Social media marketing

How to Build a Professional LinkedIn Profile in 11 Steps

Social media has taken the world by storm, and it isn’t just for teenagers awestruck by the supposedly perfect lives of celebrities, it’s also for working professionals. While this blog has focused on various social media platforms, urging readers to get more involved with a possible media base, it is just as important for professionals to learn the latest ways of communication and networking. This is exactly what LinkedIn helps the working class people with. LinkedIn marketing needs to be tweaked a bit to cater to the engagement of professionals, slightly different from the regular Instagram and Facebook marketing schemes. This blog will be a comprehensive guide when it comes to LinkedIn marketing for beginners. We’ll focus on how to network on LinkedIn, how to get clients on LinkedIn, and a few LinkedIn profile tips so that you don’t miss out on any opportunity along your journey of professional growth.

 1. Set up a LinkedIn account

We’re not going to elaborate on this much, but here are a few things you should keep in mind: 

  • Give authentic information so that you don’t face any troubles during possible background checks
  • Give contact numbers and email IDs that you will actually regularly check. Don’t use an email ID that you check once a month just to empty the spam folder.

2. Go ahead and create a LinkedIn profile.Be careful with your profile pic! Looks do matter

No, I don’t mean that a physically more symmetric face and Aishwarya Rai like features will yield better results. What I do mean is that you do need to include a professional profile picture in order to appear more reliable. 

There are tons of accounts that I’ve come across on LinkedIn that have no faces; We associate all your skills and experience to your name and face. 

Your profile picture should also provide for the following things:

  • Your face should be crystal clear in it.
  • There shouldn’t be anything distracting a viewer from your face. That means there should be no Jurassic Park dinosaurs in the background, large Manish Malhotra earrings dangling from your ears, or you cosplaying as Ironman. Save those for Instagram.
  • Opt for a plain background if you can. Your face will be much more highlighted and pop from a monochromatic, contrasted background. Get 

Basically, a prospective employer should be able to recognize your face from across the room on a foggy day with no issues. 

Let’s take a look at these two screenshots from actual LinkedIn profiles.

LinkedIn profile example

source:/www.andrewmacarthy.com

LinkedIn profile example

Notice how the first picture is not only blurry, but cropped from another picture (hence the random ghost hand around her shoulder). It looks unprofessional and gives me a bad first impression.

On the other hand, the second profile is a clear head-shot, shows the person with an amicable face, making him look more approachable.The picture is your first and best impression. Make sure it is in your favour.

 This point already mentioned before. 

3. Hit them head-on with a great headline 

Let’s be honest, no one is going to read through everything that you’ve written. Even if you claim to have been the architect under Shah Jahan for the construction of the Taj Mahal.. That’s because scrolling all the way down reading everything you have is too much work.

And that’s why we have headlines. The analogy is similar to magazines; Give the readers a catchy headline with pages of text, and if the headline stimulates them enough, they’ll lose the laziness that comes with reading pages over pages of text.

Your headline shouldn’t just describe what you do for a living, what you can do in exchange for money. It should show how you can add value.

So if you want to get people working with you, you’ll need to have a great headline. After your profile picture, this is probably the element of your profile that gathers the most visibility.

Let’s imagine that you are an ethical hacker. If your headline is something like:

An ethical cyber security hacker that will protect your website. 

It’s boring. It doesn’t provide any insight into how you can add value. It does not compel the reader to do anything. Take a look at the below headline,

Catching security errors before malicious hackers can. Connect if you want your digital assets safe. 

It is interesting, and shows how you can find the Achilles heel in the digital assets of a client before hackers with bad intentions can. Using the phrase, digital assets, radiates more importance of their webspace than the word website. Connect if you want security also is a great call to action, compelling viewers to contact you.

Your headline should comprise 3 parts: Your role, the value you can add, and a call to action. Otherwise, you can’t expect much success in your journey of Linkedin marketing.

4. Salute to Summaries, make it your SOP!

This is the meat of your profile. This is where you have to impress readers with all you’ve got.

