LinkedIn has over 400 million users worldwide. With just a click of a button you have the opportunity to connect with each and everyone one of these 400 million users. LinkedIn is far more than a networking tool; it is a platform that not only lets you engage with others, but also an amazing learning and development tool.
Many professionals see LinkedIn as a setup and forget platform – but the LinkedIn power users not only setup their profiles in ways which the average person doesn’t, but they also use all of the platform’s available tools.
Here are some of my LinkedIn Do’s and Don’ts when it comes to your profile.
Make sure that you have a recent and appropriate profile photo. That doesn’t mean a photo of you sunbathing on your last holiday… your profile photo is one of the only visual representations that you will have on your profile, and it tends to be the first thing people will look at
- Have your photo professionally taken.
- A headshot is all that you need.
- Smile – you’re not the Grinch.
Set your Public URL
Your public profile URL is the link people will click to view your profile. By default, LinkedIn will provide you with a temporary ID which will look like a jumble of letters and numbers.
To edit your public profile URL take these simple steps:
- Login to your LinkedIn account and click ‘Edit Your Profile’
- Under your profile picture you will see your current URL.
- Click on the small cog next to your URL labeled ‘Customize Your Settings’
- On the top right hand side of your screen you will see a small pencil next to your URL
- Click on the pencil, make your URL changes and be sure to save!
When selecting a public profile URL, we recommend using something that will generate search results; your name, the company you work for or your title. This will give Google the best opportunity of placing your LinkedIn profile in their search results.
Update Your Profile
There is nothing more annoying that connecting with Joe Doe just to realise that he is no longer working for company XYZ, and hasn’t been for 3 years.
Having an up to date LinkedIn profile will not only promote your current employer, but will show that you care about what you do. It will also connect you with like-minded people who will be able to assist your current role.
Engage With Your Community
LinkedIn gives you the opportunity to engage within your industry, whether it be joining groups, writing blogs or following LinkedIn Influencers.
At FC Business Solutions we choose to write short blogs (200-300 words) about relevant topics within the franchising industry. We find that being short and sharp let’s our audience engage better with the content.
Blogs are not for hard selling your product or services. Yes, you may have an incredible offer but blogs are not the correct medium to advertise them. Instead try to include thought provoking statements that will generate discussion within the readership.
Golden rule number 1 – don’t lie.
The Grandma Rule
This rule isn’t just for LinkedIn, but for social media in general. If you wouldn’t say it or show it to Grandma, don’t post it, that includes no inappropriate photos or comments.
Don’t Spam People
If there is one thing that everybody hates – it’s spam.
- Don’t connect with random people you have no connections with it’s about quality not quantity.
- Don’t send messages selling your product or services. If you’re good, they will come.
A LinkedIn profile is a must for any professional but it’s so much more than just setting and forgetting. LinkedIn should be a tool that is used on a regular basis to grow your network and engage with your industry.
Want to see how it looks when put into action? Check out the LinkedIn profiles of the FC Business Solutions staff or follow our company page: