4 Tips for Turning Your LinkedIn Profile Into a Powerful Marketing Tool

May 21, 2016

Editor's Note: This post was contributed by Digital Marketing Strategist, Stephanie Sammons.

How long has it been since you’ve updated your LinkedIn profile? Do you view your LinkedIn profile as a static online ‘bio’ or as a powerful personal marketing tool?

Many professionals are still viewing their LinkedIn profile as a glorified bio or resume. They don’t see that their LinkedIn profile is synonymous with their modern professional identity.

Your modern professional identity is now defined by LinkedIn.

Chances are that your LinkedIn profile is one of the first points of discovery and research by a potential client or customer. What kind of first impression is your LinkedIn profile making?

LinkedIn is one of the best business platforms that has ever existed for establishing yourself as an expert, growing your influence, strengthening relationships, and attracting new clients and customers.

If you are not viewing your LinkedIn profile as the core piece of your professional identity and a powerful marketing tool, you are missing a major opportunity to achieve your business goals.

Below I share 4 Tips for turning your LinkedIn profile into a powerful marketing tool.

Tip #1:-) Complete Your LinkedIn Profile

There are an estimated 50% of LinkedIn profiles that are incomplete. Yet those who have complete LinkedIn profiles are 40 times more likely to receive relevant opportunities.

When you complete your LinkedIn profile, not only does it become more visible and powerful as a marketing tool, it puts you in the top half of all LinkedIn users!

Here’s what you need in order to have a complete LinkedIn profile:

  • Profile photo, location, industry
  • Educational background
  • Your current work position and description
  • Two past positions (if you don’t have two, break down your current role into two related roles)
  • Your skills
  • A minimum 50 connections

Did you know there are 5 Ways Marketers Can Take Advantage of their LinkedIn Background Photo?

As you can see, this is a short list that is very achievable. But don’t stop with these profile sections. Add publications, projects, organizations you belong to, volunteering experience, certifications, courses you’ve taken, and even your personal interests.

There is no other social network profile in existence where you can input as much information about yourself than LinkedIn. You can share your story, expertise, experience, and thought leadership in multiple content formats!

The smarter you make LinkedIn about you by the information you supply, the more relevant people and opportunities your LinkedIn profile will attract.

Tip #2:-) Personalize your LinkedIn profile

Too many LinkedIn users have what I call ‘buttoned-up’ profiles. Their profiles look and sound like a resume or bio, and they are written in the 3rd person.

If you want your profile to stand out, you need to differentiate yourself with greater personalization.

When you personalize your LinkedIn profile, you have a much better chance to make a human connection with your viewers.

Here are 3 ways to personalize your LinkedIn profile:

1) Infuse your personality

Sprinkle in more information throughout your profile about who you are as a person. Use more personable language to illustrate your unique style. Consider adding a video or audio clip of you speaking to the profile sections that allow rich media. Don’t be afraid share your personal interests as well.

2) Share your passion for what you do

Talk about why you do the work that you do in your LinkedIn profile. This may involve sharing relevant pieces of your personal story. Showing enthusiasm for your work is one of the most powerful tools for closing business.

3) Share your perspective

We like, follow, and trust influencers because of how they think. If you aren’t sharing the way that you think in your LinkedIn profile, how will anyone ever know? You want your ideal clients and customers to resonate with your message. Influence begins with sharing what you believe and why.

Another important point to think about as you personalize your profile is to be as precise as possible when it comes to describing who you help.

Think about who it is that you want to attract today. Tilt your LinkedIn profile toward that ideal client or customer you are looking for by speaking their language!

Tip #3:-) Activate Your LinkedIn Profile

Completing and personalizing your LinkedIn profile can go a long way toward increasing your marketing power, but activating your profile is what ultimately will grow your reach and influence.

There are billions of LinkedIn profile views every year and growing. Profile views on LinkedIn from the right people lead to good things such as new connections, conversations, inquiries, and opportunities.

When you activate your LinkedIn profile, you won’t need to overtly market yourself.

Here are few ways to activate your LinkedIn profile:

  • Proactively send connection invitations
  • Post valuable and relevant status updates to the news feed
  • Like, comment, and share the updates of your connections and companies you follow
  • Participate in group discussions
  • Send 1-to-1 messages or InMails to build rapport and cultivate relationships
  • Go mobile! Use LinkedIn’s newly revamped mobile app to stay active on the go

Keep in mind that your LinkedIn profile picture and headline will follow you across the network. Make sure your picture is professional (I recommend smiling and looking straight ahead) and make sure your headline is informative!

By activating your LinkedIn profile for a few minutes each day or week, you will stand out and stay top of mind with your network. Don’t sit on the LinkedIn sidelines and lurk! Get in the game.

Tip #4:-) Publish Your Thought Leadership Insights

Thought leaders are leaders who share their thinking publicly and build a following around their ideas.

One of the most powerful ways to market yourself and grow your influence today is through publishing thought leadership content.

The LinkedIn Publishing Platform gives you the perfect opportunity to position yourself as a thought leader in your industry or niche right inside of LinkedIn.

This free, built-in blogging platform is also directly tied to your LinkedIn profile. The three most recent posts that you publish on LinkedIn will show up toward the top of your profile very prominently (including your featured post image).

Building a library of your thought leadership insights on LinkedIn can ultimately increase the value of your LinkedIn profile.

Your thought leadership posts can also be discovered by the members of your network, in LinkedIn searches, and through outside search engines on an ongoing basis.

Don’t be afraid to get personal with your thought leadership posts. Share stories and examples from your own experiences. Also, zero in on the top issues, concerns, problems and goals that your clients and customers have. 

Your thought leadership content on LinkedIn gives you something to showcase and share without ever having to promote your products and services. These educational posts can do the marketing for you!

If you invest the time in these four LinkedIn profile tips, your profile will evolve into a dynamic digital asset that grows your influence and attracts your ideal clients and customers while you sleep.

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