Get Maximum LinkedIn Leverage to Boost Your Career and Grow Your Business

The potential for LinkedIn to bring opportunity is huge, but turning potential into results takes strategy.
Get Maximum LinkedIn Leverage to Boost Your Career and Grow Your Business
Image credit: Carl Court | Getty Images

Whether you’re fully self-employed or working a day job, never underestimate the power of LinkedIn to propel your career or business.

Think about all the relevant positions you held before, degrees and certifications you received, projects you’ve worked on, and of course, skill you’ve gained. Use these LinkedIn profile tips to boasts all of those accomplishments.

The basics.

First off, check your job title appearing on the top of your profile and in search results. You can edit the title to say something interesting about yourself. Simply having “entrepreneur” doesn’t say much to anyone, which can cost you valuable connections.

Could it be better? Maybe it needs to be shortened to sound sweet? Maybe it needs some creativity? This is the first two lines of text people see on your profile. This is your personal brand’s slogan – will the world notice and appreciate it?

Profile image is another priority of your personal brand. Make sure the image is up-to-date, well-lit and clear. Blurry images, bad lighting, portraits looking sideways won’t do it. Stay professional and appropriate, yet approachable and human. No one wants to connect with a lifeless doll.

You can pay a photographer to take your image in a suit in front of a simple backdrop; or you can also find a clear image of your face without a busy background. To learn how people perceive you based on the image, try a free tool called PhotoFeeler where random people rate your anonymous image.

Also stay away from filters and creative frames. Save those for Instagram.

Check your profile URL. If it’s a series of random letters and numbers, edit it to display your full name and nothing else. This simplifies search for your profile.

Related: The Founder of LinkedIn Says Too Many of Us Are Using the Site All Wrong

Tell a story.

Summary is the next place people look to find out more about you. Write a brief, clear and specific summary. Think of this as your sales pitch. Don’t bore people with every minor detail of your career. Outline the industries you’ve worked in, the accomplishments you’ve had and the skills you possess.

You can also include your future course of action, which might secure you new collaboration opportunities right on LinkedIn. Include all the relevant keywords for which you want to be found.

Pay attention to your vocabulary. We’re all goal-oriented, creative team players. If you really are creative, you’ll find a better way to let the world know. Find unique and meaningful adjectives to describe your personality. 

Use the network’s publishing feature to your advantage. Write and publish good articles on the topics you know best. Share your work as much as you can. LinkedIn allows you to add links and documents to every position on your profile. Share works, projects and websites. If you have college course work you’re proud of, display it.

Display your accomplishments in a visual, user-engaging way. A lot of people treat LinkedIn as their online resume no different than a print version. You want to stand out. In general, strive to be as visual as possible. Upload videos, PowerPoint presentations, PDFs. Use bullets for lists. SlideShare is a great way to display your work .

Related: Why Should I Accept Your LinkedIn Connection?

Shine and network.

Finally, add new skills to your profile. You can change the order of your skills to highlight the most important ones. People are more likely to endorse you for those specific skills they see on top of the list.

Never hesitate to ask for recommendations. Whenever you worked or helped out people, they will be truly happy to give you a recommendation. This adds richness to your profile by letting people learn about you from others. Treat it as your testimonials section.

Finally, join relevant groups and follow relevant influencers. This will show your thirst for learning while keeping you on top of industry news and trends .

People find you based on the content of your LinkenIn, so be strategic about your profile. It’s much more than your online resume. Be mindful of the keywords you use. Blend general industry-specific terms with rarer ones.

Related: The 12 Types of People You Hate On LinkedIn

Leverage LinkedIn Pulse.

LinkedIn Pulse allows people to build their influence by sharing their knowledge and insight. It's an opportunity to increase your exposure, grow your network and audience, and establish yourself as a leader in your industry.

Be one of those professionals frequently appearing on LinkedIn Pulse. Articles featured on Pulse receive much more quality traffic than from any other network. People interested in your area of expertise will find your content worth their time. You also might land enticing new opportunities by showing your expertise on LinkedIn.

So, how to get featured on LinkedIn Pulse? While there is no proven formula on how to build influence using LinkedIn Pulse, all of featured Pulse articles share these common elements:

Catchy headline: Create a hook, so that people will want to open your article and find out what’s inside. Headlines with strong statements, unexpected ideas or “how-to” advises are great ways to catch attention.

Optimized image: Cut-off images never look good. Also, try to stay away from stock images of people in suites. We all know that those are stock, so they create an impression of a “stock” content. Not that you cannot use stock images, but try to find something as original as possible, so it previews high-quality, unique content.

Useful content: After we’ve created all of these hooks for people to click on your article, don’t let them down with useless content. They will feel like they wasted their time and won’t trust you anymore.

Share your thoughts and insights in an industry of your expertise; share tips and best practices for people who are less knowledgeable in it than you are. Your readers will appreciate these types of articles and will subscribe, or “follow” you, to read your future tips. This will increase your future chances of being featured on LinkedIn Pulse again.

Related: LinkedIn's Reid Hoffman: To Scale, Do Things That Don't Scale

Call to action: After creating an amazing, actionable content, urge your audience to share your article with those who will find it useful, too. Encourage discussion by asking for their opinion.

Now, you created amazing piece of content worthy of LinkedIn Pulse feature. You are ready to see the traffic flow in. Yet, you have a few more things to take care of before you can sit back and watch your influence grow.

Right time to publish: The best time to publish on LinkedIn is during normal work hours. So, aim to publish your content sometime between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. Keep in mind various peak times, like right before going into work, right before leaving work and lunch hours.

Different channels: Diversify your topics if you really want to grow your audience and get tons of profile views. This doesn’t mean you have to write about things you don’t know. All this means is that you need to get more focused on subcategories.

Say, write about content marketing, digital promotion, and social media marketing. You can create articles about personal finance, investing and an overview of financial trends. Think of related subjects in which you have a better than average insight into and mix topics a bit to get featured on LinkedIn Pulse more often.

Personal promotion: When you’ve published an article, spend some time promoting and sharing it on other platforms. Share it on your Facebook profile and Twitter handle. Email it to people who might find this information valuable and relevant. Once your network will start liking and commenting on your article, LinkedIn will push it into more feeds creating more traction for a given content piece.

Remember that LinkedIn is so much more than an online copy of your resume. Make yours stand out with use of multimedia, files, recommendations, and links. Plus, don’t forget that there is a huge powerful network of professionals right at your fingertips. Engage them with your articles and don’t forget to network beyond invites to connect.

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