Being on LinkedIn is not worth being. If you want to highlight your personal brand in front of the large volume of users of the professional social network par excellence, you need a completely optimized profile. Discover how to optimize your LinkedIn profile to the maximum, step by step, with this mega guide.
The objective of this post is to delve into the depths of LinkedIn so that you discover all the functions that the platform offers you but, above all, so that you can take full advantage of them in order to create a (more than) stellar professional profile that differentiates you of your competitors and that serves as a support to enhance your personal brand.
What is LinkedIn?
Founded in 2002 and with more than 590 million registered users, LinkedIn is today the leading social network for businesses and users who want to create and consolidate their professional identity on the Internet.
But LinkedIn is much more than a social community focused on the business world. LinkedIn allows you to connect with acquaintances, friends, co-workers as well as any other type of contact related (or not) to your professional environment. Therefore, it can be said that much of the value that we find in LinkedIn resides in the connections.
In addition, LinkedIn is a tremendously effective way to create your professional cover letter in the digital environment since it allows you to show in a visual and enriched way both your skills, your “know-how”, your experience, your training, your achievements and other important information that we will detail later.
Before getting into the most practical part of this content, let’s see some information about this social network that will help you to know in what state it is:
Interesting facts and statistics from LinkedIn
To learn a little more about the current state of LinkedIn, I detail several interesting statistics for 2018 about the social network:
LinkedIn in numbers
- Total number of users: 590 million
- Total number of active users: 260 million
- % of daily active users: 40%
- % of monthly active users: 63 million
- Number of new users per second: 2
- 70% of LinkedIn users are outside the US.
- 61 million LinkedIn users are at a senior professional level.
- 40 million users hold a decision-making position.
- 40 million users are students or have recently graduated
- 56% of users are men and 44% of LinkedIn users are women.
- After the US, India, Brazil and Great Britain have the most users on LinkedIn.
- 13% of LinkedIn users are millennials (ages 15-34)
- There are 87 million millennials on LinkedIn, of which 11 million hold decision-making positions.
- 28% of all male Internet users use LinkedIn compared to 27% of female users .
- The median salary of 44% of LinkedIn users is 44% of $ 75,000 annually.
Interesting LinkedIn facts for marketing
- LinkedIn is today the first content distribution channel for B2B companies.
- LinkedIn accounts for more than 50% of social traffic for B2B company websites and blogs
- 91% of executive marketing positions rate LinkedIn as the ideal channel to find quality content.
- 92% of B2B companies in the marketing sector include LinkedIn in their digital marketing strategy.
- 80% of B2B company leads come from LinkedIn compared to 13% from Twitter and 7% from Facebook.
Now, let’s see why you should not miss the opportunity to use LinkedIn and squeeze its full potential.
What is LinkedIn for?
With more than 15 years in operation, LinkedIn is a social network known to all even though it does not enjoy the same popularity as other networks such as Facebook or Instagram.
However, those looking for a way to find business opportunities in social networks have it a bit more complicated in examples like the last two since these platforms are the ones that are mainly used for entertainment and fun. Talking about commercial topics in them can generate rejection .
If you are looking for new business opportunities and boost your personal brand, LinkedIn has a lot to offer you.
On LinkedIn the scenario is different. Being the professional social network par excellence, the user who uses it does so with business in mind. For this reason, you have their predisposition to talk about issues of this type. This would be one of the great reasons why you might be interested in using LinkedIn.
But be careful , it would be a mistake to use this social network by limiting yourself to expressing your expertise in order to find a new job. Keep in mind that a job, by itself, is something transitory. On the contrary, your personal brand is forever and that is what you will be remembered for. For this reason, I recommend that you focus your actions on working on it and promoting it also within LinkedIn.
In conclusion, if what you want is to work and enhance your personal brand, increase your professional recognition and you are looking for new opportunities, LinkedIn is for you.
LinkedIn opportunities for users and companies
There is another reason why you should consider being on LinkedIn (if you are not already).
As of 2016, specifically the end of 2017, it was when the increase in the number of users of the platform has been noticed more than ever, especially in Spain and Latin America. This growth has generated brutal activity in the social network and with it new opportunities that we must not miss.
