7 Easy Ways to Improve Your Personal Brand On Linkedin
Your Linkedin profile communicates a lot about your personal brand. It can convey that you are an organized, ambitious, disciplined, well-liked and digitally-savvy professional. Or it can do the opposite.
If you want to attract better opportunities, gain more influence in your field or connect with the right people, I highly recommend building a profile that shows off the best side of you.
I want to share with you some easy tips to improve your profile. Before you begin, take a look around your Linkedin contacts and look at the profiles of the people you admire or the profiles of Linkedin Influencers. Observe what you like and dislike about their profiles and make changes to your profile according. Here are some easy quick tips to improve your Linkedin profile.
1. Get a search friendly professional headline
There are 120 characters you can use to describe your job title. Make a quick text document of all the key words you would like people to find you for. Think from the perspective of a recruiter or potential customer and use words they would use to search for you. Don’t be afraid to use multiple titles and fill out the 120 characters.
2. Use a professional head shot for a friendly first impression
Your headshot is the first thing people will see. Make sure it’s clear with good lighting and not blurry. Your face should take up at least 75% of the photo. Most people should have a front facing photo with a big genuine smile, with a neutral or blurred background. Some creatives might want to show off your personality by using a side profile shot, or another facial expression. Whatever you choose, make sure your profile photo aligns with your brand image. Unless you work with kids or pets in your main job, I would leave them out of your professional headshot.
3. Learn to use key words to describe your roles and experiences
Make a quick text document of all the key words you would like people to find you for. And add them sparingly into your profile, in particular under the summary section. What you write should still read smoothly, without sounding spammy.
4. Tiny spelling and grammar mistakes are too costly
There are some spelling and grammar mistakes that Linkedin won’t pick up, so it’s worth copying and pasting all the text into a Microsoft Word program (or equivalent) to check for those tiny mistakes that speak volumes.
5. Adding visual appeal for a quick win
Under each section, you can add multi-media files to make your profile more visually appealing and attention-grabbing. These file types that are great additions, including document, photo, link, video and presentation. One of my favorite is Slideshare, which shows off powerpoint presentations I have made. After you add a multi-media file, an image should show up with a caption underneath it. The caption section is very short so try to make the first 2 – 4 words as descriptive and impactful as possible. E.g. “Keynote speaker TEDTalks…” or “Press Interview with BBC…” You might think you don’t have anything to add to this section, so here are some suggestions: photos of you at work, conference/event photos, awards, company video, CV, portfolio, press, blog articles etc.
6. Leave out any generic descriptions and boring adjectives
There are a few over-used common adjectives that you should leave out of your profile. Everybody is a “hardworking”, “passionate”, “innovative”, “creative”, “enthusiastic”, “motivated” and “driven”. You should only use these adjectives when you can use a concrete example with numbers and percentages to prove it. “I use my creative problem-solving skills to manage a 3 month Facebook campaign with a reach of over 200k people, resulting in 70% increase in followers and a 80% increase in sales.”
7. Read your entire profile out loud (Yes I mean it)
Lastly, it’s great practice to read your entire profile out loud to check that it’s coherent and friendly. I am always surprised at how many awkward sentences and phrases I find when I read things out loud.
Kaitlin Zhang is the CEO of Kaitlin Zhang Branding, a cross-border digital marketing agency specialising in technology and financial services. Kaitlin is Chinese Canadian with international work experience in Vancouver, Shanghai and San Francisco. Kaitlin lives in London and enjoys tennis, cooking and contemporary art.