Each week on Coffee with Kim I’m joined by an interesting leader, expert, or founder who shares wisdom to help us show up as our best selves in the workplace. Today I’m teaching you how to do so through your online presence. This week’s episode is a mini workshop on optimizing your LinkedIn profile!
I’ve had quite a bit of press as a CEO – Shark Tank, Forbes, Inc., Wallstreet Journal to name a few – but to this day none of that press shows on page one of my Google search! You know what does? LinkedIn! That’s because LinkedIn is one of the only social platforms that gets ‘crawled’ by Google. Meaning it shows up when someone googles you. If used correctly, LinkedIn can be a powerful driver as you further your career, seek job opportunities, start your company, gain new customers, fundraise, get a promotion, etc.
There are five things you should focus on to make the most of your profile and wow connections!
1. Banner – This is free real estate! Customize your banner with a relevant picture that represents you!
* Pro Tip: Do Not leave the default banner!
2. Profile Picture – Does your profile picture pass the coffee test? Be sure your picture looks like you and is clear enough that someone meeting you for coffee can easily find you.
* Pro Tip: Update you picture 2-3 times a year to refresh your profile
3. Pronunciation Feature – This new feature, currently only available on LinkedIn’s mobile app, allows profile viewers to hear the correct pronunciation of your name. This is especially useful for connections who speak a different language.
4. Connections – LinkedIn only displays up to 500 connections, so as fast as humanly possible, get to 500! It looks great on your profile!
5. About Section – This section holds a few paragraphs but viewers only see the first three sentences before having to open the tab to view more. Use those top sentences as a ‘movie trailer’ to draw viewers in to learn more about you.
Additional features, or ‘Double Whopper’ features, in the top section of the profile include:
1. Video – Upload an intro video via the mobile app to add a little extra ‘spice’ to your profile.
2. Headline – Did you know LinkedIn headlines are searchable? For example, when someone is looking for a keynote speaker they can search in LinkedIn and those who have the keyword ‘Keynote Speaker’ in their headline will show up in the results. So, make sure you include the work you’re most excited about in your headline to get noticed!
3. Services – Promote up to five services you provide in this section. This is especially helpful for entrepreneurs and freelancers!
If you want to step up your game and start providing value in a more public facing way enable ‘Creator Mode’! You’ll get access to three key features:
1. Talks About, to add hashtags and share topics you focus on across platforms.
2. Follow + Connections, to share advice with info seekers without adding them to your connections.
3. Feature, to curate and control what content people see from you first.
If you’re frequently creating and posting content on LinkedIn, Creator Mode could be useful, but don’t feel pressured to switch, stick with the default setting if that’s what you prefer!
Hashtags are a social media staple, but all platforms treat them differently. My rule for using hashtags on LinkedIn, backed by LinkedIn’s own algorithm claims, is to use up to three with any original content like posts, articles, and comments.
Additionally, hashtags don’t necessarily fit into the LinkedIn profile unless you’ve enabled Creator Mode, so add up to five in the ‘Talks About’ section.
Just like a puppy, you must train LinkedIn or else you can’t use it to its full advantage. Do so by, first, optimizing your profile to know who you are and what you want to experience using the tips shared above. Secondly, with lazy engagement. If you don’t want to create content on the platform, like, comment, ask questions, and tag friends in posts instead. It is a great way to teach the algorithm more about you and in return it will send more interesting opportunities your way.
If you want to know if the algorithm is working for you, check your ‘people also viewed list’. This is your not-so-secret-yet-still-a-little-sneaky way of keeping tabs. ‘People also viewed’ is a list of people LinkedIn associates you with based on your profile and engagement.
This is helpful because you can customize who you’re in the same “circle” with as you change and grow in your career. Think about who you want to be and what you want to accomplish then figure out how the algorithm can match you with the people you look up to that are already doing that.
If you’re not sure what to post on LinkedIn, start with what you know and have done. Every time you speak from experience you are adding value, and as you post valuable content, you attract the right people to you.
Also, posting once a week is phenomenal, start there and work your way up to posting once a day!
Homework: Optimize your LinkedIn profile and share the changes with me!
My Co-founder Abby Moffitt is joining us and I can not wait to introduce you to her! A strong brand is important now more than ever before and Abby is an expert at making brands stand out. Abby has worked with brands from Kellogs to TedX. Has helped individuals like Oprah, Paul McCartney, and most recently helped me with a huge rebrand. She’s a wealth of knowledge so bring your questions and coffee, it’s going to be a good one.