We cannot know for sure what will happen in the coming years but everything indicates that this trend is going to continue and it is time to prepare well to stand out. Keep in mind that, as the number of users grows, your competition grows. For this reason, if you are going to use LinkedIn, you have to stand out.
Whether you are looking for job opportunities, you are interested in attracting new clients, investors, collaborators and / or new talents, you want to expand your network of contacts or if you want to strengthen your personal brand, LinkedIn has many opportunities to offer you .
Let’s see what are the most interesting opportunities that LinkedIn offers :
Advantages of using LinkedIn for a personal profile
- It allows you to expand your network of contacts.
- It allows you to create and consolidate your professional entity id .
- You can increase the recognition of your personal brand .
- It gives you access to a large number of job opportunities.
- You can show your professional and educational career , your projects, your achievements and your recommendations.
- You can contact recruitment companies and technicians more quickly and efficiently.
- It allows you to network through the use of groups.
- You can update yourself with news and relevant news from your work sector.
Advantages of using LinkedIn for a business
- You can create a company page with advanced features for administrators.
- You can spread job offers.
- It is an open door to new business opportunities .
- It allows you to capture leads.
- You can increase your portfolio of clients, suppliers or collaborators.
- It allows you to increase the recognition of your brand.
- You can give visibility to your employees.
- It allows you to publicize your products and services.
- You can position yourself as a benchmark in your sector by disseminating valuable content.
As you can see, I have differentiated the benefits for companies and for personal profiles and that is, whether you are working on your personal brand or that of your company, you can be present on LinkedIn in these two ways: as a personal profile and as a company page .
Of course, having a personal profile is an essential requirement to be able to create and / or manage a company page and any action must start from the creation and optimization of a profile of this type. For this reason, below we will focus on optimizing your profile on LinkedIn to the maximum and, based on it, being able to extend your strategy to company pages as well.
But, before we start, we need to talk about keywords and SEO because yes, we can (and should) do SEO on LinkedIn and it is very important to keep it in mind in each section of the profile that we are going to optimize. Let’s see why!
SEO on LinkedIn to increase visibility
Before we go to the central part of the post and start optimizing the LinkedIn profile, it is essential that we talk about SEO.
Can we do SEO on LinkedIn? Not only can we, but we must work on it if we really want our profiles to be fully optimized and to stand out from our competition.
As we would do when writing a content that we want to position in Google, to begin we must ask ourselves 2 questions :
- ¿ How I look my target audience (potential customer, head hunter , possible partner …)?
- What must my LinkedIn profile have to be found ?
The answer to these two questions is in your keywords or your keywords.
If you are interested in SEO in all aspects, I invite you to read these myths and errors of SEO positioning according to 18 experts. An (almost) obligatory reading.
After all, LinkedIn is nothing more than a very powerful people search engine and SEO on this platform is what makes it possible for someone to find us when they search for profiles similar to ours or terms related to it.
How to use LinkedIn to be more visible?
To make ourselves visible in these search results, we have to make an optimized use of those keywords for which we are interested in appearing and with which we want to be related. Where do I start to increase my visibility on LinkedIn?
1. Define your keywords
At this point, rather than focusing on what defines you as a professional, focus primarily on what your target audience would be looking for (which is obviously related).
Taking into account what is usually searched on LinkedIn (experience and / or specific positions), when you define your keywords be sure to include those that represent:
- Your profession or what you do: «Digital Marketing Consultant»
- Your area of expertise: “Social Media Specialist”
In any case, you have tools to search for very useful keywords, such as SEMrush, that can help you discover what exactly your audience is looking for so that you can later use those keywords in your profile.
2. Spread those keywords throughout your profile
Once your keywords have been selected, distribute them to all sections of your profile with a density of approximately 30 words.
Especially in: Headline, extract, professional experience, training, articles, publications, recommendations …
I recommend that you use your keywords naturally and do not put them “with shoehorn”. Do it in such a way that whoever reads your profile clearly identifies what you do and, most importantly, how you can be of use to them.
Also, remember that hashtags on LinkedIn are super effective so make use of them.
