Sunday, November 27, 2011

13 Tips for OUTRAGEOUS LinkedIn traction

1.  Treat your LinkedIn profile like a website
Make sure it is formatted, clean, and free of spelling and grammatical errors.  I strongly suggest creating your LinkedIn profile first in a word document – not only so you can “catch” errors, but also so you can get a better idea of what your profile will look like on the LinkedIn website.  In some sections of LinkedIn you can also pull in bullets and special characters.  Alas – still no bolding or italics other than what LinkedIn itself formats. Another bonus, if you’ve already created your profile in a Word document, sections of it can easily be copied into other social media platforms to keep your branding unified.
2.  Know your keywords
Like any website, LinkedIn’s internal search engines weigh your keywords heavily in its searches.  Make sure you place your most important search or keywords strategically throughout your profile.  Some places you might want to consider are your

  • Professional Headline
  • Title Fields
  • Specialties
  • Interests
  • Recommendations
3.  Keep your name clean
Put only your first name in the first name field and your last name in the last name field.  If someone is searching for you by name, LinkedIn will have a hard time finding you if your last name looks like this:  Smith, PhD. John A. ( LION 09 92345 67789

4.  Keep your photo professional

I recommend a close up and a smile. A full body shot of you and your family, you and your car, you and that fish you caught last week is unclear and unprofessional.  I have seen some artists use artistic renderings of themselves – which is clever if your image is still clear.

5. Don’t ignore the “post an update” function
LinkedIn’s update function is much more robust than it used to be (taking some tips from Facebook and Twitter).  People can now “like” and “comment” on your updates – which helps to build relationships within LinkedIn.  And with the introduction of LinkedIn Signal, the update section can now be a functional part of your SME (Subject Matter Expertise) and content strategy.  Make sure you take a little time each day to “like” and “comment” on the updates of network as well. (*Found on the home page.)

6.  Personalize your public profile URL

  • Make sure your public profile reflects your name, your business, or your area of expertise:
  • Nothing says, “I’m a LinkedIn neophyte” like a public profile that reads:

7. Beef up your “Experience” section

“Experience” is not your resume. Make sure the jobs you choose to list support each other. Make sure you put all your keywords in the title section.

8.  Utilize the “Experience” description area

Use the 1000 characters in the description section to tell people why they should hire you or your company or buy your product.  Tell a “save the day” story.  Put in a testimonial.  “Experience” is a great place to list “wins”, different companies you have helped, seminars or workshops you have presented, a mini-shot of your personal website.  Use this section as the foundation for your Company Profile

9.  List your “additional education”

Make sure you list your certifications and licenses as well as traditional education. LinkedIn has now added new sections where you can list areas of expertise, publications, patents licenses and certifications.

10.   Get Recommendations

LinkedIn tells you your profile is complete at 3.  I recommend at least ten recommendations.  And when you are asking for recommendations, give a bulleted list of what you might want them to say so that your recommendation is more than: “She’s nice”.  If you are comfortable doing so, you might write a recommendation that the recommender can use or base their recommendation from.  You might want to add some of the better recommendations to your website.  Ask for recommendations form thought leaders in your field, old employees, and well-known clients.

11.  Join strategic groups

Join groups in your own market or industry, your ideal client’s industry, groups that you are interested in, groups that your target prospects are members of, alumni groups, open groups and some big groups (Consider LinkedHR with 370,000 members).  Once you join a group you can send a message to strategic members /prospects or invite strategic members to connect with you.

12.  When inviting others, tell them how you know them

LinkedIn used to have an IDK “I don’t know” button that could get you in a lot of trouble.  Now a person’s response to an invitation is “Accept” or “Ignore”.  Nevertheless, when inviting someone to connect with you, I highly recommend telling him or her how you know them or why you want to connect.  I would also add the disclaimer:  “If you feel you have received this message in error, or simply don’t want to connect, please ignore this invitation.

13.  Use “Answers”
The answers section is a great place to position yourself as an SME or thought leader.  Answer enough questions and you can drastically increase your exposure on LinkedIn as the “go to” person.  Its also a great place to get fodder for blog articles, and to re-purpose blog articles you have already written!

13b.  “Give” more than “Get”

LinkedIn is a great place to get information, to get connections, to get clients, to get employees.  But follow the golden rule:  “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”  Don’t spam.  Don’t infiltrate email boxes with constant sales messages.  Instead share valuable information via your groups, updates and answers and let clients come to you.


  1. Hi Wayne,

    thanks for your useful tips.

    Did you test point 3? To my knowledge LinkedIn uses Lucene/SOLR to search. Configuring SOLR in a way that it finds any part of a name takes less time than writing this comment.


  2. Wow, thank you so much for your contribution! The information you've provided are a brilliant thing for beginers! Thanks a million one more time! Everything works like a charm!

  3. In terms of education, I would also include high schools. I recently got an e-mail from someone I went to school with needing a QuickBooks file set up.

    Another suggestion in case someone is trying to find you by e-mail or phone number is to include it in your LinkedIn profile.

    It also makes it easier for someone to contact you about potential positions or opportunities.