You’ve gotten your viewers convinced enough to read this far, actually scroll down and read the rest of what you’ve written. 

Like any good piece of writing, you need to have short, crisp sentences that scream originality. The way you write a summary could be the way they imagine your quality of work for them. The tone of the passage should be friendly, which might be the way they see you working in their office atmosphere.

Let’s say you are a mechanical engineer who has decided to switch into marketing. 

I am a mechanical engineering graduate who has decided to try luck in marketing. It worked well and I realized I was gifted for it. I’ve worked as a marketer for XYZ for 3 years. 
Contact me on my number 9999999999.

This doesn’t explain much about your career shift, or your previous experience. It lacks all forms of interesting details, and the only good thing is that you included your phone number. 

If you want your summary to hit like BAM! Then you need to write more effectively:

Following millions of others in my country, I too took up engineering as my major in undergraduate studies. Though I studied well enough and passed with decent grades, I always had this feeling that my call hadn’t been found yet; I couldn’t kindle my passion because I hadn’t found it yet.
Following the sheep once again, I joined as a junior developer in XYZ IT company. I was asked to summarize the product development to a marketer and fell in love with how you communicate a product to prospective clients. I slowly started becoming the one presenting to clients, and moved my way into becoming a sales manager for the company.
I had finally found my calling. I am passionate about what I do and am on cloud nine on any given day that I’ve marketed something. 
I found my calling, what’s stopping you from calling me? Contact me on 9999999999, or leave a message on LinkedIn. 

This explains your career switch, your passion, and has a great call to action, compelling readers to call or message you. 

The reason why I tell you to make it your SOP or statement of purpose is because this is what prospective employers will see as a reason to consider you. 

Give them a reason why you’re considering to work in that field. If you want to be more specific, list out your dream companies (and make sure you’ve connected with the people associated with them). Tell them what you plan to do after. Give them your sense of purpose.

Your summary should say a great deal about what you do and why you do it, along with adequate contact info.

For more great examples of the best LinkedIn profile summaries, check out LinkedIn’s Business blog.

5. Customize and get a custom URL

Everyone’s going to get a URL when they sign up with LinkedIn. But it’s going to be something like www.linkedin.com/in/stevenspeilberg123-8e4/9254bernie 

Yeah, that’s not exactly attractive on a business card. What you can do is customize that URL to make it seem more natural and easy to remember. 

Steps are fairly simple:

  1. Click on me after you login to your LinkedIn account.
  2. Click on view profile and then edit your public profile.
  3. Click on the edit icon next to your public profile URL.
  4. Enter a new URL and click on save. 

Chances are you might not find the exact URL you were aiming for, but it can definitely be a notch better than  www.linkedin.com/in/stevenspeilberg123-8e4/9254bernie. 

6. Connect with the connections of your connections

How many people did you actually connect with on LinkedIn directly? Let’s say a 100.

Now if these 100 people each have 100 connections, that means you are in the power to connect with 100 ✕ 100 = 10,000 connections!

It’s almost like Facebook, you know how you accept a friend request from a stranger just because you have tens of mutual friends?

If you search through these 10,000 connections, you can probably connect with a few who have common connections with you, and chances are they might connect back with you simply because you have so many connections in common. 

But let’s say you want to connect on a deeper level, say making a sale or pitching an idea to someone in those 10k connections. You can ask that common connection to make an introduction between the two of you. This will appear more formal, and you also have the benefit of being introduced by someone who has directly connected with the person you want to pitch your idea to. Almost like a recommendation. 

Or let’s say you don’t want to go through all of those connections (let’s be honest, going through 10k connections is a painful task) you can filter them out by searching for the company or position. Since they are in your connections of connections, chances are the algorithm will put them at the top of the search results.

LinkedIn comes with its premium packages too. This obviously helps in terms of marketing, but this guide is how to build a professional LinkedIn profile. You can see a small number next to their name, 1st, 2nd or 3rd, indicating the directness of your connection with them. You can’t message a 3rd connection for free.If you have no other way to message them, then scroll down all the way to the bottom and see if you can join groups that they are members of. That way you can message them for free without having to upgrade your LinkedIn account. Use InMail in such cases. 