How to create a PERFECT professional profile on LinkedIn
We’ve seen more and more users turn to LinkedIn looking for new opportunities to both boost sales and grow their businesses and take their personal brand to stellar levels.
For this reason, and taking into account the data shown above, having a currently optimized profile is essential if we do not want to be one more and want to stand out from our competitors.
When using your LinkedIn profile, it is important to differentiate 6 main blocks that compose it and to complete each one of them correctly. Let us begin!
The first step in optimizing your LinkedIn profile is to fill in the basic information located on the business card. This information is located at the top of the profile and is the first thing those who land on it will see. Here you must capture what you do and, more specifically, how you can help your audience.
Within it we find a series of sections that you can edit and customize from the button located to the right of the box. Let’s see what information you should include in each section and what is the best way to do it:
Profile and cover photo
A picture is worth a thousand words and, in this case, the saying is true. Whoever accesses your profile for the first time, the first thing that will catch their attention will be your cover and profile photos, so you have to make sure they show what you want to convey.
● Profile photo (400x400px)
Make sure you choose a professional photo with optimal quality. You can ask yourself what you want to convey and try to capture it with your photo (closeness, seriousness …)
On the right side of your profile, in the “Edit URL and public profile” section, you can configure the privacy and visibility settings of your profile to decide if you want your profile photo to be visible only to your contacts, to your network or to all LinkedIn members. Personally, I advise you to make it public as it will generate more trust and it will be easier for them to find you.
● Cover photo (1584x396px)
Use a quality image and try to include in it elements such as: your logo, your brand name, icons of your profiles in social networks, your slogan (if you have it) and you can take the opportunity to add a keyword that represents you (your specialization , for example).
Name and owner:
It is vitally important that this section is correctly optimized. The information you include here will be the one that Google indexes to appear in its search results and also in those of the internal LinkedIn search engine.
Therefore, here, yes or yes, you must place your keywords . But beware:
- When filling in your name , I advise you to use nothing more than your first name or the name you want to be associated with as a brand. Avoid using other words here such as your position or your work sector, since these have a specific section where they will be effective: the headline.
- In the headline , that line of text located just below your name, your current job title will appear by default. The good thing is that LinkedIn allows you to customize this section and by doing so you will be making a difference.
As with the cover of a book or the title of a post, the headline of your LinkedIn profile will be your great opportunity to capture the attention of users and attract them to it.
That is why your headline has to be written in such a way that it is able to make a very good first impression and make them want to know more about you. Take note of tips to make it so:
How to write an optimized headline:
- Summarize in a single sentence and very clearly what you do and what benefit you can bring to your audience.
- Use your keywords (how you want to be found and what you want your brand to associate with).
- Include your sector of work and your specialization or your niche.
- If you have your own company , include it so that at a glance you can be associated with it
- If you are working for an outside company and you also want to be associated with it, you can also include it.
- You can add a slogan , if you have one, with which you differ.
Where are you currently? By displaying this information on LinkedIn, you are allowing users who see your profile to locate you at a glance and, in addition, you will facilitate the searches that others carry out based on this criteria.
Filling in the field of your work sector is another essential aspect if you want to be visible to those who search based on this category and who probably share interests with you.
Select the sector that best suits yours and, in case you do not locate your work sector in the wide list of options that LinkedIn suggests, you can make a suggestion for them to include it through the “Send comments” section in the bottom of the home page.
► Employment and educational information
This element of the business card shows by default the last position you held and your most recent place of training. This information can be customized and modified to show what interests you that appears highlighted.
► Contact information
If you have complete and up-to-date contact information, you will facilitate connections within the platform. Here you must include data such as:
- the URL of your website (personal, professional or other)
- other URLs in which you participate or to which you are linked
- your profiles on social networks
- your phone number and address
- your e-mail address
- your profile URL (which appears by default and we will see later)
► Number of contacts
Your business card also shows the number of contacts you have and lets others know the scope of your network .
Your contacts are of great importance but not so much the number if not the type of connection you create with them.
