The Internet has changed our world from one-size-fits-most to individually tailored in one click. When you search you receive what you ask for and you decide to continue or go back and choose something else. LinkedIn delivers a one-to-one and personal experience for you so your LinkedIn profile should be as personal as you can make it. Your LinkedIn Profile tells your professional story and defines who you are professionally. LinkedIn gives you a platform to maximize who you are and what is so curious to me, is why people continually choose to minimize who they are.
More profiles are incomplete than are complete. So many profiles are hurried and anemic rather than thoughtful and robust, people believing that they are benefitting themselves by just having their name appear on LinkedIn without much additional information.
It’s your choice, but would you show up at a networking event or a meeting without your full mojo? Even on a bad day (and, we all have them) my guess is you show up and engage. You shake some hands, smile and deliver. And, on some days you might even do it more than once. Ok, so why not take the time and make your LinkedIn profile reflect the best “you”?
Let your LinkedIn Profile be your virtual assistant
Yes, personalize your profile so it works for you. People are looking for people to work with; if they find you will they be impressed? Will they say, “hey, I want to know this person” or “this person can help me”? If not, go back and rethink your professional brand.
LinkedIn is a tool that delivers YOU to the world. It’s not going to make you look any better than you make you make yourself. When your profile is spot-on, it delivers YOU as well as you would deliver YOU in person. And, perhaps, even more so since no one is going to give a total recap of who they are in an initial meeting.
A CEO told me the other day that he had to ask another CEO to give him a quick update on his background. He actually told me he was annoyed, it wasted 10 or so minutes of the meeting. He mentioned to the other CEO that if he had a good LinkedIn profile he would not have had to ask for the update, he would have known. I so appreciate that point.
People are going to increasingly vet whether they meet and work with you based on your LinkedIn profile. It’s just the way it is. It’s your professional social proof.
It’s not hard to personalize your LinkedIn Profile
Here are some easy tips to make your profile more “YOU”:
- Define want you to say about yourself, then build out your profile in a Word document. Check out my LinkedIn resource page for more help. Make sure your photo is professional and up-to-date.
- Refer to yourself in the first person; it’s more conversational and friendly.
- Include your most important 10 skills (LinkedIn is now listing 10 and then showing the remainder below the list, arrange your most important ones first, go to edit next to Skills and drag and move them around).
- Add in sections like Volunteer Experience and Causes, Projects, Certifications and others to continue differentiating yourself, let people know more about you and what you care about and work on.
- Add in applications like your Amazon Reading List, Slideshare, WordPress, Blog Link, or Creative Portfolio Display to share your interests and work.
- Personalize every invitation, introduction, message and content share you send through LinkedIn. Do not use the pre-populated LinkedIn language. It takes seconds to make your message personal and makes a BIG difference.
- When someone connects with you, reply with a personal message that acknowledges them as a connection, how you might keep in touch, how they can dip into your network, etc.
- Ask people you meet with in person if they are on LinkedIn and if they would are open to connecting with you. Weave it in early and then follow the meeting up with a LinkedIn invitation.
- When someone sends you a message in LinkedIn respond quickly.
- Work your home page: See a connection you haven’t talked to in a while? Send them a quick message, say hello, ask them how they are doing, ask them how their business is doing, suggest getting together. Do not pitch or sell anything, this is not about you. Also, notice what your connections are posting on LinkedIn and comment, like or share their content. Doing this also creates an update on your Home page. Read their blog posts and comment, it means a lot.
- Endorse others, it’s a click, do it based on what you know they do well.
- Choose two groups to participate in. Actively go in and read the discussions and comment where appropriate. Make these two groups personal, spend time in them and contribute just like you would with an in-person group.
- Be friendly, don’t be cryptic or non-responsive, it’s a complete turn-off.
- Be proactive, reach out whenever you can and add value. What’s valuable? It depends on who you are sharing with and who is in your network. Some ideas include: adding a comment, creating an introduction (especially one that is not asked for), an article, an event another person might find useful personally or in business.
- Don’t sign up and dip-out. Have you ever left an event and seen all the nametags that were never picked up? Ever thought, wow, that’s lame? Same thing. You join and then you do nothing to make it worthwhile, it’s lame. Better to just not go there at all.
With more than 187+ million people in LinkedIn today, to say nothing is happening on LinkedIn for you is more a reflection of what you are not doing rather than on LinkedIn. It’s working for those who know how to maximize their personal and organizational brand.
What are you waiting for? Need some further help, download some of our resources.
Need more information on what defining your personal brand really is or how you look online? Check out the following resources, they will shed some additional light on the subject of YOU.
The start-up of YOU http://www.thestartupofyou.com/
Personal Branding — Discovering the Authentic You
Have you Googled You? http://www.onlineidcalculator.com/index.php