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3 Simple Steps To Boost Your LinkedIn Profile

If you read my post a few weeks back, you'll know that I recently attended The Big Social Media Conference. If you didn't get chance to read it, check it out later for the Top Tips and Tools in Social Media.

One of the many actionable items that I wanted to follow-up on was my LinkedIn profile.

I knew it was needing some love and attention, and after listening to Melonie Dodaro I had some ideas about how to tackle it.

In this post I am going to share how I revamped my LinkedIn Profile, and how you can boost your LinkedIn Profile too.

More...

My LinkedIn Story

I remember many years ago, probably 15 years, when a colleague told me I needed to join LinkedIn...

Me: Why?

Colleague: We can keep in touch!

Me: Yes, but you're just across the office, so I don't think that's a problem.​

Colleague: You can also keep in touch with all your business contacts.

Me: Right, what's up with email?

That was my introduction to LinkedIn. It was probably my introduction to Social Media as well, but it  wasn't called Social Media back then.

We had email. It was quite new and groovy at the time, so who needed LinkedIn or Social Media?

​Anyway I think I created a LinkedIn profile (of sorts) but did nothing else with it because quite frankly, 'I didn't get it!'

Why I needed to change my LinkedIn Profile

LinkedIn continued to become popular in business circles and around 2009 I started to get serious about using it. Back then it was, in my mind at least, a way of having your CV online for recruiters to contact you with opportunities.​

I created a new profile because the original one had become obsolete. My profile was there purely to showcase my skills and attract potential recruiters.

I also used it as a means of connecting with colleagues and clients that I worked with.

On the whole it served me well; I built up a network of 500+ connections and received quite a few approaches from recruiters along the way.

However, since leaving my last employer at the end of August 2014 I'd not done anything significant to my LinkedIn ​profile. It lay there gathering dust in memory of my former employment. 

Although I had started my own business and was blogging here regularly I never shared my blog posts as status updates. 

There were a couple of reasons:

1

​I had built up my network from my previous career in the Information Technology Services sector. Who of those connections would actually want to read about my blog? I figured not many would be interested.

That's a bad assumption really!

2

If I'm honest, I didn't feel confident enough to share on LinkedIn. Whilst I was quite happy to post updates to Twitter, Facebook and Google Plus, I was somehow intimidated about sharing on LinkedIn.

I think this goes back to my misconception that LinkedIn was primarily a CV stage/job board, and therefore posting updates about 'Google's Gas Problem' was perhaps best served elsewhere.

In short, I misjudged LinkedIn and the reach it can give you.​

How I changed my LinkedIn Profile

What's the first thing you should do before updating your profile?

Backup the old one!

It makes sense, right? If things happen to go wrong it's always good to have the old profile to revert to.

So, first of all I made a couple of PDF copies​ and a word doc just to make sure I had my existing info that I could copy back in if required.

Here is the old profile just for reference:

LinkedIn Old Profile | byteofdata.com

You can see what I mean about it just being an online CV. 

If you recall, Melonie outlined a 3-step formula to success...

So, taking that on board, I decided to change several parts of my profile, starting at the top.

Header

Step 1 - Get Found > Make sure you pick the right keywords to use in your profile, and remember that any change to your profile is an instant change in Google search, so this is very powerful.

Here is the first pass at updating the Header section of my profile:

LinkedIn New Profile Header | byteofdata.com

Previously, I just used to have my current job title pulled in from the Experience section. Now, I've decided to add my own description. These need to be your keywords to attract your ideal clients. 

The Education has changed because I moved a previous 'education' entry to a 'course' entry in my profile. You can view LinkedIn to see my whole profile.​

Summary

Step 2 - Attract Your Ideal Client > Write a client-focused Summary section: (1) use the first person, (2) identify your ideal client, (3) share how you can help them and (4) include a call to action.

Here is the revamped Summary section:

LinkedIn New Profile Summary | byteofdata.com

For the time being I've kept this very narrow and focussed, but I can add more to it at a later stage. You can see the highlighted components in the screenshot above.

