If the blurb next to your photo (and you DO have a photo, right?) is simply your title and company, then you have some work to do. If the summary of your experience isn’t compelling enough to entice visitors to want to connect with you, then you need to ensure that the summary includes the keywords they’re searching.
Use Keywords to be Found
The most important components of your Linked Profile are your Professional Headline and Summary so you want them to be rich in keywords.
“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 key words that members type in the search box when they are looking for a connection. Note that I said the words that others use to search. There is a disconnect if you aren’t using those words to describe your offerings.
Look at your competitors. What keywords are they using? What keywords do the companies 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.
Google AdWords: Keyword Tool
Another essential tool is Google AdWords: Keyword Tool. If you’re not using it already, start now. Try to be as specific as you can. There are 1.5 million monthly searches for “website designer” in the U.S. It would be awfully hard to get picked out of that crowd.
But suppose you narrow it down to “website designer New York.” True, there are only 8,100 searches but those are the exact targets you want. Fewer, but more targeted prospects.
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 key words to find people you want to connect with. Once you’ve identified them, send an invitation to connect. NEVER use the default LinkedIn invitation: “I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.”
Why should that person connect with you? You haven’t explained why connecting would benefit him. Send a personalized invitation. Many LinkedIn members automatically delete the default invitation. It’s impersonal and unprofessional.
I delivered this presentation on Free Webinar Wednesdays this week. In it, I expand on these ideas and describe how to connect and be found by other members. I hope you find it helpful.