I advise you to look for relevant and meaningful connections to create a qualified community on LinkedIn. Search and select new contacts weekly but, above all, nurture your relationship with them, interact, share valuable content …
Don’t just collect contacts for the sake of it, focus on creating connections that are or may be fruitful.
The extract is that section where you can show a summary of your professional experience, your specialization and your skills in a more detailed way than in the headline. Think about how you would introduce yourself to a potential client or collaborator and put it in the excerpt.
This section, like the headline, is another one that you should optimize with keywords to improve SEO positioning on LinkedIn.
Take note of some tips to optimize your statement as much as possible:
Tips for displaying an optimized extract:
- Above all, be authentic and show your passion for what you do.
- Try to capture the most important information in the first 3 lines .
- Talk about your skills and experience, yes, but do not forget to show how and in what you can be useful to the person who reads to you.
- Divide your excerpt into paragraphs of a maximum of 3 lines to make it easier to read.
- Add a call to action and invite your readers to visit your website, contact you, share their experience, etc.
- Includes multimedia content where you capture your work to give it more strength and value: images, articles, videos, podcasts, presentations …
- Use a close tone and, why not, a wink that denotes a sense of humor.
URL and public profile
On the right side of your profile, next to your cover photo, you will see a small section called “Edit URL and public profile”.
When you access this section, you will see a different version of your profile in which you can configure aspects such as: the URL of your profile, the different sections and sections and its visibility .
The URL that LinkedIn attributes to your profile by default is not optimized and, as we can customize it, I advise you to remove any type of symbol or number that appears. Bet on a clean URL that contains your name and is easily identifiable to you.
When configuring LinkedIn visibility, you have the option of choosing which sections of your profile you want to show and to whom.
If, in addition to being shown to LinkedIn users, you want your profile to appear in Google search results and other search engines, make sure that the “Profile visible to everyone” tab is activated. There, you can define, section by section, what you want to be displayed or not.
Just below your business card you will see a small gray box called «Your panel». The information that appears on it is visible only to you and is very valuable. Let’s see the data it shows you:
○ Your level of effectiveness on LinkedIn
LinkedIn has 6 levels of effectiveness with which it rates your profile:
Depending on how strong it is and whether it is correctly optimized, your profile will get a rating that will be visible on your business card. Go for the stellar level!
How to get a stellar profile? If your profile is still not stellar, you will have a meter with a series of steps and tips to follow to achieve it. Optimizing your profile to the maximum by following all these steps and being consistent with your activity will help make your profile stellar.
○ Your profile views:
The data they offer us corresponds to the last 90 days accompanied by a graph and a summary with the users who have visited your profile.
If you have a free profile, you will only have access to part of this information. To know all the details about it, you will have to update your version to a Premium profile .
How to get more views: Keep your profile updated, connect with more people and interact with your feed.
○ The views of your publications
This section reveals the number of views your last publication has obtained, but if you click on this section you access all the activity on your profile (articles and publications) so that you can analyze the scope of each of them, compare and draw conclusions. .
○ Appearances in searches:
Search appearances are the number of times your profile appears in search results. But there is more. If you access this section, you will obtain information only visible to you that will reveal very interesting data such as:
- Your weekly statistics
- Where do those who look for you work
- What do those who look for you do?
- The keywords for which you appear
All this data is very valuable, but the last one in particular is quite revealing as it gives you clues about how SEO-optimized your LinkedIn profile is:
Are you using the correct keywords? Have you added them in the different sections of your profile?
If you see that the keywords that appear in this section correspond to the ones that interest you, you will be doing it correctly. If not, you will have to go around and increase the density of keywords in your profile or choose different ones that are even more relevant.
○ Other personalized information:
At the bottom you can access “extra” information that you will have to customize as it does not appear by default. There are 3 sections:
One corresponding to the professional advice service that LinkedIn offers you in case you want to contact a mentor certified by the platform to receive advice.
Another section about your employment interests . If you are actively searching for a job, LinkedIn allows you to configure your specific interests for active employment,
And a last section corresponding to the information related to your salary . In it you can compare your salary with others similar to that of your work sector.