TIP: Write your profile in a Word document to get the formatting correct, and then copy and paste it into LinkedIn​.

Publications

Step 3 - Stand Out > Make sure you complete your entire profile, not just the summary section, and remember to add some recommendations as these are excellent for social proof.

In the remaining sections of my LinkedIn Profile I only made minor adjustments. I already had plenty of recommendations, so I decided to add a Publication section:

LinkedIn New Profile Publications | byteofdata.com

LinkedIn Activities

​Making changes to your profile is just one aspect of improving your LinkedIn presence.

As I mentioned above, previously I had not published any of my blog articles as a status update in LinkedIn. 

I decided to see what would happen when I did...

Week 1

Look at the impact after Week 1 (13-19 July) when, amongst other activities, I published a blog post:

LinkedIn Updates-1 | byteofdata.com

​and drilling a bit deeper...

LinkedIn Updates-2 | byteofdata.com

Result: by becoming more engaged on LinkedIn my profile became more visible, and in turn I received more traffic to my blog and more LinkedIn shares.

Week 2

Now, in Week 2  (20-26 July), I backed off a little and you can see the decrease:

LinkedIn Updates-3 | byteofdata.com

and drilling deeper...

LinkedIn Updates-4 | byteofdata.com

Result: You need to be consistent with your LinkedIn Activities in order to maintain and build your presence.

Summary

I did share another blog post in week 2, but it did not have the same impact as week 1.

I think this was down to the topic and the way I shared it:

- In week 1, I shared my Big Social Media Conference article and linked to some key names; i.e. the speakers.

- In week 2, I simply shared my article on Thrive Clever Widgets with no links to individuals.

My assumption is that if your article is relevant and targeted then you will receive more engagement.

If you would like to build a relationship with me on LinkedIn then please send a personal message introducing yourself >>>

Wrapping Up

Two weeks of data is not significant enough to be classed as a well-defined experiment. But it does show the impact of the changes I have made to date.

So, what are the take aways so far:

  • Ensure your LinkedIn Profile is configured properly
  • Post relevant status updates that will engage others
  • Comment on other people's updates
  • Grow your network by sending personalised messages

Don't Collect #Connections; Build #Relationships - @MelonieDodaro

Click to Tweet

Let me know your thoughts in the comments below:

  • Are you using LinkedIn to its full potential?
  • Is your profile up-to-date and relevant?
  • What do you find most useful about LinkedIn?
David Hartshorne
 

I'm David and I'm the guy doing most of the writing around here. I'm a freelance writer helping solopreneurs and small businesses build their online presence through friendly, engaging and shareable blog posts.

  • Nice tips, David. Do you find yourself getting a lot of business from LinkedIn? As much as I like LinkedIn, I sometimes find that its users are more self-serving than other social networks. Thoughts?

    • Hi Brent, I haven’t got a lot of business from LinkedIn, but then again until I just changed my profile I would not have expected it. I have not been using LinkedIn over the past year. Now, I plan to start using it properly, and hopefully getting some business.
      – David

      • Fair point! I was just curious, because I’ve made a few contacts / connections via LinkedIn… but not a ton. But as you say, I really haven’t done a great job with my profile, either.

        • You have to focus where your market is don’t you Brent, so if Facebook is your number 1 you’d be right to concentrate on building that and spending the time there.

  • Hi David.

    Nice write up. You just encouraged me to go and smarten up my own profile!

    • Thanks Richard, good to hear you were inspired to take action; and the improvements look good!

  • Thanks Rin, so glad you liked the post, and also welcome to Byte Of Data!
    Its been a positive start with my new profile, but I need to keep working at it to gain more traction and reach. Stay tuned!

  • ➤ Hi, David,

    What a fantastic post – thanks for sharing this. I admit to neglecting LinkedIn, and only recently got involved in an active group that Adrienne invited me to join.