7. Post it!

Facebook and Instagram aren’t the only places you can post and get popular. LinkedIn too allows you to post publicly. A little luck and an engaging post can get you popular among the group of people your business requires the most!

These posts will be seen by professionals, and if you want to garner a good number of shares to enhance your following, we recommend you utilize these tips:

  • Just how your profile headline gains the most visibility, so does your post headline. Use words that garner attention. According to this Act-on blog, using words like habits, mistakes, successful, leader, leaders have the highest visibility and hence the highest possibility of your post getting more shares. 
  • Get a readability test done. Even though professionals probably can understand complex sentences with strings of complicated vocabulary, easier to read and understand sentences gather the most attention. No one has the time to read and later reflect on what you have to say. Hit them straight on with short, simple sentences. You should aim for a Flesch-Kincaid score that is above 60.
  • Compel readers to do something, that is, give a strong call to action. Do you want more people to view your blog? Tell them to check out your blog and include a link to your blog. Want to build connections? Ask them to connect with you. You can even ask them to drop a message to let you know what they think. Always leave a call to action, there’s no reason to expect a continuous flow of readers or connections if you don’t tell them what you want from them.
  • Include engaging visuals. Be it graphs, pie charts, any related info that can provide a connection to your article should be included. We all know the saying, a picture is equal to a thousand words. So wrap your mind around that idea, and make sure you have pictures related to the content you wish to post.

Apart from this, make sure you choose topics that are trending amongst your group of connections. Trending topics are exactly that, trending, and tend to garner more shares because of the demand to know more about them.

Post regularly. No, that doesn’t mean you should spend your time burning the midnight oil preparing posts for next morning. It means that you should set a schedule that is comfortable for yourself, and post at times when others can comfortably read what you have to offer. Consider posting on the weekends, when others have the time to sit down and read.

But whatever it is, definitely do post. It can make a huge difference in terms of your connections. This is one of the best LinkedIn profile tips out there.

8. Don’t just join groups, create them!

While joining groups and networking with the people who are a part of them is a great idea, why stop there?

You’ll obviously want to network with people who have similar mentalities and those who can engage in B2B with your company. What if you can’t find that perfect group with that perfect mix of people that you need?

Don’t hesitate to create a group! But be sure to remember:

  • Make sure it is a “standard group” which means that anyone can be invited into the group and become a part of it. Since we’re looking to build a network with as many connections as possible, we need to make sure everyone has access to your group.
  • Make sure the group pic and name resonate with what you want your group to be about. If you plan to talk about and include content about say, digital marketing, let your group name be something like Digital Marketing 101. And pick a proper picture; Don’t just choose the first image google throws on you when you type in digital marketing. If you ask me, the second picture in the right column looks like a better option than the rest. 
Digital Marketing Search
  • To build a network within the group that you’ve just created, join other similar groups and start talking to them. Notice what the other groups lack and post content about that. This way, people who are members of both groups will get the benefit of an all round comprehensive idea of what digital marketing is, and how they can use it. 
  • Once you’ve joined other groups, start filtering the people you want in your group, based on position or company, and start sending invites to your group. You can find the people you want in the members tab of the group. Go through as many people as you can, and see if you can connect with a few of them directly. 
  • Post frequently and urge other members to post too. Share posts of people from other groups, or posts that seem remarkable from people you want to make connections with to the group. This way, your group won’t have a dearth of knowledge, and you have some point of conversation with the people whose posts you have shared.

9. Create a page for your company

If you have a LinkedIn account and a verified email ID, then you are in a position to be able to create a page on your company’s behalf. 

You’ll need a company profile image, and also fill out the About Us section about your company. Keep the tips that we’ve mentioned above about pictures and summaries. 

Tip: In the About Us section, make sure to use keywords related to your company’s mission and function. That way, anyone looking for those keywords is closer to discovering your company. 

You can post the link of this company page in your summary, blog and your groups. Not only are you increasing connections for yourself, you are also helping your company in terms of networking.

