Optimising a LinkedIn Personal ProfileA personal profile on LinkedIn is important, it represents not only the personal brand of you as anindividual but collectively it amplifies and reinforces the brand reputation of an entire company.By encouraging and optimising the personal LinkedIn profiles of all employees, it also contributes toa better understanding across the company of how B2B social networks operate and provides aplatform for better collaboration, openness and ultimately competitive advantage.As people start to use LinkedIn and feel more comfortable being open, joining groups, postinginteresting articles and contributing to conversations – a behavioral and organisational change canbegin to take place that can be developed into better collaboration, co-creation and innovation.Optimising a personal profile starts with accessing the “settings” tab on the top right hand side ofyour profile:
The “settings” tab is found by clicking on your name, in this example by clicking on the tab for “AndyBlack” – this then produces a drop down menu with “settings” and “sign out”, at this point click on“settings”.This then launches another logon screen; please add your normal LinkedIn user name and password.Once you have logged on with your normal LinkedIn user name and password, the “settings” panel islaunched. Here you will notice 4 categories – 1 Profile 2 Email Preference 3Groups/Companies/Applications and 4 Account - these will enable you to configure and optimiseyour LinkedIn personal profile.
The first thing to do on the PRIVACY CONTROLS is click on “Turn on/off your activity broadcasts” andUNTICK your activity broadcasts, otherwise all the changes you do will be broadcast to all yourconnections as you do them – it’s much better to UNTICK and SAVE CHANGES in the activitybroadcasts before you do any profile editing but making sure you TICK ON and SAVE CHANGES afteryou finish editing.Once you have UNTICKED and SAVED CHANGES on the Activity Broadcasts menu, click on “Selectwho can see your activity feed”
In the “Who can see your activity feed” click on the drop down menu and select YOUR NETWORKand then click SAVE CHANGESThen click on each of the other PROFILE configurations and select and save as follows:“Select what others see when you view their profile” – click on YOU WILL BE TOTALLY ANONYMOUSand then click SAVE CHANGES“Who can see your connections” – click on YOUR CONNECTIONS and then click SAVE CHANGES“Change your profile photo and visibility” - It is important to have a recent profile picture (a picturetaken within the last two years). The picture is the first impression that someone is going to have ofyou and the only image that represents who you are. Having the same picture on multiple socialmedia channels like Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ will help build your personal brand and alsocreate brand consistency for your company - UPLOAD A PHOTO (File size limit is 4 MB) and thenclick on MAKE VISIBLE TO EVERYONE and then click SAVE CHANGES“Show/hide Viewers of this profile also viewed" – showing views of other peoples profiles could drivetraffic away from your profile, so UNTICK and SAVE CHANGESThen click on “Manage your Twitter settings”Add your own personal Twitter account, in this example “AndyBlacz”, your company Twitteraccount, in this example “WhiteoaksPR” and click on EVERYONEGo to “Which Twitter account would you like to share from” and select your company Twitteraccount, in this example “WhiteoaksPR”Go to “share only Tweets that contain #Li in your LinkedIn status” and TICK the box
Go to “Tweet Display” and TICK the box, this will allow rich links with pictures to be displayed wherepossibleAfter this, SAVE CHANGESNext we go to HELPFUL LINKS, where the first thing we CLICK on is “Edit your name, your locationand industry”Once you CLICK on “Edit your name, location and industry” the following screen opens:
On your DISPLAY NAME, TICK on selecting your full name and not an abbreviationFor the PROFESSIONAL HEADLINE some people fill it with all the different titles that someone islikely to use to search for someone on LinkedIn. For example, Social Media Marketing Consultant| Social Media Trainer| SMO | Blog Marketing | Internet Marketing Specialist, as in the followingexample.In my opinion this is overkill as these descriptors can be included in your “SKILLS” section thatwe will come to later, and the “SKILLS” section has a better search facility. Visually it is better tohave fewer words, give your specific job and also include a link to your company, as in thefollowing example:The use of an ampersand (@) also gives the profile a modern look and feel.In the Location and Industry sections make sure to add your Country, Postcode and Locationinformation some of this data appears in other parts of your profile, so it is important to makesure it is correct.A really important Data Field to complete is Industry – your industry sector can be selected froma drop down menu and these industries are searchable by LinkedIn members.
