update is a chance to make a new connection and improve the credibility of your personal brand.
However, be sure to keep your content relevant to a professional setting and don’t overshare any details that would poorly reflect on you as a business leader. Always aim to be positive in your posts, and be constructive when you offer your opinion.
With a whole arsenal of tricks up your sleeve to create an exceptional LinkedIn profile, you’ll soon be on your way to strengthening your professional network and growing your influence as a leader in your industry. Invest the time and effort into sprucing up your profile today – it can only pay off.