    Thanks for sharing your story, David – I have a similar one. When I started my blog, I didn’t really change my profile information until about 9-12 months into it. I followed a formula one of the experts shared about what to include, etc.

    ✅ Great advice! Love how the simple advice of backing up your old profile could potentially save someone a lot of time and frustration. Awesome that you included that. ?

    Looks like a very professional, yet friendly and to the point profile now – awesome job. I do appreciate the screenshots of your results based on activity – that was interesting.

    My assistant adds my links for new content when we syndicate each time, but I need to be more active, that’s for sure. Thanks for this needful article and a great reminder to leverage this awesome platform.

    Have a blessed day.
    ?Carol Amato

    • Thanks Carol, It’s encouraging to read your comments and discover that I’ve been able to help you a little with your LinkedIn profile.

      I know mine still has work to be done, but now I can keep chipping away at it. A couple of weeks ago it was all over the place, so its progress!

      Take care Carol!
      – David

  • Hey David,

    This is my second post of the day that talks about LinkedIn. God must be trying to tell me something LOL.

    But this was a great post and motivates me to go to my linkedin profile and make those necessary changes. The only time I’m on linkedin is when I’m sharing a blog post, but I do want to attract other people within my niche as well.

    So it would be a good idea to geared your profile towards the interest of your target audience. I also like the idea of backing up your profile also. I never thought about it, but it does make sense!

    Thanks for the share David! Have a great rest of the week!

    I found your post on kingged.com under the category of Social Media
    http://kingged.com/3-simple-steps-to-boost-your-linkedin-profile/

    • Hey Sherman,

      God moves in mysterious ways, so perhaps he is trying to lead you to LinkedIn 🙂

      Seriously, I’m pleased that this post has motivated you to take a deeper look at your LinkedIn profile. I know you share a lot of articles on LinkedIn, so it makes sense that your profile should be ‘spot-on’ for when people check those out.

      Yes, definitely find groups where your target audience hangs out and start building some relationships in there. (Note to self to do more of that!)

      Not sure whether you saw a link to Melonie’s LinkedIn Code and Cheatsheet I shared a couple of articles back, but here it is again for reference: LiCodeCheatSheet.com – highly recommended!

      Have a great weekend Sherman!
      – David

  • Hey David,

    As you know from one of the posts I recently shared in my Magical Monday roundup that I’ve started paying more attention to LinkedIn now. I haven’t done really well with that platform mainly because I’m more social and they just aren’t very social over there. They’re much more business minded which I can appreciate but you still need to converse with people before that can happen.

    Anyway, I’ve pretty much had mine set up from the start but it needed some serious tweaking as well. Even though I haven’t been really active over there I keep getting connections and some of them have worked out really well for me. Of course I like the groups more because those people want to connect with you which is what I like the most.

    I appreciate though you taking us through the steps that we each should be doing in order to improve our own profiles because I’m sure not everyone has theirs set up the way they should be. Thank you for taking us through what to do and why. You’re the best.

    Have a great ending to your week, it’s on the downhill slope now.

    ~Adrienne

  • Hello David,
    I found your article on Kingged.com under social media category. This post is very nice and it encourage me to use linkedIn to its full potential.

    Thanks for sharing this article. Have a nice day!

    • Hello Pawan, I shall look forward to connecting with you on LinkedIn!
      Thanks for sharing and have a great weekend!
      – David

  • Chery Schmidt

    Hello David, great tips here to help boost your LinkedIn profile! I never really gave much thought to the keywords, but this sure does make sense. It is a whole lot easier for someone to find you with the right targeted words HUH?

    Great share, Thanks Chery :))

    • Hi Chery,

      People will always be searching for specific keywords so it makes sense to have them in your profile! I’ll be checking your profile to see what you’ve changed 🙂

      Have a great weekend!
      – David

  • Hi David

    Just like you, I never did take LinkedIn so serious. I thought it was not just for me but I was proved wrong.

    I love the tips that you shared about boosting one’s LinkedIn profile as your points are spot on.

