What makes a good LinkedIn profile (checklist included)

LinkedIn has been the main marketing platform for my business for over 3 years already. My team has helped more than 300 businesses and individuals to either create a good LinkedIn profile or establish/execute a LinkedIn marketing strategy. I believe I’ve gathered a lot of insights, and it’s time to share them.

With this text, I want to start a series of small articles related to LinkedIn marketing. They should be of value to marketing professionals within the B2B market, as well as to business owners looking for higher exposure for their brands.

 

Let’s start with some motivation.

 

What if I tell you that more than 80% of social media leads in the B2B market are generated through LinkedIn?

b2b-leads-generated-from-social-media

This significant number alone should be enough reason for you to consider working with this platform. However, if you need some more reasons, here they are:

  • Increase your brand’s online presence
  • Stay up to date on news from your connections
  • Engage your clients, prospects, and partners with content
  • Show off your expertise, skills, and knowledge
  • Reach your target audience
  • Increase SEO

I hope I’ve convinced you to think seriously about using LinkedIn. Now, let’s get to the main purpose of this article – sharing some ideas on how you can make an All-Star profile.

good LinkedIn profile

Usually, I scan a profile from top to bottom and try to find sections that could be improved. Here are some parts to pay attention to:

 

  1. Profile link.

 

You can shorten this and remove unnecessary symbols at the end of your name.

 

      2. Banner.

 

Most users have the default one, so it is a good idea to put a custom image there. The simplest thing would be to use your company’s branding with a CTA or a short description of your main product/service. Also, I like it to match the color with the background of your profile image.

 

      3. Profile image (avatar).

 

This is a very important part along with the headline. When people find you in the search – the image and the headline (along with your name) will be the top two things they will see when deciding whether they want to learn more about you (by viewing your full profile or adding you right away).

Some tips regarding a good profile picture:

  • Make sure your face takes up at least 60% of the frame
  • Choose the right expression (adjust it to your current position and industry and don’t be too serious)
  • Wear what you’d wear to work, try to avoid vacation shots
  • Make sure you are the only one in the photo

       

      4. Headline.

 

I believe this is one of the most important parts of your profile (for the reason mentioned above). The site automatically makes your headline your current job title and employer. And that’s what most people stick with. And that’s why it’s boring and unattractive when it should be eye-catching. No matter what your LinkedIn goals are (networking, getting hired, establishing credibility or expertise, recruiting), standing out is a good thing.

Here are some tips on creating a good headline:

  • Add your value proposition. Make it clear how viewers can benefit from connecting with you
  • Use keywords others might use when needing your services (just don’t overdo it here, you don’t want a list of hashtags in your headline)
  • You have 120 characters to use, but keep it short and simple
  • I suggest avoiding using bold symbols and emojis. They certainly make your headline pop out, but not always in a good way.
  • Use your prospect’s language
  • Don’t brag. No, really, don’t brag.

   

     5. Summary.

 

Third in my importance ranking after the profile photo and headline. This is a quite large area for showcasing your writing skills. You have 2,500 characters to use, and this part is SEO sensitive, which means you want to use as many characters as possible.

There are different styles of writing a summary, and you should choose one that resonates with your current goals on LinkedIn. Your LinkedIn Summary is the place where you tell your story. Don’t confuse it with the Experience section. The first few lines are absolutely critical (first 300 characters). They’re the only thing viewers see when they first look at your profile. This means the words need to be so magnetic and enticing that they make the reader click on “show more” to get the whole story.

Some tips on writing a good summary:

  • Consider your audience and appeal to them. You can’t satisfy everyone, and it’s not a good idea to have multiple goals with one summary. Choose one audience and one goal and go for it.
  • Include keywords and make sure that they are applied truthfully.
  • Tell a story, be authentic, and talk about your talents.
  • It’s a good idea to share some metrics here.
  • Business owner? It’s a good place to tell the story of your business, your motivation, and your goals.
  • You can attach your sales decks, presentations, or links to websites (make sure you have a nice preloader) to the summary.
  1. Experience.

Just fill it out. Try to show only relevant experience, especially when you have a lot to show. Make sure you link your position to the LinkedIn company page (the logo should appear on the left of the experience section).

It would be a good idea to fill in a description of each position. You can write about your:

  • achievements
  • responsibilities
  • challenges
  • or simply put a company description here if you are lazy (or if you are a business owner)
  1. Education. Make sure to have at least one mentioned. LinkedIn wants you to complete the profile and awards you with an “All-Star” profile only when all of the most important sections are completed (headline, summary, experience, education, skills, profile photo).
  2. Skills. Use keywords you want to be associated with. Try avoiding essentials skills like Microsoft Word, or Computer Literacy. You can use a maximum of 50 skills, but it is better to have 10-20 relevant ones than 50 random ones. Also, pay attention to the endorsements of your skills. An easy way to earn some is simply by endorsing other people and hoping they will endorse you back ;).

LinkedIn add skills

  1. Recommendations. This is a very important section that makes your profile more credible. Make sure to ping your contacts (clients, colleagues, friends) and ask them to exchange a recommendation with you. Sometimes, especially when contacting very lazy people, it is a good idea to have a draft recommendation ready, so they don’t feel like they need to waste a lot of time completing this task.
  2. Other. There are many optional sections on your LinkedIn profile you can fill out, and if you have something to put there, I strongly recommend you do so. These include:
  • volunteering experience
  • completed courses
  • certifications
  • publications
  • projects
  • awards
  • organizations
  • languages

linkedin all star profile

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