Most professionals know that being on LinkedIn, the professional social networking site, can benefit you in regards to connecting with other professionals, demonstrating your value to people who may want to hire you, and in searching for the "what's next" in your career.
But a lot of people use this great tool in a way that doesn't benefit them at all!
By doing a few simple things, you can make sure that you stand out in a positive way.
1. Treat LI as a living, breathing asset. This applies to EVERYTHING you do on social media or your website. It is so common to see people "set it and forget it," and then wonder why nothing is really happening for them. If you are going to do this, do it!
Make a point of updating your profile any time there is something to update. If you don't, you are already behind and out of date. That's not going to help you when it comes to networking, a job search, or showing people why they should hire you.
2. Show-up! This goes along with number one above; if you are not going to participate, don't waste your time setting it up in the first place. When you see an article or another person's post that resonates with you, share it. When you have an opinion, want to add to the conversation, or simply support something someone posted, comment on it.
Showing-up doesn't have to take a ton of time; but if you want to be in the game, you need to get in the game.
3. Have a picture! I am still amazed, in 2021, that there are people on LinkedIn who do not have a profile picture. Rule number one of business...if I cannot see you, I already do not trust you or believe you have any credibility.
4. Do not overthink your picture. Here is one piece of advice that will make you stand out in a good way...please stop with the "professional" (read: high school graduation) pictures. More than ever before, people are looking for real people. If your first impression is one that looks fake, you have already done yourself a disservice. Unless it is genuinely who you are, stop getting super made-up and doctoring pictures so that you "look good." Own you!
People want to do business with people who are genuine, not people who are not confident enough to show you who they really are (which is always enough!!!). Do not read this as 'post any old casual picture of yourself you can find." Don't be ridiculous, that is not at all what this means. What it means is, if this person actually met you, are they going to see the same person as is in the picture. If not, choose a different picture to represent you! After all, you can't carry a lighting crew and Photoshop expert with you everywhere...nor do you need to.
5. Provide consistent value. Again, it does not take a lot of time and effort to add value. Whether you are creating quality content (articles, pictures, quotes, recommendations, etc.) or you are sharing quality content (articles, pictures, quotes, recommendations, etc.), every time someone sees your name, you have an opportunity to have them equate you with quality and value.
You are not on LI just to 'hang out,' you are there to make an impact. When you do, people follow you. When you do, people ask for your advice. When you do, people reach out to you to participate in bigger things. When you do, people hire you. If you are on LinkedIn for reasons other than those, I guarantee that you are missing opportunities to be seen as an authority, a go-to, or thought leader in your field.
6. Optimize your summary. Many people just tell people what they do. Those who tell people WHY they do what they do, and how that can help them (the reader) tend to stand out in a positive way. Use your profile summary to answer the question, "Why do you care?"
For example, being a financial advisor does not set you apart from the thousands of other financial advisors that also came up in the search. However, being a financial advisor who "helps families make better choices by asking them three simple questions," instantly makes you seem "easier" to work with, especially to people who have been putting it off because they don't know a lot about financial planning.
Remember, when you can help potential clients or employers find what THEY are looking for, you are more apt to have people reach out to you.
7. Make sure people know how to contact you. There is an area in your profile where you can add an email, website, and phone number. Do that! If someone can only reach you through LI, they may not be as willing to contact you. Before someone is ever going to reach out to you, they are going to vet you.
Again, this is 2021. Nobody is going to call or email you until they have checked you out a bit. Make it easy for them to do that. If they have to Google you to learn more, and do the leg work themselves, they are more likely to move on to someone else who makes it easier for them to get more information about them and their business.
Also, make sure that the link to your LinkedIn profile is in the signature of your business emails. Always make sure any email contact can jump into your professional life with the click of a button!
These are seven small, but mighty things that can help you to instantly stand out on LinkedIn in a positive way. While it doesn't take much to be in the game, if you're sitting on the bench, nobody will know what you are capable of doing.
Image by chan mina from Pixabay.
Originally published on LinkedIn.