Articles and activity
In this other block you will find, in addition to the total number of users who follow you, two types of content that summarize and define how your activity is within LinkedIn:
► Articles Press
These are the publications made through the blogging tool of the social network: LinkedIn Pulse .
Pulse allows you to integrate a Content Marketing strategy without leaving the social network and can help you capture and consolidate your professional skills, increase your credibility and reinforce your brand within a certain sector.
In addition, articles published through LinkedIn Pulse are indexed by Google and the main search engines (as is your profile if it is public). Therefore, when writing articles on LinkedIn, remember to optimize them with keywords in both the content and the title and subtitles.
To write a new article:
- Go to « Home «
- Access the post editor at the top of the feed.
- Click on « Write article «.
- Write your article from the new publications interface .
► Activity and interaction
This other section located to the right of the panel shows your activity within the LinkedIn feed . Here you will see a preview of your latest publications and your latest interactions in both your publications and those of other users (recommendations, comments …)
To enhance and reinforce the value of your LinkedIn profile, it is advisable to maintain a balance between these two types of activity: Write articles, share posts and interact.Write articles, share content and interact to reinforce the value of your #Linkedin profile
The sections constitute each block of information that makes up your LinkedIn profile and each one of them will provide it with unique value.
To add a section you must go to your profile, scroll down a bit until a blue button appears in the upper right where you read “Add section”.
In this window you will see 6 sections with different elements in each of them that you can add by simply pressing the “+” symbol on the right depending on what you are interested in showing on your profile. Let’s see what these sections are, one by one:
► Professional and academic career
Use this section to add each and every one of the positions you have held as well as your training and your volunteering experiences in such a way that they allow you to quickly identify your specialization.
When doing so, it is essential that you include your keywords , if possible in the name of the position and, above all, in the description of that experience. But, be careful, try to do it naturally, as if you were telling a story. This way it will be less forced.
Another very important aspect that you must take into account in this section is to use multimedia content . If you add “extra” content such as images, presentations, links, videos, a portfolio, etc., not only will you have a more complete profile, but it will also be visually much more attractive.
Skills represent your most important skills and abilities. By adding them to your profile, you not only make them stand out, you also allow your contacts to validate them, reinforcing them and adding value to your profile.
On the other hand, the skills on LinkedIn also work as keywords and by using them you will be contributing to SEO positioning within the social network and it will be easier for them to find you for those keywords.
LinkedIn allows you to add 50 skills and you can highlight only 3 of them. Choose wisely! When it comes to validation, it will be easier to do so if you show a well-focused list rather than an endless list.
In order to allow your skills to be validated, remember to validate that option in the Skills and Validations block once added to your profile.
If you’re not sure what attitudes you can take a look at the LinkedIn topic directory for guidance.
In the achievements section we differentiate several types:
Your achievements add value to your profile, take advantage of them and complete each section with as much information as possible. Do not fall short. The richer and more complete your profile is, the more valued it will be.
► Additional information: Recommendations
In this penultimate section of the sections we find one of the most important elements of your profile: the recommendations. These are the perfect opportunity for other contacts to value and give reliable proof of your professional qualifications.
Having a good compilation of recommendations will add great value and strength to your profile. In addition, if our keywords are found in them, this will favor SEO positioning.
Recommendations will add real value and strength to your LinkedIn profile
Until you have received at least one recommendation, this block will not appear on your profile . Therefore, the first task at this point is to start getting them.
It may voluntarily cost a little more to be recommended to us. So the most effective way to get recommendations on LinkedIn is to ask for them and, of course, make them.
How to ask for a recommendation on LinkedIn?
We have two ways to ask for a recommendation on LinkedIn:
a) From the profile of the person you want me to recommend:
- Click on the button «More …»
- Choose the option from the dropdown “Request a recommendation”
- Indicate the relationship that binds you to that person and the position you held at that time.
- Write your request and, very important, personalize the message .
b) From the “Add section” section , in the “Additional information” section:
- Click on the “+” symbol
- Indicate who you want to ask for a recommendation.
- Follow the same process that we indicated in the previous point.
Once you submit the recommendation request and they decide to do it, it will not appear directly on your profile. You will receive a notification that will allow you to accept it and make it visible or hide it, ask to edit it or discard it.
