LinkedIn represents a huge opportunity to connect with other professionals and to demonstrate your expertise to a global audience. Attendees at CRE.Converge 2017 heard from experts who shared simple steps that anyone can take to build a stronger profile that elevates their experience on, and benefit from, the site.
With more than 500 million members – and growing at a pace of two new members per second – the social-business platform has 107 million monthly unique visitors, placing the site in the top 15 globally. The volume of business content on the site is 10 times greater than the Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal or Forbes, said Chris Carollo, Global Account Director for LinkedIn.
At the same time, particularly if you have not kept abreast of some of its user-friendly features, LinkedIn can seem an overwhelming site that does not merit much of your time or attention. In his presentation, Carollo provided some tips for users to maximize their experience on the platform.
Add a Photo
Having a photo isn’t for vanity, said Carollo, but business results. A profile with a photo averages nine times the number of connection requests, 21 times the number of profile views, and 36-fold more messages than a profile without a photo. “People want to know who they’re doing business with, who they’re engaging with, who they’re talking to, who they’re going to be meeting,” said Carollo.
Add Your Industry
Make sure it is current, and doing so helps you become more “searchable” by others in the field or in related industries.
Draft a Compelling Summary
In 40-plus words, focus on your career accomplishments and aspirations. “What would make people want to connect with you? What value do you deliver to them? What value do you bring to the marketplace?” said Carollo. “Do not think of LinkedIn as a resume. Tell a story, make it personal.”
Detail Your Work Experience
Keep it up to date. As you finish projects, update your profile with those details – lest the world perceive you haven’t done anything lately.
Add Examples of Your Work
Upload photos and videos of presentations and projects. “This is your opportunity to shine. People are going to search your name … they can see what projects you’re actively working on,” said Carollo.
Beyond the profile, he offered counsel on posting content. It can range from simple post with a few relevant comments that introduces a hyperlinked story to publishing of thought-leadership style pieces on topics that you more explore in some depth.
About 60 percent of LinkedIn traffic is mobile-based, with people consuming it “on the go,” so it’s important to make sure the information you post is valuable and relevant to your audience. Also, remember to have a call to action that can help spark dialogue with your connections, as well as prospective connections.
Publishing, through clicking on the “Write an Article” tab from your LinkedIn home page, helps further differentiate yourself from your industry peers. Just as with your posts, articles appear in the stream of activity that is visible to your network of connections. At the same time, that content remains on your personal page for viewing any time later – and can be found when non-connections search by key words and concepts.
“Make sure it’s your voice, make sure it’s who you are, make sure it’s who you represent,” concluded Carollo.
In addition to a 20-year journalism career in which his work appeared in numerous publications, including the Chicago Tribune, USA Today and Time, Matt Baron in 2005 launched Inside Edge: PR + Media. For over a decade, Matt wrote extensively for the Chicago chapters of the Urban Land Institute and NAIOP.