Your LinkedIn profile is not your CV (pt.3)

12 February 2021
Here we are at the last stage of our journey to discover the secrets of how to best take care of your presence on LinkedIn! So, how is it going?

Resource created by Anna Giannalia – Digital & Content Strategist

Create your own landing page

When I receive a friend request, the first thing I do is visit the user's profile. To see what he/she does, if we have points in common, if we work in the same industry. Often, however, I am disappointed. The profile may be interesting, the company or the position are similar to my interests. But the headline is irrelevant, or the summary is empty. Not a word about themselves, their work, what they are passionate about. Huge mistake.

The headline and the summary are often not valued or given the importance they deserves.

Some people think it's unnecessary because it's all written in work experience and education anyway. But, I keep saying it, LinkedIn is not your online CV! Your profile is your introduction to the online world, it's the tool to make yourself known, to show who you are. And, following this logic, the headline and the summary become your Landing Page!

The headline is always with you

When you comment on something, when you publish a post, you're communicating to the world who you are, what you do. And not only because every post you share tells a little bit about you, but because the headline is always listed under your name. This should therefore give users a "taste" of what you do.

But above all they are keywords: they allow LinkedIn to refer to your profile! Obviously there is no standard, no specific rules to create it. For example, I use it to communicate what I do and to be found through these keywords, but there are those who prefer to insert a slogan or a catchy phrase. Personally I think that inserting keywords is more useful, also for a matter of SEO as well as for the image conveyed. For slogans there is always room in the summary.

Taking care of the summary is fundamental

This is where the creation of your custom Landing Page begins. The summary should draw users to your profile, the summary should make clear who you are and why you can be useful to people.

Rememberyou've already said what you do in your work experience, you've already listed your skills, I can find out what you specialize in through training. Now you need to tell me about yourself. Thanks to the summary, you can explain what drove you to become who you are, to say what you want to become. Again, there are no rules here, be creative and voice your thoughts in the best way possible.

You don't need to write very long or self-congratulatory summaries, what you need is a text that can make the reader understand something about you, to convey confidence. While writing, focus on conveying a clear image, useful, it's okay to be confident. But be careful not to exaggerate. No one likes those who boast too much, let alone if they are the persons to turn to for help.

You have to lead the user to seek you out and want to connect with you. Everything you post, everything you recommend, everything you write about yourself must lead to you reaching out. If you are a consultant you have to bring users to write to you for advice, if you are a commercial you have to push them to buy your product, if you are looking for a job you have to receive an offer. Set your goal and work towards it.

Posts must attract users. The headline must convince them to open the profile. The summary must lead them to write to you.

Set goals for your startup and act on them. Maybe at the moment you need backers but also customers: establish how and who to reach, but above all divide the tasks. You can devote yourself to create a solid base for the search of investors, so you can use the headline to make clear that you are the founder of an innovative startup and the summary to make clear what the project is based on and what it aims at. Also act through publications, show the goals you have achieved and inform your network of the short and long term goals. 

Your partner in the meantime can take care of prospecting for new clients. Structure the summary to showcase the strengths of your product and service and then publish testimonials from your most satisfied customers. 

And why not give employees a task as well? A satisfied employee is the best business card. If they speak enthusiastically about your work others will want to work with you, and contribute to that famous target. 

It's all about careful analysis of needs and goals to be achieved. 

Even on LinkedIn you have to pay attention to SEO

When I don't spend the right amount of time on LinkedIn during the week, I immediately pay the consequences. It's not a matter of loss of followers, as with Instagram, or loss of likes, as with Facebook, but loss of visibility. Each profile in fact enjoys a certain visibility within the social that depends on several factors, and one of them is certainly the activities carried out. 

One of the fundamental factors, however, depends on SEO. As we said about the headline, in fact, this helps the social to position your profile in search results, based on the keywords you use. Positioning allows users to find the people most in line with their search. In fact, thanks to the keywords entered in the profile, it is possible to trace a profile through keyword research.

It is important to monitor appearances in searches

Thanks to this feature every week you can find out how much your LinkedIn profile is in line with your target. In fact, search results show us how many people were referred to your name, which company they are part of, the role and the keywords used to find you.Monitoring the results is very important, because if in the list you don't find the keywords you want to position yourself on then there is something wrong with the way you have structured the profile. 

I'll never forget the time when I found "cleaning" among the keywords used to find me, or even "wellness centers".

I could never figure out where the problem was, but by working on my profile I was able to improve my results.

How to improve your appearance in searches?

By working on the text on the profile: headline, summary, activities performed, skills. Each of these elements must be taken care of in order to return the right results to the algorithm. Creating the right headline and inserting a summary that can attract users is very important. As I told you, in fact, just describe your work by inserting keywords in the texts to position yourself well.

The same must be done in the description of the activities carried out for each work experience. In fact, this space too, by containing text, can help you improve your SEO ranking. Write down what are the main activities you do or have done. You can do this through text or, as I did, with a bulleted list of tasks. Make sure you include the right keywords though, no matter how you decide to describe them!