Under the Location and Industry settings is a section called BadgesThis section allows you to display Premium Account, OpenLink and Job Seeker logos on the frontpage of your main profile. I recommend that you investigate becoming a paying PremiumAccount user as it offers many business benefits.Remember to Save Changes and then Go Back to SettingsThe next section to complete is Edit Your Profile
When you click on Edit your Profile the following menu opens:Click on each individual section that has an Edit function and Update and Save as requiredThe Current section is particularly important
In the Current settings make sure your Company name is correct – it is preferable to select ashort form name – ie Whiteoaks and NOT The Whiteoaks Consultancy Ltd as this looks moremodern and is visually more appealing - then select your full company profile from the dropdown menu in the Change Company link – this process also creates the hyperlink from yourprofile to the company website, so is particularly important.Add the Time Period data as this is shared across all your profile.Add a Company Description – try and evolve a standardised company descriptor and involveyour marketing/PR team in this process or cut and paste your company descriptor from yourcurrent marketing material.Remember to click Update when you have finishedThen go back to Edit Your Profile and click on the Edit link by Recommendations
Then Click on the Ask to be Endorsed links, these allows you to request and managerecommendations from former clients, partners and co-workers. It is considered best practiceto focus on recommendations from former and not current clients and partners. Many peopleconsider recommendations from former co-workers to have little value, so it might be best tofocus on clients and partners.When requesting a recommendation, some people send a rough draft of a proposedrecommendation to speed things up and help the recommender edit the wording. Ideally anddepending on your experience, 3 to 8 recommendations are ideal and can help provide a fullerpicture of your expertise and experience. Without three recommendations you will not have a100% complete profile according to LinkedIn. Having a 100% complete profile is importantbecause you will be more likely to show up in search if your profile is complete.After you have requested your recommendations, go back to Edit your Profile and click on theEdit link by the section called Websites.
When you click on the Edit link by the section called Websites, the following VERY IMPORTANTmenu is created.Click on the drop down menu tabs on Websites and select Other, this opens up a new data tabon the right where you can add specific descriptors for your company websites, blogs andcompany Facebook and also add hyperlinks – this information goes on the front of your profileand will drive traffic to these sites. It also looks very professional and polished to have“Whiteoaks website” “Whiteoaks Blog” and “Whiteoaks Facebook” as descriptors.Then add your interests, group memberships and associations – if you do fund raising for charityor other good work please add details. Adding your interests is useful as they give a morerounded picture of you and are often used as ice-breakers on first meetings.When finished, remember to Save ChangesThen go back to Edit your Profile
If you have been following this guide step by step, the optimisation of your Twitter presencewas covered in a previous section – please look back and refer to that if you still need to do it.Now click on the Edit link that appears at the end of line called Public Profile.In your Public Profile click on Make my Public Profile Visible to Everyone
Scroll down to Your Public Profile URL and click on Customise Your Public Profile URL this willallow you to enhance your personal brand by creating a custom URL for your LinkedIn publicprofile – it also allows you to simply cut and paste your personal profile url to use in a variety ofways.Scroll down to Profile Badges and click on Create a Profile ButtonThis allows you to embed your LinkedIn profile in your blog, website, online proposal etcWhen finished, click on Back to Edit My Public Profile on the top right of the screen and returnto Edit My Public Profile
The last link on your Profile section is Manage Your Recommendations – this has already beencovered in this guide.So click now on the tab Email Preferences.This section will allow you to set up all your LinkedIn email and turn on/off LinkedInCommunications.Firstly click on Select the Messages You’re Willing to Accept link, then select the messages youare willing to accept and also add your preferred contact email and telephone number –
