I am an ex marketer. I like to think I know about positioning, sales and digital marketing. I also like to think I put my old skills to good use in building my coaching business.

To that end my LinkedIn profile, in my humble opinion, was reasonably good. As partial evidence I have clients who found me through LinkedIn. But…

My ego – and more importantly, my profile – was challenged by Alison Battisby of Avocado Social. I went to see Alison to try and glean any further insight for my clients looking for new jobs, especially as see more clients being approached directly on LinkedIn for roles, Apple being one. The key message: my clients had a lot to do but equally so did I.

I started the LinkedIn Experiment to see what would happen if I implemented Alison’s recommendations.

It took 90 minutes to make the amends and in a week my profile changed from:

  • Being in the lower 40% for professionals like me to the top 12%
  • Being in the lower 36% amongst my connections to the top 28%
  • Two new enquiries about coaching

Not a bad return on time spent.

I am sure there are countless blogs on LinkedIn, but suspect it’s a bit like dieting, we know what we need to do to lose weight but we don’t always action it. This is what I found out, and I share it because as Alison commented:

“Think of LinkedIn as the future of your career rather than the past.”

And we all have the potential to have great future careers.

This is what I learnt:

It is all about search optimization

Your profile needs to be written to enable people to easily search for it. You should:

  • Put a photo up. If you don’t have a photo then the algorithms don’t favour you – you will be far lower down in a search. In my case Jennifer Williams, or Jen Williams would rank higher if they had photos and I didn’t even if someone searched for Jenny Williams.
  • Key words. What word searches do you want to come up in? I want people looking for a coach to be able to easily find myself; consequently, the word “coach” appears 31 times in my profile.
  • Utilise Your Professional Headline Explain what you do and use key words. For example: Managing Director at Digi. Formerly at Google, ITV and BBC or Digital & Content Marketer. Passionate about start ups.
  • Endorsements. If you want a strategy job, the more strategy endorsements you have the higher you will rank when people search for strategy roles. If you are endorsed for something you do not do then you can remove the skills, equally you can prioritise your endorsements.

Showcase your work

Now there is opportunity to use rich media in your profile (films, PDFs, power point, images), think about what could showcase your work, perhaps:

  • An image of you speaking at a conference
  • A marketing film of a campaign you worked on
  • An image of a promotional retail display
  • Articles in the public domain you have written

Call to action

Help people help you; if you are looking for work, or your contract is about to finish tell people. If you specialise in a particular area again share. 

Regularly review your profile

Updating my profile once a year in January, like a New Years’ Resolution, is not enough. Review it every few months; is there someone who could give you a great recommendation if a project has just finished?

And I think it goes without saying but;

  • Keep it simple and focused
  • Recommendations, especially for your current role
  • Get involved and comment, like, share; all of which helps to stay top of mind. Upload posts to LinkedIn Pulse to help create more traction.

Happy profiling!

The LinkedIn Experiment

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