How to Create a LinkedIn Profile (and Get Free Traffic)
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With more than 200 million users (wow!), LinkedIn is the largest professional social network and an essential part of any person or business’s marketing plan. Even before you complete a LinkedIn page for your business, a personal LinkedIn page is a must!
LinkedIn is an essential marketing tool. The list of benefits goes on and on- it connects you to colleagues and connections, new clients, professional opportunities and partnerships, career management, business discussions, groups and gatherings, and much more. These reasons and more demonstrate the importance of creating and maintaining a quality LinkedIn profile of your own.
A LinkedIn profile offers many marketing values for you; while at the same time contributes in growing your business. As a targeted marketing strategy, maintaining a LinkedIn presence will help your reach increase across LinkedIn and the web, increase your links in the search results, and generate more leads and sales.
Your personal LinkedIn page should tell the story of you in a professional manner.
We’ve outlined some basic best practices for how to leverage LinkedIn and establish a strong online presence for yourself. A filled-in profile will provide more value and increases your chances of appearing in a search, so hopefully these tips will help you to fill in your profile as much as you can.
Click here to sign up for a LinkedIn account or to log into your current account and make updates.
When you join LinkedIn for the first time, you are asked right away to “See who you already know on LinkedIn.” This step is an easy strategy to add connections immediately to your profile.
Other valuable Profile features you don’t want to miss out on are listed below:
- Upload a high-quality Photo of yourself. Don’t skip this step! The photo is important because it attracts people into viewing your profile, encourages a more visual user experience, and shows creditability.
- Write that Headline carefully! Considered as one of the most significant components of your profile, display a catchy, eye-catching headline. Located at the top of the page, the headline is a magnet to get people to stick to your profile and wanting to read more. In addition, be sure to include keywords that relate to your profession so you can be found with them.
- In the Experience section, enter your current job position and detailed description. Include keywords related to your career goals and industry, and describe your work history by adding at least two previous jobs, if not more. If your previous work does not relate to your current business goals, just add a quick summary.
- Add your Education background, which also increases your connections and networking opportunities. Include any concentrations, projects, courses, teams, awards, or specific details that helps you stand out.
- Fill in the Summary. The summary should be a concise and well-written description that helps others understand your goals and experience. Show what sets you apart. Generate interest about you!
- Carefully fill in the Skills and Expertise section by selecting keywords to describe what you do best. This area needs to be filled in order for you to get endorsed by your connections. More on Endorsements below.
- Be sure to add any Groups that you are associated with. You can also find Groups to join as well.
- Edit your LinkedIn custom URL to create a search engine friendly URL. Select “Edit” directly to the right of your current LinkedIn URL and then choose “Customize your public profile URL.” We’d suggest using your first and last name.
- Fill in your contact information. This section advices people how they can contact you, so include details you feel comfortable with – email, Twitter, Facebook, phone, etc.
- Start connecting with people after your profile is filled in. You can see whom you already know by clicking “Add Connections” at the top right side of your screen. You’ll be surprised how many colleagues, classmates, and relationships you may recognize once you start discovering and touring the site and adding connections.
- This setting is key to complete: Ensure your profile is visible to everyone by clicking “Settings” on the top toolbar, “Edit your public profile” when you scroll to the bottom of page, and finally choose “Make my public profile visible to everyone.” View below screenshot for example. This setting allows people to contact you who are not in your current connections list. When you get an invitation to connect, we’d recommend accepting the offer and expanding your network. You may discover a connection you didn’t know previously, which is another great feature of LinkedIn.
- Post status updates on a consistent basis. Share your brand! You can post any content here, such as a quick industry blurb, what you’re thinking about today, book recommendation, creative content piece, just be sure to keep it professional and related to your profession. When you update your business page, it’s easy to also update your personal LinkedIn page at the same time.
- Find and join Groups related to your career, industry, location, or alma mater. The Groups are listed in your profile and are great resources for communicating and networking.
- The recommendations area showcases positive feedback about you. Ask current and former colleagues to post a recommendation and offer to provide a recommendation back as well.
- Endorsements also encourage other colleagues and connections to recognize your skills. As mentioned above, Endorsements are created from your Skills and Expertise section.
LinkedIn’s Features are Limitless
The process of creating a LinkedIn profile will probably be the longest amount of time you will spend on the site. Status or profile updates should take you no more than a few minutes a day. In addition, LinkedIn offers a variety of other tools to get engaged in (the majority are free), and we encourage you to use your LinkedIn profile to its maximum. Stay tuned for upcoming “how to” blog posts for more strategies on how to utilize LinkedIn to its fullest potential (Ex. Create a LinkedIn page for your business, an essential tactics for all SMBs).
UpCity members, follow the pathway to complete this task in your UpCity account: Optimize Your Presence > Expand Your Presence > Top Web Directories.
UpCity is your guide to get your through the clutter! UpCity members receive an in-depth, personalized action plan to help optimize their website and our team is here to help you along the way. To learn more about LinkedIn and other tasks that you’d find in your customized curriculum, sign up for an UpCity membership today.