remember to Save Changes when it is completed.This information appears on the front page of your profile so is important to includeThen click on the links Set the frequency of emails and Select who can send you invitations andselect your preferred options – remember to Save ChangesThe most important link in this group is Set the frequency of group digest emails – if you are anactive member of a number of LinkedIn groups you may want to monitor and engage withdifferent groups with varying degrees of interaction – if you click on Set the frequency of groupdigest emails you can configure these settings.Remember to Save Changes
Then go back to Edit My Personal Settings and click on the tab Groups, Companies andAssociationsWhen you click on the tab Groups, Companies and Applications, the following page is launchedIn the section Groups click on each of the links like Select your group display order and Viewyour groups and configure them as you like – it’s good to include them on your profile and
perhaps move the most important ones to the top of the listing so they show on your personalprofile – logos are good visuals and can also enhance the look and thought-leadership elementsof your profile.Remember to Save ChangesThen return to your Edit your Profile page, click on Group, Companies and Applications andnow go to the Privacy section and click yes on Turn on data sharing with 3rd party applicationsand remember to Save ChangesThen return to your Edit your Profile page, click on Group, Companies and Applications andnow go to the Applications section
This is a VERY IMPORTANT part of your profile, click on Slideshare and add it as an applicationInstall the Slideshare application and remember to TICK YES on the Display on my Profile andDisplay on LinkedIn Homepage.SlideShare enables you to share presentations and documents with your LinkedIn network, postthought-leading presentations into the stream of your connections, upload portfolios, resume,conference talks, PDFs, marketing/sales presentations etc and display them on your LinkedInprofile - all formats supported: ppt, pps, pptx, odp, pdf, doc, docx, odt, Keynote, iWork pages
You can also embed YouTube videos in presentations; add audio to make a webinarIf you have a SlideShare account, you can import your existing presentations into LinkedIn. If youdon’t have one, sign up from LinkedIn to share your presentations worldwide and get moreviews/traffic. SlideShare is present on both Linkedin and Facebook. Sync both these accountswith SlideShare and you have a holy triad. Upload to any one — SlideShare, Facebook orLinkedIn and it will show up instantly on all three.Don’t add any other apps apart from Slideshare – the reason for this is that in Profile Edit modeyou can drag and drop apps into any position on your profile – a good company presentation likea Powerpoint, video or pdf can therefore be positioned at the top part of your profile.Remember to Save SettingsThen go back to Edit Your Profile and click on the tab AccountThe only two areas here we are interested in are: Customise the updates you see on your homepage and Manage security settingsClick on the link Customise the updates you see on your home page
Click on each box to receive all the updates on your homepage, and use the drop down menu toset them at 25.Remember to Save changesThen go back to Edit your Profile, click on the Account tab and click on the link Manage securitySettings
Do NOT click on using https to browse LinkedIn, https prevents applications like Slideshareworking on LinkedIn.Remember to Save SettingsYour profile is nearly complete and now we can add some visual enhancements to make yourpersonal profile stand out
Recent eye tracking studies conducted by independent researchers indicate that the LinkedInpersonal profiles that get the best engagement feature a good personal photograph and additionalimage based content – the example above shows a normal type profile – the eye tracking studyshowed readers move from personal photo, the image on a news link that has been posted, currentjob and then recommendations.To make your personal profile stand out, add the following touchesGo to Edit Profile and click on Edit your profileIn edit mode and by putting your mouse cursor on the title bar for Skills and Expertise and alsoApplications you can drag and drop them towards the top of your profile – this makes a visually rich
profile that will hold attention – if you then regularly add interesting presentations in yourSlideshare, post interesting articles (that also appear in the newsfeeds of your connections) and addyour skills as a tag cloud – this will imply thought leadership and engagement – if your wholecompany adopts this approach with their personal profiles, your company brand will be amplifiedacross the industry.