10. Don’t join every group This para is generic advice and it can be combined in brief (one or two sentences in the previous para).

While it is a great way to connect with people and find new connections, joining every single group speaks about your levels of selectiveness. There will be a few groups that are standard, and will tell employers, This guy cares about quality content and will not accept anything lower than that. 

Of course, if you’re aiming for a specific position at a specific company, you’ll need to join groups that are mutual to them. Otherwise, go for high quality public groups. Not only will you learn, it tells people about your quality expectations. 

A few recommended groups every professional should join are:

  1. AMA – American Marketing Association
  2. Marketing Executive Network- CMO Strategy, Digital Marketing, Social Media, Mobile, Email, Analytics
  3. Digital Marketing Professionals: Search, Social Media, Content, Mobile, Video, Display & Advertising
  4. Search Engine Land
  5. Digital Marketing: Social Media, Search, Mobile & More

11. Advertise on LinkedIn

It’s a basic human mentality not to do something unless we’re asked to several times. And when it comes to spending money, it could take more than several times. 

LinkedIn, surprisingly, also works as an effective advertising platform. There are three ways you can do this:

  1. Sponsored content: Promote your content with targeted native advertising 
  2. Text Ads: Drive traffic from the desktop with easy-to-create ads
  3. Sponsored InMail: I want to send targeted messages directly to the people who matter most to my business. 

Pairing the usage of any of the three above ways with the Matched Audiences tool that LinkedIn offers proves to be a powerful tool when it comes to retargeting people. For an in depth explanation of what the Matched Audiences tool is about, check out Neil Patel’s blog on it.

Basically, it enables you to send content or InMail responses to targeted people you think have a chance of associating with you or your business. The idea behind retargeting ads is targeting people who have already displayed an interest for you or your business. That way, you are pushing people to check out what you have to offer, since they have already seemed interested in it.

This has been proved to be effective time and again, and I highly recommend you make that extra effort. 

If you want to know other new additions to the world of digital marketing, don’t miss out on my blog on the Latest Trends in Digital Marketing and Most Effective Tips for Digital Marketing.

What a great profile looks like

Let’s take a look at a power profile that speaks volumes to prospective associates about how this person can add value.

LinkedIn profile example

source:https://komarketing.com/blog

Doesn’t seem too special? Well, here are some things you should take a closer look at.

  1. A group picture as the cover photo. Says- This man is a team worker.
  2. A balance between the text and pictures that break up long sentences. Says- This man knows how to stall people away from a boring profile.
  3. A lot of third party references and testimonials. Says- This man knows how to work with clients.

To Conclude

  1. You can’t do any of the above amazing things without an account, so be sure to create a LinkedIn account.
  2. Be sure to include a profile picture, one that easily identifies you and doesn’t distract viewers from your face. 
  3. Be careful with your headline; Your headline is the element with the highest visibility on your profile after your picture and name.
  4. Write a summary that shows how you can add value, and explains all your professional decisions.
  5. Make a custom URL so that your LinkedIn link is easier to remember and more attractive on your business cards and other pages.
  6. Make use of your secondary connections. 
  7. Create posts that have shareable content, so that you can network with more people.
  8. Create groups too! It’s all about getting more connections.
  9. Get your company a page too. This will make you seem more authentic when you mention where you work.
  10. Advertise and use the Matched Audience tool. 

Let us know what you think about this blog post and if any of these tips have worked for you in the comments down below!

Also be sure to check out my other blog articles like – How to Earn Money Online in India, How to make money off your website and Quick tips to earn money online in India.

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14 thoughts on “How to Build a Professional LinkedIn Profile in 11 Steps

  1. Hi
    Awesome write up.
    Linkedin showcases our profile, profession, ability, passion, expertise and our recommendations on a niche. Linkedin has many features for branding and social marketing. Sharing your expertise, interacting with your community and all other features are well crafted in the write up. Its a great guide to newbies who are entering to establish online identity.

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    1. Thank you! I also faced a lot of problems as first, but keep at it and look up some information on the problems you are facing, I’m sure you’ll learn as you go.

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