We’re starting a new year, so you might have new career goals. Among those goals could be the creation of a stronger personal brand so that when people search your name online, positive things appear that promote you as a skilled professional.
Your LinkedIn profile is an excellent place to start building or reshaping your personal brand this year, and the following are tips that can help you optimize it.
Use Your Summary to Tell Your Story
On your LinkedIn profile, your summary can be incredibly powerful. Don’t leave this area blank. Use your summary as the opportunity to tell your story rather than simply listing your job titles or skills.
Try to create a connection between those skills and how they matter or how they might potentially make a positive difference for people you work with.
Your LinkedIn summary is your ultimate piece of personal content marketing, so give yourself time here. Don’t rush through it. Create a few different drafts and ask for opinions from people you trust.
As you’re thinking through what to include in your summary, you want it to include a few key elements. You want to provide a strong overview of who you are, and you want to show what you can do for potential clients or employers.
You also want to include a strong, clear call to action.
Do Some Keyword Research
You want to understand the keywords you should aim to rank for on your LinkedIn profile.
Think from the perspective of the people you hope are going to view your profile. For example, if you’re a freelancer, you want to use those keywords that clients are going to be searching for. You can also use hashtags if they’re relevant.
Put yourself in the shoes of your targeted audience, and think about the challenges they face daily and what they might be searching for to help them solve problems.
Optimize Your Headline
Your headline gives you 120 characters to impress people and show what you can do for them. When you’re creating your headline, you want to include your most important headline. If you’re a cybersecurity expert, for example, make sure you include that in your headline.
Use Your Skills Section
You can add up to 25 skills to your LinkedIn profile, so make the most of them, and again, don’t forget the most relevant and important keywords.
Create a Branded Header
LinkedIn gives you space not only for your main profile picture but you can also add a header or banner. Use something like Canva, and you can customize a header image that’s going to be completely branded to you.
Don’t put a lot of words in this image, but just focus primarily on the visual appeal. If you do include wording, focus it on either your value proposition or a call to action.
Edit the URL For Your Profile
One of the settings that can be useful is your profile URL, but this often goes overlooked when people are optimizing their profiles. You can edit your URL so that it’s clean and simple, and easy to remember. For example, you may be able to make it simply your first and last name.
To make this change, you can go to your profile and select the option to edit your public profile and URL.
Along with making your LinkedIn profile look cleaner and visually appealing, when you customize your URL, it also helps people find you more easily in search engines because your profile can be indexed.
Write and Share
After you have a cleaned-up, well-organized, and fully optimized LinkedIn profile, you can start to be more active on the platform.
To do this, first, start to write. You can share insights that are relevant to your industry and based on things you’ve learned. Remember, the number one goal anytime you’re creating or sharing content is to create value for your audience.
When you create content on LinkedIn, you can do so in the form of blog posts, but you can also create and share video and image-based content.
Finally, another way to make yourself more visible on LinkedIn is engagement. You want to interact regularly with other people’s content. That might mean, for example, that you comment or reshare something. You can also tag your network on certain things, as long as you’re doing so in a relevant way.
This is not only likely to make you more visible in the LinkedIn algorithms, but people might return the favor by sharing or interacting with your content.