Top tips for optimising your LinkedIn profile 

Your LinkedIn page is often the first port of call for your prospects, so it needs to show you in the best light possible. The good news is that while most people know what looks good on Instagram, few have decent LinkedIn pages, so it won’t take much to stand out from the crowd.

And that’s what LinkedIn is all about – being bold enough to stand out.

You might shudder at the notion, but if you want to be influential on LinkedIn, your profile needs to act as your dedicated sales page, rather than a glorified CV. It should take your prospects on a short journey from curiosity to booking a call with you, rather than being put off by your out of focus profile picture.

Whip your pictures into shape:

People absolutely judge every book by its cover, and on LinkedIn, that means your photos.

It’s amazing how many people upload LinkedIn profile pictures which look more at home in a family photo album than a business networking platform. 

You want to scream professionalism, so ensure your profile pic is high resolution, with minimal background distractions. 

The exact vibe of your profile photo will depend on your personality and the industry you’re in, but make sure you get the basics right – your face needs to be squarely in frame, dress smartly, and try to smile.

Incorporate new additions

LinkedIn recently launched ‘Cover Story’, which allows you to record and upload a short video pitching your services. It is available to watch when a user hovers over your profile picture, and automatically plays when someone visits your profile.

This is gold dust, because it allows you to pitch to prospects without even messaging them.

Adding a short introductory video further builds profile credibility and enhances your personal brand. It makes it look like you’ve put a lot of effort into your profile…because you have.

Make the most of your banner

See that rectangular box above your profile picture? That’s called a banner, and it needs to be filled…pronto!

Don’t waste this precious space on some nondescript holiday snap of the seashore, use it to sell your brand. 

You can piece together a professional looking banner in minutes using a graphic editing tool like Canva. 

This massively lifts the aesthetic of your profile, again adding a layer of professionalism.

Your name and headline

Your headline is where you add your full name (obviously), but can also be used to tell people what you specialise in.

Okay, there’s a dedicated ‘About’ section for this, but prospects can’t see that unless they look really hard. Which no one does on a social networking site.

Instead, use your headline box to summarise your job title/speciality. After your name, place a comma and follow with a few words about what you do. 

Not only will this make it easier for people to know what you do, but it will also help boost your visibility in search rankings.

*To unlock extra space in your headline character count, use the LinkedIn mobile app rather than the web version. 

The about section is your sales pitch

Remember the ‘About’ section we talked about? Well, you need to treat it like a sales letter for your offering. 

When prospects visit your profile, they need to click on your ‘About’ and instantly have a clear idea of what you offer, how it can help them and how to contact you directly. It is best to structure this like a conventional sales letter, with a short introduction, a reference to your customer’s pain points, and how you can solve them. End with a neat call to action, with your preferred contact information included. 

Try to avoid jargon and boring stuff that might lose your reader’s attention. Keep sentences nice and short, and don’t waffle on too long.

Have a clear identity

It might be easier to blend in with the crowd, but LinkedIn rewards you for having a personality. The good news is…you have one! You just need to let your connections see it. Everyone can feel apprehensive about standing out from time to time, but on LinkedIn it’s kind of the point. 

Don’t be afraid to display a strong personality, as long as you are respectful, professional and as engaging as possible. After all, people don’t gravitate towards grey, jargon-spewing robots, they are drawn by human beings, flaws and all.

Hone your profile around what you offer

Everything on your profile should complement whatever job, skill or industry you occupy. Unless it specifically contributes to your image as a thought leader or specialist, get rid of it. Yes, that means the Saturday job at the Bakery you had back in Sixth Form. 

Above all, when you optimise your LinkedIn profile, you need to ask yourself the question – if I saw this person on LinkedIn, would I trust them with the future of my business?