Build an impressive profile-Your Linkedin profile should have the pull power and should raise the eyebrows of the potential clients or employers.
Besides the usual information which is mentioned in a CV like education, experience, personal details, achievements and honors, Linkedin offers several additional categories to help you develop a detailed profile.
Headline and sub-headline-The profile headline is the first contact point and must be catchy enough to attract attention. It also ensures that the majority of the invitations you send for connecting are accepted. A sub-headline is also there which shows the current position and is visible in the mini-profile bar (which you see when you move the cursor on the name).
Websites-Give the links to your blog, website or employer’s website (preferably linking to your department or profile directly). Websites especially personal portals have become vital for personal branding.
Summary-The summary must be short and catchy and you should not expect the reader to read detailed information. It must be the summary of your education, experience, achievements and skills in the real sense of the term.
Certifications- Besides the major educational qualifications, professionals should also mention the relevant certifications which have been successfully completed. Such certifications are critical in certain professions like trainers, life coaches, management consultants and so on.
Skills-Education primarily gives us knowledge but work experience helps us develop marketable skills like writing skills, teaching skills etc. The major skills that you possess must be mentioned clearly. Employers are focusing on the skills and attitudes these days.
Publications-If you have published any articles, books, monographs etc, you can mention them here. It goes without saying that publications play an important role in personal branding specially in knowledge industries.
Slideshare-Link to your presentations that you have uploaded on Slideshare. It is very critical to link your best presentations as presentation skills play a critical role in your success in majority of the professions and has thus become an important component of your brand.
Blog Updates-If you have your own Blog (or company blog in which you write), link it to your profile. Blogs have become a major tool for demonstrating your knowledge and expertise. If you have good writing skills. Blog is the best way to build your brand.
Trip it-If you are working at a senior position or you are in a profession like training, the kind of locations you travel to contribute to your brand. If you frequently travel to metros or abroad, use Tripit application to reflect it in your profile.
Get good recommendations-The days of the references section in CV are gone. Now good employers prefer to view your Linkedin recommendations. Remember both, quality and quantity of recommendations are important.
Updates can be posted through Twitter, blog or directly. Keep posting updates which demonstrate your achievements and knowledge. If you click the like button on updates of successful people in your network, it gets circulated to your network members and reflects the kind of connections that you have.
If you want to become a national brand, develop connections nationally and if you aspire to become an international brand, develop international connections. Common connections (with the client or employer) may become a reference point for new clients and potential employer can even crosscheck your track record or capabilities with the common connection.
Remember everything contributes to your brand integrity from education to connections, interests to the Twitter ID that you use. Imagine a CEO using a Twitter ID ike FunnyJohn. It will reflect non-serious attitude of the CEO and company and may irritate no-nonsense professionals.
Keep monitoring who is viewing your profile and send an invitation to connect with wisely chosen words to the right people. Once they are connected, they may keep watching your updates and develop a good impression about you.
Raise the right questions and come up with the right answers to prove your expertise. If your answer is rated as the best answer, you have a proven credential which is reflected on your profile helping you build your brand.
If you have expertise in a niche area, create your own group on Linkedin and keep sharing knowledge by participating in discussions. Remember knowledge only increases by sharing. Interact with people from other countries and learn the best practices.
Numbers play a significant role these days. The number of connections you have, the number of cities/countries where your connections come from and number of publications/blog posts that you write, all contribute in different ways to your brand.
The most critical advantage of Linkedin (and also of Blog and personal portals) is that everything gets integrated at one point and it becomes a kind of one stop shop. So ladies and gentlemen, are you ready for the new buzzword, LNO-Linkedin Network Optimization?