If you’re just getting started or want a refresher, here are 8 powerful tips from LinkedIn.

  1. Customize your profile and start with your “headline”. Your profile becomes your virtual LinkedIn handshake and is the first thing people will see and read. It clearly represents what you do and think about search engines too.
  2. Use a professional portrait image. Think about it carefully. Choose an image that represents the professional image you want to portray. Avoid cropping half your face and use an image that is less than two years old.
  3. Customize your public URL located at the bottom of your profile area. LinkedIn will create a public URL for you automatically and you can personalize it with your name. There are also many options for determining what is displayed on your public profile. Personally, I do not hide anything since what I share on LinkedIn is for public consumption.
  4. The summary. I recommend changing this from a bio to a more personal, first-person description of who you are, how you got to where you are today, how you help your clients, and ends with an invitation to connect!
  5. The privacy settings. You should take a look at this area under his profile to see what he is sharing. For example, I know that some of my competitors may want to take a look at my connections so that I no longer share my address book publicly.
  6. Building your network wide or narrow. This is the question I am asked the most when I lead a public workshop and the most passionate one as well. Some people want to connect only with people they know personally. Others, like me, want to build a larger network so that they can find and connect with as many people as possible.
  7. Personalize your invitations and responses. Most people just use the default text that LinkedIn enters. For me, this demonstrates LinkedIn trolling. Remember, LinkedIn is about building relationships. I always personalize my greetings and responses.
  8. Provide value to others! When sharing an update, think about how you can help other people improve and do better. Think of value to your target audience. What are the types of problems they deal with, and how can you keep yourself in mind by positioning yourself as an expert on the subject?

LinkedIn continues to grow and add new features. How you use LinkedIn depends entirely on what you want to get out of LinkedIn. Remember, provide value to others and your presence will be known on LinkedIn.

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