To do this you must first choose the right words to rank on. For example, the words I use frequently are Marketing, Social Network and Blog: in this way I am sure that these words, which are in line with my profession, can help LinkedIn to show me in the search results. Doing a weekly analysis is very important. In fact, every week the number of results and keywords change. This is because the social network tends to penalize you if you don't use LinkedIn very much or if you use it badly.

This is exactly why keeping an active profile helps to improve your results.

  1. Create a summary that is meaningful and attracts users to your profile
  2. Include the right keywords in you summary
  3. Describe your work activities
  4. Keep your profile active by publishing posts related to your keywords

This will not only improve your stats, but also make better use of LinkedIn.

Quantity or quality: which one matters more?

A few days ago I got a contact request from a user that got me thinking. The request sounded pretty much like this:

The thing that stuck with me was that "over 6k". Why specify that you have more than 6k contacts? Since when is quantity more important than quality?

LinkedIn is a social, and as such it is built on relationships. But a very important thing is also the ability to better manage these connections. Having a properly cultivated network is very important. The people in our network are the ones who will drive you to read one type of post over another, who will introduce you to important events you didn't know about or the latest industry news. And above all for this, for the benefits you can get from a high number of users, don't fall into the trap, don't think that quantity is more important than quality.

Numbers matter little compared to quality. 

When I started using LinkedIn the first thing I thought about was increasing connections: I started sending requests to all my friends, colleagues, schoolmates. Then I switched to random people who worked in the relevant industry of the company I worked for. Then I started adding random people found through LinkedIn suggestions. 

At that point I ended up with 200 contacts (I know, you thought it would have been more) and a newsfeed full of things I wasn't interested in.My old school friends didn't do the same job as me, friends didn't have the same passions as me, and industry colleagues were creating posts advertising their services. Basically, I wasn't going to get anything out of that network, so I started cleaning it up.

Away with those who aren't in target, welcome industry professionals! 

I've said it often, LinkedIn needs to be your landing page. And to be so you have to take care of your contacts, have the right people in the network: users who can buy your product, use your services, find your articles interesting. You can't have a network made mainly by CEOs if you turn to workers, you can't think of selling your product for marketing having in the network only accounting staff, sell social consulting services to the technical assistant. 

You have to know who to target.

The concept of buyer persona is usually only considered in relation to products and services offered by companies. But think about it, when you write a post, aren't you doing it with a specific category of people in mind, aren't you addressing a specific group, aren't you using the typical concepts of an industry? That's it, every time you do something like that you're addressing your buyer persona.

At this point you have to make a choice: have a varied network and explain your industry to those who don't understand much about it, or have a specific network and deal with particular topics, thus collecting advice and opinions. In my opinion it depends on what is your purpose.

Do you want to educate or advise? 

A friend once told me that he wanted to create a blog about technology. His goal was to make sure that everyone, from college kids to retired grandparents, could understand and appreciate it. What did he do then? He created his editorial plan, surrounded himself with potential readers, created the first content clearly stating what purpose he wanted to achieve. And I have to say, he's really succeeding. 

I did the same thing. I decided that I wanted to talk about LinkedIn. Not only to those who already know about it, but especially to those who still know little about it. I created the editorial plan, a content plan for social, I analyzed my social networks to see if they were in line with my needs and suitable for my purposes. 

If I wanted to talk about training I would have surrounded myself with connections from the HR industry, if the purpose was to sell marketing software I would have surrounded myself with Marketing Managers, if I was writing about finance I would have asked for connections to financial advisors and bankers. 

  • Identifying the purpose serves to define the target audience.
  • Defining the target audience is important to get the message across.
  • Getting the message across means talking to the right people.
  • Talking to the right people gets you to the purpose. 

So here's where Anita Rossi over 6k helped me express a concept I've been wanting to express for some time: it doesn't matter how many contacts you have, it matters that they are in line with your purpose. Are yours in line?

Conclusions

Take some time and analyze your network. I'm not telling you to open your contacts' profiles one by one, I know you would never do that. Look at your newsfeed and ask yourself if what you find reflects your interests, check if the people you've asked to connect are in line with your goal, make sure you're posting the right things.

LinkedIn is a social that can help you tremendously in achieving your goal, but you have to use it in the right way.

And now let me give you some advice:

  1. establish your goal
  2. identify your target audience and make sure your links are in line with this;
  3. define the keywords on which to position yourself;
  4. create a publication schedule (not in dates but in topics) and try to stick to it as much as possible;
  5. define your tone of voice;
  6. take care of your profile according to your target audience in order to be attractive for it;
  7. check your results regularly;
  8. have fun!

The last point may seem corny, but I assure you it's not. LinkedIn has to help you reach your business goal, but it should not become a constraint or a mere duty. Like any social network, it should inspire, engage and retain you.

Make LinkedIn your landing page and reach your goal. And never forget: LinkedIn is not your CV!

Author

Anna Giannalia
Digital & Content Strategist

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