Spending time on crafting your entry on LinkedIn will help boost your profile and will make it easier for others to find you when they are searching for freelancers. Here are a few tips that you might find useful:
1. Your photograph: make sure your photo looks businesslike and professional. This isn’t Facebook where you are hanging out with your mates. And if you haven’t quite got round to uploading a photo of yourself – make sure you do so TODAY!
2. Job title: does your current description say something like ‘Freelance writer’? Turn this into a client benefit rather than a straight description of what you do. For example, mine says: ‘Freelance copywriter who helps businesses raise the profile of their marketing communications‘. Think what people might be typing in to find freelancers like you. What kinds of key words might they use?
3. Website links: Use these as a marketing opportunity by including benefit statements, or key words, or descriptors. So, instead of ‘My website’, I have ‘Marketing Copywriter‘. Instead of ‘My blog’, I have ‘My blog about freelancing‘. And make sure you use your third link, even if you don’t have a third site to point people to. I now have a Facebook business page as my third link but, before I launched that, I pointed people to the testimonial page of my website. The link said: ‘Read what others say about me‘.
4. Testimonials: make sure you have some! And ask for several.
5. Your summary: don’t simply cut and paste factual stuff from your CV into your summary – make sure you really sell yourself. You have 2,000 characters to tell a compelling story about yourself. And don’t forget to include key words to increase the chances of people finding you when they do a search.
6. Status box: update this on a regular basis. I keep my contacts updated with the latest project I’m working on. This means I always show up in the digest of activity. You can also automatically tweet your status to your Twitter followers.
7. Applications: make use of the free applications to boost your profile. LinkedIn has lots, from Slide Share to Google Presentation to Portfolio Display. For instance, I upload pdfs using Box.net Files to show examples of my writing, so people can see my work without having to go to my website.
8. Link your blog to your profile. This is another useful application I use. The title and first few lines of your blog post show up – and the title is a link that takes you straight to your blog. Try out some of the other applications and see how they might be able to enhance your profile.
9. Join lots of groups. You can belong to 50 groups on Linkedin. The more groups you join, the more people you can link to (without having to upgrade to the paid-for service). And the more active your are on your group discussions, the more you’ll raise your profile among your target audience. Or why not start your own group?
10. Promote your profile. Cut and paste the code for a LinkedIn button and use it on your blog, website, Facebook page etc etc. The information LinkedIn provides on how to do this is as follows:
- Click on “Edit Profile” from the “Profile” dropdown menu found in the top navigation bar of the home page.
- Click “Edit Public Profile Settings” in the upper right-hand corner of the Profile page.
- Click on the “customized buttons” link found in the Public Profile box.
- Choose a logo button and copy the HTML code provided next to it. This code will include a link to your Public Profile.
- Paste the code on to your blog, message board or website.
You can also create an email signature that contains a link to your LinkedIn profile. Here’s the link to find out how to do a LinkedIn email signature.
What tips have you found work well in boosting your profile on LinkedIn?