LinkedIn is, without a doubt, one of the best instruments to have in your inbound marketing toolbox to perform a wide variety of functions. While it began as a seemingly simple professional social networking site, LinkedIn’s popularity and functionality have grown immensely over the past few years – and continues to rise steadily.
Many people, however, aren’t using it as functionally as they could be. Some pigeonhole it as a network solely meant to connect with former and current colleagues…and to house their résumés online in the hopes that former colleagues who've moved on to bigger and better things will remember them when they're looking to hire.
Instead, LinkedIn can and should be used for much more than that. LinkedIn is the ultimate tool for finding new qualified prospects and customers, developing and building professional relationships, enhancing professional skills and recruiting talent. Your personal profile, in addition to your company’s page, should be used as a marketing tool, working to attract a full spectrum of people to fulfill those various functions.
Ensuring that your LinkedIn profile is fully optimized will contribute to better networking opportunities and encourages LinkedIn users outside of your network to reach out to you and find value in what you have to say. Your profile should be made up of more than just your current position; it should include relevant work experience and past positions, your schooling and professional training details, and the groups that you belong to that are relevant to your industry and expertise. Optimizing your LinkedIn profile will ensure that your profile works hard for you, rather than you having to work hard for your profile.
One of the most important (and easiest!) ways to optimize your LinkedIn profile is to upload a high quality, professional headshot. Since LinkedIn is a professional networking site, your profile photo should represent you in that capacity – which means that photo with your beloved pet just won't suffice. Make a good first impression on the people who may be networking with you by giving them a glimpse of you on your best day as a professional. They’ll appreciate not only being able to put a face with your name, but that you take your LinkedIn profile – and yourself – seriously.
On April 18, LinkedIn announced that there are now 300 million users on the network. Of those users, nearly 30% don't have photos on their profile – that's a whopping 90 million LinkedIn users with no image - and that's not even counting the users who have a photo, but not a professional headshot! If you have a headshot, use it to optimize your profile and showcase yourself as a professional. If not, get one taken as soon as possible.
Want to learn more about the power of LinkedIn in an inbound world? Wayne Breitbarth, author of The Power Formula for LinkedIn Success, will be presenting at Inbound Marketing Bootcampon May 21 in Neenah, WI. Together, we believe so strongly in the importance of having a professional headshot attached to your LinkedIn profile that we're bringing in our favorite photographer, David Jackson of Jackson & Co., to take headshots of all Bootcamp attendees. If you’re in the area, join us at the event to learn more about the core components of inbound marketing and get your free headshot – then upload it to your account to start seeing the results of an optimized LinkedIn profile!
Inbound Marketing Bootcamp was held May 21, 2014. To view the Bootcamp presentations, simply click the button below!
Posted by Laura Sheptoski Laura is a detail-oriented consultant and project manager, with a background in public relations, social media engagement, and client content creation. Prior to her time at Weidert Group, Laura managed PR for an industrial services company, and maintains a strong focus on earned media within our inbound marketing programs.