Have you looked at your LinkedIn Profile lately?
If the blurb under your photo (and you DO have a photo, right?) is simply your title and company, then you have some work to do.
The most important components of your Linked Profile are your Professional Headline and Summary so you want them to be rich in the keywords people are searching.
There is a disconnect if you aren’t using those words to describe who you are. You won’t hit the bullseye with a weak Profile.
Keywords are Magnetic
“Vice President” is not a keyword. It’s a job title. Clients, prospects and other members looking to connect don’t search by job titles; they search for particular skills, services and products – otherwise known as keywords.
The headline should summarize your personal brand and include keywords that members type in the search box when they are looking for a connection.
Research your competitors. What keywords are they using? What keywords do the companies and individuals you’re targeting use in their company profiles, on social media networks and on their websites? What words do they use in job descriptions? They are the clues to the skills that are important to them.
Take a look at SEMrush, a competitive research service for online marketers. You can register for a seven-day free trial, or pay for the tool if you are planning an advertising campaign. You can also participate, while it lasts, in a beta Keyword Magic Tool that I just tested.
When searching a keyword, be as specific as you can. For example, there are 49,500 monthly searches for “website design” in the U.S. It would be awfully hard to get picked out of that crowd.
But narrowing the search to “website designer New York,” the site returned 280 searches for “New York website design company.” So chances of being found expand considerably. Fewer, but more targeted searches.
So, select the two or three keywords that will help people find you on LinkedIn. Use them in your Professional Headline and Summary.
Your Summary is essentially your brand statement. It summarizes the benefits you provide supported by evidence such as prior job experience, successful projects you’ve undertaken and your areas of specialization.
The Summary tells visitors to your Profile “what’s in it for them.” It describes the benefits you offer if they connect with you.
Find Other People
By the same token, you can use keywords to find people you want to connect with. Once you’ve identified an individual, send an invitation to connect. Always customize your invitation, explaining the benefits of connecting.
As your job or business evolves, you’ll find that the keywords that once drew members to your site no longer define your brand. Possibly you have a new position with a new set of responsibilities — and keywords. That’s why you must review your Profile on a regular basis to ensure that it’s up to date.
I’ve changed mine more than once. I decided to write this post because in looking at my Profile I decided that it needs tweaking to better reflect a new direction I’m taking based on my most recent assignments.
So, I’ll ask again? Have you reviewed your LinkedIn Profile lately? If not, then do so sooner than later. People may be looking for the products and services you offer, but they won’t find you without your help.