    Thanks for sharing. This a must read. Take Care

    • Thanks Ikechi, glad you found these tips useful.
      I was just checking my stats for Week 3 and I’ve continued to grow my reach and engagement – so worthwhile investing the time in LinkedIn.

  • Thanks Skip, I find it much easier to get my message across with screenshots on this type of post – hopefully it makes it clearer for those reading too!

  • Lawrence Berry

    LinkedIn has become one of the biggest ways to attract more customers or employers and having your profile optimized for success is essential. The tips you have provided here are great ways to optimize a linkedin profile. Like you, I was once intimidated by linkedin until I realized the potential it had to grow my business. Thanks for sharing.

    • Thanks Lawrence, good to hear you appreciate these tips. I look forward to connecting with you on LinkedIn.

  • Hey Bryce, great to see you here and thanks for your kind comments.

    I think LinkedIn has been under-rated in the past, but if you put in the right effort, build connections, offer value, then it is as good as the other social media platforms. The groups can be a great way to leverage traction so continue to get involved there.

  • Dave, interesting blog post, my profile is outdated and not set up right ….Had no great interest to change saw no engagement on LinkedIn. I am looking at it now and trying to make an effort to understand because of a career change. Your information and tips will certainly come in handy.

    • Hi Patrice, its good to know that these tips will help you revamp your LinkedIn profile. I believe if you spend the time doing that and engaging in various groups you will find it to be beneficial.

      Let me know if you need any more help.
      – David

  • Hi David,

    3 simple steps to boost my LinkedIn profile? I mean who does not want to boost their LinkedIn
    profile now huh? 3 simple steps sounded so very doable, the temptation to take my LinkedIn profile to the next level was irresistible. As soon as I’d read this, I was hooked.

    A real sensible bit of advice, backup your LinkedIn profile before tinkering with it.

    What I’d like to contribute here is before getting ready to update your LinkedIn profile create a complete mockup on the new LinkedIn profile in MS Word or Photoshop or whatever, take a
    printout or two and show this around to a few trusted friends.

    After they have finished rolling over the floor laughing, and have wiped away their tears (Just
    Kidding) listen to their suggestions and critique. Apply what you like to your LinkedIn profile and shelve what you don’t for perhaps a re-look on another day.

    This approach helped me really improve what I was communicating publicly on my LinkedIn profile.
    Oh Yes! One or two did roll over laughing BUT that was at the photograph I was using on my profile.

    Your tips to add appropriate keywords in your Header, and write your Summary with your clients focused in your mind were most appropriate. This is really a tad harder than it appears, but once you knuckle down and actually craft these sections thoughtfully the effort pays off handsomely in attracting and holding the right connections.

    I need to add a publications section on my LinkedIn profile David. I’m off to set that right immediately after I post this comment on your really well written, beautifully formatted, with all the right images blended in, post.

    Thank you for sharing David. Reading this post was very worth it.

    • Hello Ivan,

      Thanks for sharing your feedback and adding your own tips – that’s great interaction!

      I like your idea of writing your profile out in MS Word first and giving your friends a laugh…I mean getting their opinion…it’s always good to get a second pair of eyes on this kind of thing.

      Although it’s good to get your profile updated I like the fact that you can always go back in and just tweak a small word or paragraph and then see what impact it has.

      I’ve sent a request to connect with you on LinkedIn!
      – David

      • Hi David,

        Thanks for connecting on LinkedIn. I’ve accepted. Have a really great week ahead.

  • Katrin

    Hi David,

    I saw this article, and thought it is about time to update my LinkedIn profile once more.
    Your very helpful outlined steps inspired me to do that finally, and does reflect much more now where I am positioned. Definitely a part of self-marketing. — Thank you for that little kick! 🙂

    • Hi Katrin,

      You are most welcome and I’m glad that you’ve found inspiration to update your LinkedIn profile too! I look forward to connecting with you on LinkedIn and seeing your ‘new’ profile:-)