Did you know that 27% of Americans are on LinkedIn? That number may not seem so high, however, when you remove the elderly or older Americans who never had a purpose for the business networking tool, young children or anyone pre-college, you’ll see that it’s the vast majority of business professionals. However, most do not really understand how to use this tool effectively. Few have completed their profiles or understand how to optimize their profiles to be found in searches. Follow these four simple steps to optimize your LinkedIn profile.
Use keywords in your Headline.
Choose two or three keywords that describe your business and what you do, keywords that your ideal client will use to search for someone with your services. Use those keywords in your headline so people can find you more easily.
As much as you may love the title Chief Creative Guru, stick to the keywords your client will search for, such as graphic artist. Also, avoid the temptation to just refer to yourself as the “owner” or “CEO” of your business, since those aren’t titles your clients will search for. If you are a fitness professional and own your own gym, for example, refer to yourself as a “Personal Trainer” in your title, since that is a keyword far more people will be searching for on LinkedIn.
Use keywords in your Current Work Experience.
Take those same two or three keywords and use them in the title field for your current work experience, as well as the description. By using them again in these locations, you’re essentially telling LinkedIn that you’re actively doing what you said in your headline.
Use keywords in your Past Work Experience.
This will help tell LinkedIn that you are VERY qualified to do this and that you should show up higher in the search results…because not only are you filing this role currently, but you’ve also filled this role in the past. <wink>
Ideally, if you could use your keywords in your past two work experiences, that would be even better. However, for some people this is tricky, especially for people in the health and wellness industry. Many in this industry have changed careers and moved into a new role, one that perhaps fills them with a greater purpose. There is a trick for this, however!
If you don’t have past work experiences that you can use, highlight specific projects or clients you have worked with in order to create the past work experience you need for a fully optimized profile. Remember: your past work experience doesn’t have to be as comprehensive as your current work experience. It needs to just be a paragraph or so demonstrating RELEVANT work experience.
Use keywords in your Summary.
Your summary is the perfect opportunity to have a conversation with your ideal customer. Instead of writing a boring, generic summary highlighting your strengths, focus on your customers instead. Identify who exactly is your ideal customer and tell them how you can help them do x, y, and z. And don’t forget your call to action at the end! We use these in ads, of course, and even in our social media posts sometimes, but we often forget to include them in the LinkedIn summary. Tell your ideal client what you want them to do next and how they can get in contact with you. For example, “If you’re a busy entrepreneur who is in need of a nutritionist to help you figure out the right foods to eat on the go, email/ me today at _______.” This does, of course, require you to know exactly who your ideal client would be. However, once you establish who that person is, everything else in your business, from your messaging to your advertising, will fall into place.
What is your biggest pain point on LinkedIn?