For years, I got zero results on LinkedIn. Zilch. Nada. A big goose egg.
Today, I get nearly all my clients from LinkedIn. They call – or email – me. In this article, I’m going to show you three unbelievably effective ways to turn LinkedIn into an engine that can power your career to a much greater extent than it is today.
It doesn’t matter whether you are a physician, engineer, artist, consultant, sales executive, or mathematician. Okay, that’s not really true; I’m not sure these tactics will work for mathematicians. But everyone else, move closer.
1. Put something besides your job title in your headline. Your headline is those words right under your name. Most people write something like “Assistant Vice President at Megabank”. Here’s the problem: this doesn’t tell me anything. Are you an expert on credit risk or marketing? Do you work with consumers or businesses? Are you a dynamic innovator or a detail-oriented project manager?
Here are some headlines I like:
- Results Driven Energy Consultant | Helping Businesses Save Energy Dollars
- Direct Response Financial Copywriter | Growing Profits With Words
- Residential Architect | Dublin, Ohio | Custom Home Design | Remodeling Design
- Customer Experience & Innovation Strategist | Consumer electronics | Design Thinker
- Cardiologist | Angel investor | Health technology | Health and wellness writer
- Multilingual fashion marketer | Luxury watch and jewelry brands
- Chicago-based divorce attorney exclusively representing women
- Serial entrepreneur | Three successful IPOs | Health and wellness
- Ghostwriter of personal memoirs
There is no one formula for a great headline. The most important thing is that it tells someone who knows nothing about you… what you want them to know.
Remember that when someone is searching on LinkedIn, they have absolutely NO context; your headline must provide this context.
2. Include a great Summary. Huge numbers of LinkedIn members either don’t have a Summary at all, or they have a lame Summary of a single, boring paragraph.
In my experience, it takes about an hour to create a killer Summary. That’s 60 minutes, which isn’t very much to justify the positive impact it will have on your results. I recommend this simple formula:
- Start with a single sentence that says something to the effect of “Clients call me when they need _____”. If you don’t work with clients, try a sentence that simply says what you do best. For example, “I write software programs that solve complex problems such as how to most efficiently balance energy demands in large cities.” Now go to the next paragraph.
- In paragraph two, you should explain and hopefully prove what you said in your first paragraph. Give examples. Avoid jargon, and be sure to share your energy and passion. This isn’t a resume! Be personable.
- In paragraph three, you can broaden your focus a bit and include anything else you think it is important for a new contact to know about you. Do you have a formidable set of skills you aren’t using in your current job? What are your goals? Be clear and focused, but tell us enough that we can help you achieve your goals.
- After your third paragraph, create a bulleted list with the heading “Specialties” and then list every skill and phrase you can think of that someone might use to a.) Find you, or b.) Decide whether you can help them with what they need. (If this isn’t clear, check out the Summary in my LinkedIn profile.)
3. Write at least two articles. This is the secret formula to leapfrog other members in a LinkedIn search. When LinkedIn displays search results, if you have written two or more articles then they include your two most recent articles in the search results. This makes your profile stand out versus other professionals.
More importantly, the headlines of your articles – which will be displayed as links in the search results – can tempt people to click and start reading about your ideas. This is by far the most compelling way to start building new relationships. Think about it: would you rather read someone’s bland, resume-like profile, or leap right into an engaging article such as “The Day I Made a Million Dollars for My Client”?
95% of people – maybe it’s more – skip this step, which requires a bit of work and thought. But if you don’t have enough knowledge and insights to create two articles, why are you even on LinkedIn?
The truth is, you know a LOT more than you realize. Even if you are barely two months out of college, you have a wealth of experiences, opinions, dreams, fears, and questions. Don’t be shy… the more you share your ideas, the more people will actively try to help you achieve your goals.
One last point… In my headline, I claimed you could double your results. That’s a conservative estimate. My own experience proves this to be true.
This article was written by Bruce Kasanoff from Forbes and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.