► Supported languages
This last section allows you to create a version of your profile in another language.
In case you want to position yourself within an international sector, I recommend, yes or yes, that you create the version of your corresponding profile for that language. Keep in mind that having a profile in different languages will allow other users and recruiters to find you more easily.
How to create a profile in another language on LinkedIn
To create your profile in another language, just follow these steps:
- Select the option “Add profile in another language”
- Choose the language in question
- Fill in your name, surname and owner for the selected language.
- Click on “Create profile”
When you have created a profile in another language, users who land on your profile will be able to manually choose which of the languages they want to see from the top right menu of your profile.Important: The profile is not translated automatically. You must translate the information in each section of your profile one by one.
Now that we have analyzed each block of your profile, one by one, and I have given you the guidelines to complete and optimize them appropriately, do you want to know how LinkedIn scores you ?Do you know that #LinkedIn rates the effectiveness of your profile? Find out your score.
What is the LinkedIn SSI and why should you measure it?
The LinkedIn SSI refers to the term in English S ocial Selling Index and it is a formula that measures the effectiveness with which you carry out Social Selling practices in the social network.
But, be careful, we should not associate this indicator only with how we sell a product or service as such. With the Social Selling Index we can measure the progress by which we establish our professional brand within LinkedIn, how we work our personal branding , how we “sell” ourselves.
The SSI, introduced in 2014, gives your profile a score between 1 and 100 and rates it based on a series of criteria. These criteria determine if the way in which you are promoting yourself within the social network is being really effective.
Do you want to know the rating of your LinkedIn profile?
What is it based on and how to improve LinkedIn’s SSI?
The SSI is updated daily and is based on 4 fundamental pillars :
- If you have a complete and up-to-date profile and share valuable, relevant and weighty content.
- If you find and connect with relevant people through the search tools that LinkedIn offers you.
- If you interact and generate conversations with interesting content
- If you establish relationships and strengthen connections with your contacts.
How to improve LinkedIn SSI in 6 steps
1. Keep your profile updated and make sure it is complete
2. Increase and strengthen your presence on LinkedIn by posting more frequently (minimum 3 times a week)
3. Do not share any content make sure that it is content focused on the interests of your target audience and that it is relevant to your work sector
4. Search for new connections daily using LinkedIn’s advanced search tools (#)
5. Participate in groups related to your work sector and share in them too
6. Interact! The true value of LinkedIn lies in the connections.
15 extra tips for your LinkedIn strategy
After this audit of your profile and once you have completed and optimized each of the most important sections of it, I share other 15 key tips for you to apply both in your profile and in your strategy and improve it:
15 tips to improve your LinkedIn strategy
- Be consistent and keep your account active . Post at least 3 times a week.
- Interact in your own publications and, above all, in those of your community.
- Keep your profile updated and optimized with your selection of keywords.
- Collect multimedia content to include in your professional experiences and complete them.
- Review the statistics of your appearances in searches weekly and optimize your actions based on the results.
- Find new users who fit your audience through the powerful internal search engine and plant new relevant connections .
- Personalize your invitations. It is your chance to not be just another contact and start building trust.
- Get recommendations from former colleagues, work, partners … and ask them to include some of your keywords.
- Don’t just share third-party content. Generate your own content , make sure it is relevant and useful, and plan its publication.
- Use hashtags in your posts (2-3 max). They will help make them more visible.
- Include video in your content strategy. As it is not the most common publication on the social network, it will attract more attention and generate greater engagement.
- Find relevant posts by searching for keywords with the content search engine and interacting with them to make yourself more visible on those topics.
- Use LinkedIn groups . Participate in them by sharing your content and interacting with other relevant content for your area of expertise.
- Do you know that you can now include audio notes in private messages? Use them to generate greater trust and closeness in your communications.
- Include the URL of your profile in your email signature and in your other social profiles, your business card … to attract more visits to it.
How to get a more than stellar profile on #LinkedIn? Take note
At this point, you just have to get down to work and apply all the recommendations in this guide and I would love for you to share your experience by doing so. If you also want to share an action that has worked for you, I will be all ears!